What is Managed IT Services?
Managed services (or MS, if you’re really cool) can make your job a lot easier. What it actually encompasses varies depending on what you need, and your provider (i.e. us) can tailor their services based on that. Let’s take a look at what managed IT services are and the benefits of IT managed services - then let’s talk money. How much do managed IT services cost and how will they benefit your budget?
- What is managed IT services?
- Pricing models
- How managed IT services save you money
- The benefits of managed IT services
- Types of managed IT services
What is managed IT services? A quick definition
An MS is a remote service that takes care of your specialised day-to-day IT operations. A managed service provider (MSP) has the capabilities to provide the necessary infrastructure and IT support for businesses that can’t afford - or don’t want - to pay for in-house talent.
When you outsource to an MSP, you’re freeing up your team’s time to focus on the business’s core competencies - with the peace of mind that your IT systems will continue to run without a hitch. So have a breather - we’ve got this.
IT managed services pricing models: How would you like to pay?
You want to outsource those techy tasks and responsibilities on your own terms, right? That’s where your managed IT services model comes into play. There are three distinct pricing models to choose from - ranging from ad-hoc fixes to an ongoing relationship with a focus on proactive IT management.
We also call this the break/fix model. What is managed IT services when it’s on these terms? Think of it as “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. You only request managed IT services if something breaks down - and maybe do a little DIY maintenance yourself to keep systems running.
This is perfect for small businesses that have a limited number of users. As long as you’re still making more savings compared to a more proactive approach, the break/fix model will work well.
This is all about bringing in IT expertise as and when you need it. This is often suitable for larger projects - including IT security and digital transformations, like moving to the cloud or implementing strategic IT roadmaps.
Each project will have a goal or goals. The idea here is that you get to achieve those goals without taking on in-house staff. So, the cost of managed IT services are less and the job still gets done.
Managed Service Provider
You’re managing a larger business with pretty complex IT needs. You need a tech whizz on hand who becomes part of your day-to-day business operations. Meet your MSP.
They work with your business on a contracted basis, filling in the gaps in your team and adding their specialist knowledge and value. To find out how much managed IT services cost when you can outsource all of it to an MSP, give us a call.
What are the benefits of managed IT services?
Let’s talk about the benefits of managed IT services. Specifically, the pros of hiring an MSP and investing in proactive IT.
In terms of money, we’d bet that you’d prefer a “fixed monthly” cost over a “let’s just pay for every service we need and hope for the best” cost. An MSP offers the former. Think unlimited support that’s guaranteed by an SLA (or service level agreement).
You have a budget to stick to, and unexpected tech disasters are less than ideal. The good news is that managed service providers have evolved so organisations can save money while getting the IT help they need to get up and running - and stay there.
In fact, one survey by CompTIA found that 46% of companies asked were able to reduce their budget by at least 25% when they began outsourcing their IT needs to a managed service provider (MSP).
Here are some more quickfire ways an MSP can save you money (and headaches):
More uptime; less downtime
Technical issues that cause unplanned downtime can be expensive for businesses. While your most tech-savvy employees are busy trying to get things moving again, overall productivity takes a hit and service unavailability can quickly persuade customers to look elsewhere.
A remote IT support department keeps an eye on your system to resolve any issues before they have a chance to harm your bottom line.
Reduced in-house costs
The biggie when it comes to saving money by outsourcing your IT department is lower infrastructure costs and energy bills. With no need for in-house hardware and equipment, or an IT team, businesses can make significant savings. In fact, with your entire data centre being held off-site, could you even downsize to a smaller office?
Expertise on tap means you don’t have to pay a fee every time you use a service or ask a question. When you know that one set cost is taking care of all of your IT concerns, you can plan ahead and invest in other areas of your business that might need it.
Benefits of IT managed services - yep, there’s more!
Money aside, what other reasons are there for switching to proactive IT?
- Find problems early on and access ways to solve them quickly
- Keep systems updated and make sure all regular tasks are taken care of automatically
- Improve IT security with preventative maintenance and ongoing tests
- Get an outsider view of the business to spot bottlenecks you might have missed
The types of managed IT services
MSPs in Australia offer different types of managed services, depending on their specialities. Let’s see what’s on offer.
1. Networking & infrastructure
Your managed service provider can take on any and all network tasks required, including handling WANs, LANs, and other connections for your business. They take care of the technicalities including infrastructure setup, networking and storage backup, so your staff can enjoy more time to focus on the business.
From selecting the right anti-malware software through to updates and maintenance, an MSP can take care of all your online security needs.
An IT communications package could include data, voice, video and even a remotely managed call centre.
4. Software as a service (SaaS)
Access the latest IT software, developed either by your MSP or a third party. SaaS usually works on a subscription basis, and means you don’t have to worry about installations, updates or security mishaps.
If IT isn’t exactly your forte, navigating data analysis can be a minefield. Outsourcing this as a managed service lets you stay on top of the trends and insights needed to direct your business in the right direction.
Googling why a particular software or hardware device is playing up usually takes hours of your time and gets you nowhere. With managed IT support services, you get access to instant help and troubleshooting for those puzzling IT issues.
More Australian businesses are moving over to the cloud, with 78% of businesses seeing an increase in productivity levels since migrating. An MSP that specialises in cloud technology can handle everything from migration to infrastructure management, storage and even virtualisation services for software or operating systems.
How do I know if I need IT Managed Services?
Wondering if IT Managed Services are for you? To know whether you need Managed Services, ask yourself these questions:
- Is tech an issue for your company?
- Are your computers and network devices secure and up to date?
- Do your staff experience friction when using tech to complete daily tasks?
- Do you worry about your data security?
- Do your staff spend time resolving IT issues?
IT should be a seamless experience for your business, empowering you to do work more efficiently. If that is not your experience, then it's time to book a discussion about how IT Managed Services will streamline your business.