4 Managed IT Solutions and Services to Improve Your Bottom Line
April 26, 2022
Information technology, or IT, is an indispensable part of modern business operations almost regardless of your specific industry focus. Having the right IT tools for the right business workflows helps to empower your business’ strategy so you can achieve your goals more efficiently and stay ahead of the competition.
However, managing IT resources can be an enormous challenge even for the biggest companies. IT management can often feel like having to run a second type of business that’s completely different from your own—albeit one where your own company is the only customer!
This is where managed IT solutions from managed service providers (MSPs) can prove invaluable. In this blog article, we’ll take a look at some of the potential benefits of IT service management (ITSM), what some of the best solutions are, and what to look for in an MSP. Armed with this information, you can optimize your search for the best ITSM solutions to bolster your company’s success!
Business Benefits of Managed IT Solutions
The business benefits of using a managed service can vary depending on the specific service used—though there are a few benefits that are common to most solutions, such as:
Reduced IT Costs
When using a managed IT solution from a third party, you can skip a lot of the internal costs that IT management typically entails—such as recruiting, training, and incentivizing an expensive team of IT experts. This helps to reduce the cost of IT operations—and reduce cost variability since you don’t have to worry about recruitment or lost productivity whenever an experienced IT engineer leaves the team.
Immediate Access to IT Experts
The process of building an internal team of IT engineers who have the right skills to expertly manage the specific IT solutions your business uses can be extremely time-consuming. Between initial recruitment, vetting prospective IT staff, employee onboarding, and training in specific software solutions, adding a single engineer to your team can take months. Building a whole team of experts can take over a year—especially if individuals leave the team for other opportunities.
Considering that 76% of IT decision-makers agree that they “face critical skills gaps in their departments” (Source: Venture Beat), the competition for new IT talent can be fierce—which increases the time it takes to find new talent and makes it more likely that another organization will try to entice your IT staff away from your business to fill their own needs.
Using a third-party IT team to provide IT service management helps to solve this problem by providing you with a pre-built team of IT professionals with a variety of skills. This eliminates the need to recruit new staff and provide incentives to keep them on your team.
Improved Knowledge of a Variety of IT Resources
Not every IT tool will prove to be equally valuable to your company’s overall strategy. Some IT assets might even have inherent problems that could actively work against your company’s interests. When relying on an internal IT management team, you’re limited to what direct experience each one of them has with various tools. If they aren’t already familiar with the tools your company uses (or plans to use), they may not be able to provide the support you need to overcome these challenges.
However, with a managed service, you’re accessing the knowledge and experience amassed by an entire team of IT experts who have worked with a broad variety of tools. They will have familiarity with many different IT tools because of the other clients that their company has worked with—allowing you to benefit from the successes (and even mistakes) of others.
For example, if there was a software solution that you were planning to add to your tech stack which would not work well because of a particular quirk or flaw, a managed IT solution provider is more likely to have experience with that software and can warn you about the issue—or provide a viable fix for the problem.
Alternatively, if you were looking for a new IT tool to add to your existing processes, an MSP could help by recommending an ideal solution to meet your specific needs.
4 Managed IT Services for Improving Productivity and Profitability
There are countless different managed services (and variations on those services) that MSPs could potentially provide. But not every service is equally valuable to every company. The following list of services are all ones that are generally very useful for helping a business improve productivity and profitability in some way—often by reducing IT costs, streamlining certain business workflows, or preventing data loss and other events that cost money to fix.
1. Fully Managed IT Solutions
For companies that want or need comprehensive support in managing their IT portfolio, fully managed IT solutions are often the best choice. Where other IT solutions focus on a specific aspect of IT or provide a limited-scope service, fully-managed IT seeks to:
- Eliminate the Stress of IT Management. By providing comprehensive services that address all of your daily IT management needs.
- Create a Predictable Monthly Cost. By eliminating volatility in service and staffing needs.
- Address All IT Gaps in the Organization. By reviewing your IT assets and your business workflows to identify opportunities to improve operations by eliminating technology gaps.
For companies that struggle to assemble an internal IT team and need a lot of IT support, a fully managed solution is often ideal.
2. Infrastructure Setup and Maintenance
Some companies don’t need a fully managed service for all of their IT needs, but just need some help implementing and maintaining a new IT solution. This is where a basic infrastructure setup and maintenance service can help.
With a little support, you can take the pressure off of your existing IT staff and ensure a smooth rollout/implementation of your client/server network infrastructure. Some MSPs even go above and beyond to make recommendations of specific computer systems and software to help maximize the performance of your IT infrastructure after implementation—though others may simply work to execute on your existing strategy without providing such consultations.
This type of service, when delivered by the right MSP, can help a company implement the tools they need to maximize productivity.
3. IT Security/Cybersecurity
Insufficient protection for your IT infrastructure can lead to data breaches, service interruptions, and even a direct loss of money. Businesses of all sizes and industries are, unfortunately, a ready target for cybercriminals who are motivated by profit, politics, and the base urge to commit mischief.
However, finding experienced and skilled IT security (also referred to as cybersecurity) personnel is often easier said than done. This is where some managed service providers can help. Some MSPs offer cybersecurity services for small businesses that help them:
- Identify Critical Security Issues. By running basic security tests and analyzing the organization’s existing security protocols and tools, a cybersecurity service can help identify critical security gaps that need to be addressed.
- Implement Plans of Action to Meet Security Requirements. Some businesses may need to meet enhanced security standards to win contracts or comply with industry regulations. IT security services can help businesses establish and implement a plan of action to meet the security milestones that the business needs to match or surpass.
- Reduce the Cost of Cybersecurity Operations. By providing service at a predictable cost and helping to identify the most cost-effective ways to meet critical security needs, a cybersecurity service provider can help businesses reduce the overall cost of protecting themselves from cyber threats.
By minimizing the cost of cybersecurity and protecting the business from various cyber threats, cybersecurity services can help companies protect their profits.
4. Business Continuity/Online Cloud Backup
Whether it’s the result of an active attempt by cybercriminals, the carelessness of an employee hitting the wrong button at the wrong time, or an act of nature (such as a hurricane, flood, or earthquake), there is always a risk that some portion of your business’ mission-critical data may be lost.
Managed service providers can help companies negate the risk of data loss by setting up remote data backup solutions that keep critical information safe in a secondary, offsite location in case something happens to the company’s primary data center.
In many cases, this takes the form of a cloud-based data storage solution, but it can also include entire remote platforms that can take over if the primary data center goes down.
How does this service help improve your bottom line? Like with cybersecurity, data backup and business continuity solutions don’t have a direct impact on profits. Instead, having a backup of mission-critical information helps the business avoid losses when a disastrous event of some kind happens.
According to TechTarget, a network brownout could cost around $600,000—though the actual cost can vary greatly depending on what data is rendered unavailable and the duration of the outage. A robust business continuity plan can ensure that data is unavailable for the shortest possible amount of time—largely negating the impact of the outage. This, in turn, helps the company save money.
What to Look for in a Managed Service Provider
One of the biggest challenges in finding a vendor to provide IT service management is that not all managed service providers are created equally. Many MSPs focus on a specific type of service and can achieve an incredible level of expertise and service within that limited scope—but remain unable to provide assistance with a broader IT strategy.
For organizations that only need expertise and support in a very specific type of IT—such as cybersecurity or platform implementation—using a specialist service can be a viable choice. However, many businesses need more than just a single type of IT service.
Modern business workflows require comprehensive support and service to cover all of their IT needs. So, one of the things that a business’ leadership should look for in an IT vendor is the ability to deliver a variety of services to cover both current and future needs.
Other things to look for include:
- Their ability to communicate and collaborate. Your IT management partner should be able to provide clear communication that helps you understand their recommendations and how they can help your business.
- Their experience with different IT solutions and their willingness to train in new solutions. Having previous experience with the specific software and tools you plan to use can be a huge benefit—and being willing to learn new platforms and software to meet your needs rather than forcing you into a specific solution helps highlight how they will work to support you.
- Their professionalism. You deserve to be treated with respect and integrity by your IT partner. A top-of-the-line managed service provider should have a complete team of professionals who will provide courteous service and support when you need it.
These are just a few of the things to look for in an MSP. If you’re looking for some peace of mind and stability in your IT workflows, reach out to IT Proactive today! We specialize in comprehensive, fully-managed IT delivered with professional courtesy at an affordable rate.