Managed IT services can support your business by delivering significant cost savings and value. However, before contacting a company that provides managed IT services, it is important to determine if it’s beneficial for your business since every solution has its pros and cons.
So, let’s first look at what Managed IT Services are.
In a nutshell, a managed IT service is an information technology task provided by a third-party contractor for a client organisation. Managed services can be tailored to almost any business requirement that falls under the IT umbrella—ranging from the day to day management of applications, databases, data recovery and back-ups, to network management, storage, security, and monitoring.
A managed IT service comes with a service-level agreement (SLA), the contract between the service provider and the customer. The SLA identifies what services the provider will supply and how successful delivery of services will be measured.
Within this model, the client owns or has direct oversight of their organisation or system.
The managed services provider (MSP) is the service provider delivering the managed services. The client and the MSP enter into a contractual, service-level agreement that defines their relationship’s performance and quality metrics.
Let’s start by looking at the positives.
Compared to hiring in-house IT personnel, managed IT service typically saves 45-70%* of your costs on salaries alone. Additionally, not having personnel physically in the office lets you save on equipment, office space, and more.
Proactive Management – Increased Uptimes and Quality of Service
As mentioned in the definition of MSP above, your managed IT provider proactively monitors your systems 24/7/365 to identify problems before they happen and keep downtimes at a minimum. Often, a one or two-person in house IT are always firefighting technology problems and have very little time to think, plan, and execute strategies. With proactive management, you can nearly eliminate the possibility of downtimes, which are costly and reputation damaging. Additionally, the client is guaranteed consistent uptimes and quality of service through a legally binding service level agreement (SLA).
Dedicated and Specialized Personnel
With managed IT service, you have access to a team of technical engineers who are dedicated and specialised in specific IT fields and continually train and learn the latest industry trends. This ensures your IT infrastructure is maintained using industry best practices and issues are fixed quickly.
To put it into perspective, an in-house IT team with one or two personnel most likely have a limited scope of skills and IT specialisation. They will also require constant training and education, which are added costs, to stay on top of emerging technologies, security measures, and compliance laws.
No Single Point of Failure
If a company has a limited IT budget, it can only hire one person. This creates a single point of failure when the IT engineer is working on a critical task. With managed IT service, a team of technical engineers are ready to help you for the cost of one in-house IT engineer. This eliminates the single point of failure of having one person at a lesser cost.
Reduced HR Challenges
HR challenges, such as recruitment and retention, are reduced with managed IT services. Since it outsources your IT operations to another entity, it transfers the HR responsibilities to the MSP, allowing you to focus on more critical matters in the company.
With all these positive points, it is hard to see how an MSP could ever be a bad thing for your business to have. However, like many things in life, there are always going to be one or two negatives. With that being said, let’s look at the cons of having an MSP.
Decreased Synergy Between Business and IT
Since an MSP handles multiple accounts and/or businesses, it may not be able to develop a deep understanding of your internal infrastructure and specific industry and business needs. This is a trade-off that MSPs have in order to achieve economies of scale and lower managed IT service costs for businesses.
To alleviate this drawback, find an MSP that specialises in accommodating businesses in your specific industry. This ensures your business and MSP are aligned in knowing your industry needs, which results in a more reliable IT service.
This is something that Internetwork are passionate about; we want to get to know the ins and outs of your business to make sure that you are getting the best possible service tailored to your needs.
Reduced On-Site Availability
Since personnel for managed IT service are not physically in the office, they are less available to fix urgent issues. Furthermore, if the MSP has no local office, they cannot offer on-site support. To ease this disadvantage, ensure your MSP provides on-site services and are available to call in for immediate support. The majority of IT-related problems can be fixed remotely, while some physical intervention may be required, a good MSP will give you the blended support you need.
Reduced Knowledge Retention
Lastly, when outsourcing any operations, the business reduces its ability to build its processes and retain knowledge. This is a critical strategic resource when building companies since business processes ensure consistent results and transfer information. This is also a critical aspect of company valuations.
Overall, managed services are a great asset to any modern organisation, with opportunities to benefit in many ways. An MSP can lead to significant reductions in costs. Most providers will charge an upfront fee and then an ongoing fixed monthly fee, which provides clients with a set monthly expenditure, making financial planning more straightforward. Outsourcing managed services also allows business owners to reduce the cost of employees working in-house and the technology, tools, and other resources needed to handle the tasks.
Secondly, the managed service provider will bring the knowledge, expertise and experience in their service offering that will enable increased accuracy and decreased risk and liabilities, especially since they have to ensure, not only their compliance with government regulations and various industry standards, but that of all their clients too.
Finally, the MSP will have the tools, technology, and resources required to improve efficiencies by streamlining procedures and various processes, they also have the buying power of multiple companies combined, helping to reduce the cost of licensing per seat for each company. This can then lead to increased transparency and better understanding, providing a foundation for more decisive decision making based on factual, real-time statistics and information.
If you’re looking at introducing a managed IT service provider to your business, why not talk to our team today, we cover Northampton, Bedford, Milton Keynes and beyond! We have a range of experts on hand who are always happy to assist you.