IT operations are an indispensable part of modern business. Companies rely on IT solutions for coordinating employees, managing interactions with customers, tracking payroll, inventory management—you name it, there’s probably a business IT solution for it. However, managing IT internally can be an enormous challenge for companies of all sizes and industries.
This is where managed IT service providers can help. What are managed IT services? How does a top managed service provider help businesses? What do you need to know to find the best managed service providers (MSPs) for your business?
What Are Managed IT Services?
In essence, managed IT services is the term for when companies outsource any aspect of their IT—whether it’s their cybersecurity, server management, IT asset lifecycle management, IT asset disposition, technical support/service desk, or any other IT function.
There are several reasons why a business might search for terms like “the top 100 managed service providers,” or “managed service providers list,” or “managed service providers near me.”
- Minimizing the Cost of IT Personnel Salaries. Using an outsourced IT service is usually much less costly than hiring a similarly skilled and expansive IT team internally. For example, according to CBT Nuggets, “The national average salary for a Cybersecurity Engineer is $138,962.” So, hiring a team of five such experts would cost $694,810 per year. Costs can be even higher when searching for IT personnel with particularly valuable or uncommon skills.
- Not Having to Train IT Staff Internally. Another major cost factor for any IT team is providing the training they need to keep current with the latest technologies and cyber threats in the world. Falling behind on knowledge can mean having less effective IT services—so training is something organizations of all sizes and industries shouldn’t skimp on.
- Speeding up IT Expert Acquisition. Finding and vetting an IT professional can be a long and frustrating process. It isn’t enough for an IT pro to simply have the right certifications—they need to be able to apply that knowledge to real-world situations and adapt to major changes quickly. The best managed service providers have access to a large pool of highly-qualified and skilled IT professionals that their customers can draw on to address different needs.
These are just a few of the potential benefits of using an MSP.
4 Things You Should Know about Managed IT Service Providers
Aside from knowing what managed IT service providers are and what some of the potential benefits of using an MSP are, what should everyone know about them? Here are four things to know about managed IT service providers:
1. Modern Managed Service Models
In a modern managed services agreement, the IT service provider may be fully responsible for a variety of services that would normally be handled internally by their clients. They are held to a variety of service level agreements (SLAs) that are aligned with the services they’re expected to provide.
For example, a managed service provider operating a help desk might have SLAs based on support tickets closed and/or time-to-resolution for each support ticket. Meanwhile, a managed security service provider might have SLAs related to system uptime, total threats detected and countered, or how quickly they counter a cyber breach.
In most cases, managed service providers operate remotely, working from off-site locations using cloud-based services to meet their clients’ needs. However, some managed IT providers local to a specific area may offer on-site services.
2. Managed IT Service Assessments
One critical part of many modern IT services is the managed IT service assessment. This is where the IT service provider examines a customer’s IT environment to determine what the customer most needs from their services and how they can help.
The structure and focus of these assessments will vary from one service provider to the next. For example, a managed IT security specialist might focus on closing security vulnerabilities in a network. Meanwhile, a compliance-as-a-service specialist might focus on issues that impede an organization’s compliance with specific regulations.
Not every managed service provider will be the best fit for every organization. If, during the managed service assessment, the MSP discovers that their services aren’t a good fit, they may recommend a different MSP that is more aligned with the customer’s needs.
3. Managed IT Cybersecurity
Managed security service providers have seen steady growth year over year as new cyber threats continue to emerge and companies of all sizes and industries learn more about the risks they face. According to a projection featured in a PR Newswire release, “The Global Managed Cyber Security Services Market is expected to grow from USD 18,004.39 Million in 2019 to USD 30.280.12 Million by the end of 2025.”
Managed IT security services can include things like:
- Cybersecurity monitoring to detect potential breaches or vulnerabilities in the IT environment;
- Training end users in an organization to recognize cyber threats like phishing emails or malware;
- Creating, maintaining, and implementing an incident response plan (IRP) to handle potential security breaches; and
- Verifying compliance with various industry regulations and national laws to uphold the latest compliance standards.
Cybersecurity, in particular, is an ever-evolving field because of how quickly new threats are created. The top managed security service providers typically have more resources to keep their cybersecurity experts up to date with the latest developments than companies not specializing in this field.
4. Managed Service for your Employees
For businesses to operate at peak efficiency and realize greater ROI from their employees, they need to have the right technology and the right know-how. Some cloud managed service providers help with this by offering services meant specifically to support an organization’s employees.
These services can include things like:
- Email migration to ensure that everything is all in one place on the cloud;
- Providing group-based and individual training to help employees master all of the technologies that they need for their work;
- Creating integrations and interfaces to allow the legacy systems employees are used to using work with more modern cloud-based architectures; and
- Developing processes and back-end solutions to help employees work more efficiently.
Systems-X Managed IT Services
The largest managed service providers aren’t always the best managed service providers. When looking for a full-service IT management and advisory partner, it’s important to consider more than just their market share—you need to look for a company that is dedicated to providing the best possible service that fulfills all of your needs.
Systems-X provides the IT insights that companies need to make more informed decisions about their IT and maximize their ROI. Our team leverages key alliances with technology partners like Microsoft, Check Point, Cisco, Google, and others to develop and implement the best IT solutions to improve your business’ results.
Don’t wait—reach out to Systems X today to get started!