What are Managed Services?

If you’re looking for IT support and IT services you’ve probably come across the phrase Managed Services.  But what exactly is managed services and how can it benefit your business?

Simply put, Managed Services allow a company to outsource their IT support.  The provider of this IT support is known as the Managed Service Provider or MSP for short.  The MSP will monitor and manage all IT problems a business can have.

Why Managed Services?

Every business these days requires technology in some form. Almost everyone uses a computer, the internet, or a printer.  Many businesses rely on these things to operate on a day to day basis.  As the reliance on these systems increases, the budget to support them often does not.  Small to medium sized businesses do not have their own IT departments usually, so they need outside support for many of their issues.

Each day the IT world gets increasingly more complex. Business owners rarely have time to focus on managing backups or making sure security patches get installed.  However, neglecting such tasks leaves your business vulnerable to attack or system crashes.  Sometimes it’s best to outsource these things and leave it in the hands of professionals in that field.

Are Managed Services Cost Effective?

Yes! In the past you would have to wait for a problem to occur then reach out to IT support.  This is what’s known as “break-fix”. Only when something breaks do you reach out to have it fixed.  The problem with this mentality is that it is entirely reactive.  Waiting for a problem to occur before fixing it means more downtime.

One of the major advantages of using an MSP is that many times problems are caught before they happen.  This means less downtime (if at all) and more productivity for your business.  An MSP can also handle many problems remotely, so they spend less time at your business interrupting your routine. Generally, the MSP charges a flat monthly rate in exchange for ongoing support.

The Benefits of Managed Services

The biggest benefit to using managed services is proactive management of all your systems.  Being able to catch an issue before it turns into a crisis could save you massive amounts of time, money, and productivity.

Case Study: Hard Drive Failure

We support all different types of businesses.  For today’s case study we’ll focus on two who had similar issues and different approaches to handling the issues.

Business #1 is a financial firm and is enrolled in full MSP and has their systems backed up through the MSP.

Business #2 is a medical clinic that does regular patient exams. They have the typical break-fix plan where they call for service after something breaks. Both of these businesses had a computer that is used in day to day operations crash.  Let’s start with Business #2. Business #2 was going about normal operations when they noticed their exam room computer wasn’t turning on properly.  They let it sit for an hour to see if it would fix itself.  After no luck turning it on and waiting, they called their tech support.  Their tech support was busy and couldn’t get out until tomorrow, but they couldn’t wait for that.  They had patients and needed it fixed ASAP.  They brought their machine to us, and we identified the problem as a hard drive crash.  We immediately began attempting to save the data and replace the bad hard drive.  Total down time: 4 days. Needless to say, it threw a wrench in how the business had to operate and caused them to have to reschedule several appointments. This business was lucky that all the data was retrievable off of the failed hard drive. This is not always the case and could have been much worse. Now let’s look at Business #1.

Business #1 showed up to work on a Monday.  Everything was going normal.  Since they were enrolled in full managed services the tech monitoring the account noticed a computer not checking in.  The tech called the business to ask if the computer had been booted on that morning.  Although it was booted up the tech knew something wasn’t right, so he arrived at the business a few minutes later.  Once on-site the tech ran diagnostics and realized the computer’s hard drive was failing. He replaced the drive, and since the business was backing up their data regularly through our cloud managed backups, he was able to begin restoring their data just as it was before the crash.  Total down time: 4 hours.

This is just one example of how using an MSP could save you lots of time, money, and headaches down the road.

Another benefit to managed services is a reduced overall IT expense.  Although you’ll be paying a monthly fee, it could save your systems from being down for days or even weeks at a time. An MSP will provide round the clock monitoring and would be alerted should any problems arise.

There are several other benefits to using an MSP – minimized downtime, allows you to focus on your business instead of tech headaches, and peace of mind knowing your systems are fully up to date and protected.

Who should use Managed Services?

If you’re wondering if you could benefit from managed services ask yourself these questions.

-Are all of your systems backed up and working properly?

-Are all of your systems protected and updated with the latest anti-virus and security patches?

-Do you have the number of someone you can call who understands your network setup and business needs?

-Do you know which equipment in your office is aging and in need of replacement?

-Do you monitor the performance of all your equipment and ensure it is running at peak efficiency?

If you answered no to any of these questions then there is a way managed services can benefit you and your business.  If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact us and schedule your free business consultation today!