As your business grows and its technology demands increase, you may find yourself in need of expert tech support. If you find yourself in this scenario, you may have heard of managed IT services offered as a solution. . . but what are managed IT services?
The managed IT services definition is relatively simple: managed IT services are services provided by a third party that will manage your entire IT stack. But what does that mean?
It means that they will assume full accountability for all things technology at your business:
- Day-to-day IT management
- Managed security services (cyber security)
- Network monitoring
- Network support
- Network management (updating and upgrading)
- Digital transformations
- Cloud services, support, and management
- Server management and support
- Technical support
- Business continuity (disaster recovery, data backup)
- And more
Put more succinctly, your managed services provider (MSP) helps your company by proactively monitoring its IT assets, intercepting issues, and updating/upgrading so that new ones don’t appear.
This is a very fast growing industry with a predictable spike in demand for MSP services as the pandemic has made businesses more dependent on a stable and powerful network. After all, in the age of work-from-home and globally dispersed workforces, without that reliable technology supporting your business, IT issues can grow out of control and impair growth or worse.
We now have our managed IT services definition; it’s time to learn more about how managed services work.
The Ins and Outs of How Managed IT Services Work
The first step to determining how managed IT services work for your business is to figure out what your IT needs are and your budget. This can be accomplished often with a free consultation with a qualified MSP.
After your needs have been identified and a budget set, you can select from one of several IT services models and pricing models.
Once you have a package selected your MSP will begin its onboarding process. Within a few days, weeks, or months (depending on the MSP, the scope of the work, etc.) you’ll be up and running.
Having explained how managed IT services work, let’s dive more into what is an IT managed services provider exactly. Simply put, an MSP is the industry name for the third-party provider of your IT services.
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With a managed IT services definition now in hand, we can competently answer the question of “what is an IT managed services provider”. The next step is determining which package is best suited to help your business.
What Managed Services Do I Need and How Much Will I Have to Pay?
Service offerings from MSPs are often customized to meet the precise needs of the client; no two businesses are alike, so neither will a competent MSP offer a one-size-fits-all solution.
It’s a giant red flag if your potential IT partner offers a services package without first assessing your IT stack to determine your needs. These pre-packaged offerings will often contain superfluous services you don’t need, eating away at your IT budget unnecessarily.
You’ll want to make use of a consultation and assessment (often done for free) so you can gain a complete understanding of what it is your IT stack requires to reach its optimal state.
With this early assessment complete, you can then determine what type of pricing model works best for your business:
- A break/fix model
- A la carte model
- A fully managed services model
The Break/Fix Model
Think of this as your most basic IT plan. A break/fix model is, exactly as it sounds, a simple solution for simpler technical problems, offering support for your system as issues appear.
In other words, any time an IT issue crops up like your network being on the fritz or a cybersecurity vulnerability opening up, the break/fix model will supply you with the experts you need to solve these commonplace problems.
That said, you will miss out on many of the more sophisticated and highest ROI-yielding IT services (cloud support, vCIO services and long-term strategies, etc.)
If you have an in-house IT team that could use some support from 24/7 on-call experts, this plan makes sense. But for businesses that don’t have in-house teams (or these teams are on the smaller side) you can better maximize your IT ROI via alternative plans (see below).
In this model, you’ll most often pay on a per ticket/IT issue addressed.
The A la Carte Model
A nice median between the barebones break/fix model and the full-on end-to-end management model, a la carte allows you to pick and choose which services you need.
While this may sound like the most economically efficient model (and in some limited circumstances can be) it is often still not as desirable for most businesses compared to the full management plan. That’s because, while it may be less expensive compared to end-to-end management at first, as your business grows you may need to add services. This piecemeal approach can send the costs skyrocketing, often totalling more than fully managed services models.
What’s more, you will miss out on many potentially helpful services included in a fully managed model, only to end up paying more as you add on individual services one at a time. And if you switch to a fully managed service model, that’s great, but you will have missed out on benefitting from many proactive and preventative services that actually could have saved you a lot of money and time as you were leveraging the a la carte model.
That said, the a la carte model is very effective when paired with a robust in-house team, using specific services and domain experts to supplement an already steady team. This gives you the best of both worlds: in-house team members you work with directly on a daily basis in addition to the outsourced team filling in gaps. That said, it does increase your management burden.
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Your overall costs for an a la carte model will vary based on the services selected, the number of users, number of devices, and types of devices. There are other factors, but those four will be the strongest influences on your monthly fixed price.
The Fully Managed IT Services Model
The best option for getting the highest ROI.
A single provider will manage your entire IT stack, solving all your IT issues, preempting future ones, and developing synergistic solutions that create a beneficial ripple effect across the entire business.
Better yet, fully managed services are often backed by a service level agreement (SLA) that guarantees you’re receiving excellent care that meets your expectations quarter after quarter.
We Have Our Managed IT Definition – Next Step Is Finding the Perfect Technology Partner for Your Business
If you’re ready to fix all your IT issues – affordably – then you’re ready to work with Sunco. We are a leading managed services provider, ready to manage all your IT demands, ensuring your business’s workflow is faster, more efficient, more productive, free from slowdowns and interruptions, and otherwise superior to your workflow before we assumed ownership of your IT management duties.
Contact Sunco today and learn more about reducing IT burdens while speeding up your business processes.
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