Why Should You Use a Managed IT Service Provider?
A managed IT service provider offers an all-in-one partner to handle all of the aspects of computer and server tech support, networking/Internet, cloud services, Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery, cybersecurity, and general tech infrastructure management.
Ok, So What Are the Upsides of Using an MSP For My Business?
1 – Predictable costs that scale with your growth: The services of a Managed Service Provider are setup to aid businesses by curtailing overhead costs. Fixed costs that are known upfront and scale with a business’s growth are a key driver of this – what this means is they change with the business needs. Managed It Services add security to your business and take away the frustration of internal administration, which frees you up for more important tasks.
Managed service Providers offer efficient IT support by giving you a team of professionals that are focused on IT service management and operations. They handle all these needs at a predictable monthly cost – all while helping to eliminate huge, unexpected costs.
2 – Avoiding the sunk cost fallacy: Costs that are incurred at the time of purchase and are unable to be recouped are sunk costs. Operational expenses are incurred in furtherance of normal business processes and can generally be recovered.
Lots of small and medium businesses come face-to-face with the prospect of handling their tech support services in-house, and that means absorbing both operational and sunk costs, that said, when you work with a Managed tech support provider that can do these tasks for you, avoiding sunk and operating costs can be avoided.
3 – Professional knowledge with real-world applications: Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are the ideal choice in the small to medium small businesses because they deliver adept support from specialized staff while eliminating the necessity of sourcing their own internal IT employees. Services such as these handle all your tech needs while simultaneously enhancing security and efficiency.
4 – Cybersecurity protection: Managed Service Providers managed the cybersecurity needs of businesses in several ways. MSPs layer several products, services, and methods to help secure your network, servers, computers, and data from ransomware, viruses, malware and more. Patch management and Business Continuity/Disaster Recover (BCDR) and offsite backups are also elements of this.
Some of the other security benefits to using an MSP are:
- Employee Cybersecurity awareness training. Tools that provide your business with the means to help staff identify, recognize, and report cyber threats to you and your business. These usually include trackable modules with certificates as your employees complete the trainings.
- Best practices identification and implementation. There are lots of things that you can do to protect your business from cyber threats, some of them likely already available with the products and services you already own. MSPs help you to identify and implement industry best practices for cybersecurity.
5 – Faster response times: Response and resolution times are a critical key performance indicator for any MSP. A Managed Service provider can both receive and resolve issues much quicker due to their specific knowledge of IT issues, meaning less time trying to figure out the problem, and more time getting them resolved and your business back online.
To maintain the highest possible IT infrastructure uptime, many businesses have already retained the services of an MSP to monitor, maintain, and respond in a timely fashion. Most MSPs also provide you with a means to track issue resolution in real-time via the use of a trouble ticketing system with a client portal. In short, an MSP helps ensure that your information technology tools are operating at peak efficiency, with minimal downtime.
6 – Monitoring and problem-solving on a proactive basis: Proactive monitoring of systems, networks, and Internet service is one more major advantage of using an MSP. These insights ensure that your infrastructure, servers, services, and data are always being watched for changes, outages, or variations from normal.
When was the last time you checked on your server, your operating systems, or the firmware on your network gear? How bad would it be if there was an issue with your IT infrastructure and you weren’t aware of it?
Like many other small business owners or managers, the answer is likely rarely to never. Proactive monitoring and issue resolution with a results-oriented approach is just one more advantage of using a Managed IT provider. MSPs keep track of information, backups, computers, servers, applications, and devices every minute of every day. This ensures that the MSP can identify potential issues before they become big headaches. Managed IT service providers will also resolve issues before they become bigger problems which saves you money, time, resources, and more.
7 – Reduce potential business threats: Another benefit of using an MSP for your small business is the reduction of risk. As a business owner/manager, you have to focus on the day-to-day management of the business while not having to be concerned with resolving IT problems like Internet outages, computers not working, or server issues. A managed IT service vendor lets you rest in the knowledge that your critical information and tech are protected from cyberthreats, hackers, and inevitable hardware or service issues.
In Summary: Regardless of the size your business, a managed IT service provider gives you confidence that your technology infrastructure is being maintained, monitored, and protected by industry professionals who can handle any issue or emergency in the most expedient manner possible
This leaves you free to focus on your business by allowing tech support pros to deal with the technical details of your network, computers, Wi-Fi, applications, email, printers, and other technology.
A Managed IT service provider will take care of all your IT needs and will provide you with enterprise-level security at prices much lower than what you would normally pay for it on your own.
What are Managed IT tech support services and what can they do for my business?
A Managed Service Provider (MSP for short) assist businesses in proactively monitoring, managing, and maintaining their technology. This is accomplished without the expense of hiring an in-house IT person or team.
Leveraging the services of an MSP means having a staff of multiple experts with experience in many facets of technology, networking, cybersecurity and more. Through the use of their technology “stack” they can automate monitoring and maintenance while having access to detailed reporting that allows issues to be identified before they become critical.
Even bigger companies with internal IT employees retain the services of an MSP. Especially in cases of major technology implementations, projects, cloud migrations, or infrastructure needs.
Five direct benefits to business Managed IT Services provide:
- On demand access to IT professionals: It’s a story as old as time. An employee such as your receptionist or someone else who “knows computers” ends up as your de facto IT team. This almost always ends badly, and the employee can quickly find themselves way outside their element when something serious happens. With a managed service provider, you have a team of experts with a variety of both general and specific information technology expertise. This leaves you and your employees able to focus on their job duties without the worry of also being an IT person.
- Rapid problem solving: You need to be up and running during business hours, so downtime is a no-no. An MSP leverages their knowledge and experience to quickly diagnose and resolve issues to keep you working when you need to be. In many cases you also avoid the delay of on-site service call by the MSP leveraging their remote tools and systems to quickly access your infrastructure.
- Cost efficiency: A Break/Fix philosophy for a business can result in surprisingly large and unexpected IT costs. Using an MSP allows businesses to have a more constant, predictable IT budget along with set asides for unexpected IT hardware needs.
MSP services for the small business space functions by being more proactive than reactive and allowing you to address IT problems before they happen. This protects you against costly security incidents, extends the life of computer and server hardware, and keeps your tech support needs handled for one constant cost.
The alternative can mean that you are paying emergency rates each time you have a critical IT need, and a single major incident can dwarf annual cost of a managed IT support agreement in some cases.
- Not as many issues: Much of what an MSP does on a daily basis helps to keep things from becoming an issue in the first place. Break/Fix, on the other hand, is the process of dealing with IT issues AFTER they happen with little to no proactive work being done on your IT systems. The Break/Fix approach means that you are left at the mercy of an IT firms’ availability all the while leaving you unable to work or work as effectively. All that downtime can add up quickly.
The main objective of an MSP is to keep problems from ever impacting your productivity by way of proactive monitoring and effective security processes.
an MSP will also ensure that your systems and software are up-to-date and current on patches and security updates so that you are always current. This also helps ensure that security risks are minimized.
- Business partnership: Your IT needs will inevitably grow along with your business, a solid MSP knows this and can help predict, plan, and execute IT strategies to ensure that you are never behind the curve with your technology and security. An MSP isn’t just about the tactical aspects of IT in preventing and responding to issues, they also work with you on the strategic aspects of information technology including planning, budgeting, and consulting as needed. A good Managed Service provider is always keeping you up to date on best practices, technology to help your business grow, and the most up-to-date security processes and training to protect your business and its critical data.
While this varies depending on your level of engagement with an MSP, they can be an integral part of your growth.
Now that you have a better understanding of Managed IT Services, let’s take a more detailed look at how it can help your business.
Alleviating the fears of managing IT
New tech opens so many doors for you and your business, but with those open doors come new issues and vulnerabilities. While all this technology has made us more effective and efficient than ever before, it’s also opened us up to new and imaginative ways of exposing our business and its data to cyber threats, hackers, and vulnerabilities.
Open up just about any news website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed and you’ll be sure to see a new attack on businesses small and large just about every day. These hacks affect people locally and globally on a daily basis and even the largest of businesses have a hard time keeping up with the aftermath that comes with these attacks. The top priority of any MSP should be cybersecurity and ensuring that proper processes and practices are being used and implemented in your business to keep you from becoming another preventable statistic.
IT Problems Your Managed IT Service Provider Can Solve – Having an MSP is vastly different than just having a break/fix relationship with your local computer repair shop. A Managed IT Service Provider isn’t there with a single-minded focus to address one (or a few) issue, and then leave with no responsibilities after the fact. The MSP is much like an internal IT group. They are there to help lead you through your growth and the inevitable changes in technology, cloud, telecom, and more.
Increase the reliability of your technology – Internet issues, buggy computers, and unstable applications can take you from calm to frustrated in a hurry. Having a bunch of unmanaged technology that your business has just acquired as needed can manifest itself as these frustrations. A Managed Service Provider can identify these deficiencies, implement changes to existing tech, or get your business on the right track with new infrastructure that was designed with stability and reliability in mind.
Internet and network issues are commonplace in the small business space. often times, a small business owner doesn’t know the impact that putting consumer grade routers and hardware in a business environment. in addition to the stability impacts, consumer gear just wasn’t designed with cybersecurity in mind.
A good MSP can cut to the core of these issues in a hurry and get businesses with even the smallest hardware budgets to a place of reliability, speed, and stability.
Controlling the cost of IT – Businesses are different in the ways they adopt and consume technology. this means that cookie cutter, one-size fits all strategies for IT just won’t cut it. A Managed IT Support Provider looks at your individual needs with an eye for detail and balances the need for technology and security against capital and operational expenses to ensure you have the right mix of technology and IT budget to meet your objectives. A good MSP will also let you know when you need to make an investment in order to stay secure or prevent future issues.
In many cases a small business has been using break fix services for so long that they get deep into the one-time solutions that their provider offers to solve immediate problems without looking into the future. In some cases, a business pays more for break/fix services than what the cost of a managed IT service agreement whole be. These break/fix arrangements can also be VERY erratic with some months having almost no costs, and others that can be thousands to tens of thousands in the event of an emergency.
Pointing out beneficial technology adoptions, such as migration of premise-based servers or telecom services to the cloud, is another way that an MSP adds value.
Constant vigilance – With careful monitoring and tools to determine the “normal” behavior of your network, hardware, and data an MSP is able to understand what is normal for your business and when to be on alert for issues.
An MSP utilizes a variety of tools to keep a watchful eye on your business 24/7. This plethora of data helps the MSP to stay ahead of issues before they occur, and either take actions to prevent issues or make recommendations as hardware begins to approach the end of its useful life.
This kind of watchful, predictive maintenance both extends the life of your infrastructure and allows for better timing of major technology investments.
And if you needed more reasons to use a Managed IT Service Provider
1) Downtime is EXPENSIVE – You come into the office with your morning coffee, just like any other day. You are met at the door by frantic employees all complaining that they cannot access the database that drives your entire operation. You get to your computer thinking it’s just an isolated incident, but then you see it… The “failed to connect” error. The employee who isn’t IT but knows enough to keep things going is out on vacation and in a place with no cell coverage. It’s just you.
With no IT department or MSP to call, you start frantically calling local IT and computer repair shops, but they are all booked out for days or weeks. You have no time to spare, so you agree to an emergency service rate with a highly rated, local IT company. They Don’t know your systems and a significant amount of time is spent getting know your infrastructure, trying to gather IP addresses and passwords, and more. After hours of emergency troubleshooting its determined to be a hardware failure due to multiple failed hard drives in a RAID array that an MSP would have been alerted to months or even years ago. With only the backups you’ve been taking on a flash drive to recover from, the local IT company is doing its best to get you rebuilt from scratch, but it takes time. Time that is all being billed at hundreds of dollars per hour or more plus an unexpected hardware purchase.
Probably not the day you thought you’d be having.
2) Break/Fix is a dying model – If the above example wasn’t enough to demonstrate this, consider that in a break/fix relationship your IT/Computer repair company isn’t maintaining passwords, monitoring your systems to keep disasters from happening, or doing anything in terms of ongoing cybersecurity. In the data-driven world we live in, it’s just not enough to only fix one-off issues.
The financial and mental burdens of only having someone “on-call” to work on IT issues is too high for all but the smallest “one person shops.”
Using the best Managed IT Service Provider for your business means that your network, data, and infrastructure are being monitored by industry professionals who ensure that possible points of failure are addressed before they become production impacting issues.
To recap the benefits of using a managed IT tech support provider – Businesses of all sizes can leverage the power of Managed IT Services. Not having an on-staff IT team doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice security, stability, and access to industry expertise. Reducing overall costs versus hiring an internal IT team and equipping them to handle IT management is another key benefit of an MSP as are the predictable costs.
Some of the basic services an MSP provide include:
Patch management – Operating systems and application need near daily updates and upgrades for security and stability. Patch management ensures that you are always up to date.
Remote Tech Support– Instant access to the affected computer(s) to assist without needing to be at your location.
Managed AV/EDR – Endpoint security that you never have to remember to update and secures you based on your user’s behavior.
Application and Hardware monitoring – Systems and data are monitored to identify potential failure before they happen.
Give us a shout at 208-635-4400 to talk more about how Managed IT Services can benefit and secure your business.
Managed IT & Tech Support Plans
|Features||Platinum Support Agreement||Gold Support Agreement||Silver Support Agreement||Hourly Tech Support Rate|
|Online trouble ticketing and customer back-end support||YES||YES||YES||Per Hour Rate|
|Onsite Support||YES (Same Day)||YES (No later than next business day)||YES (Soonest available)||Per Hour Rate|
|Remote Support||YES||YES||YES||Per Hour Rate|
|Daily Offsite Backups||YES||YES||Not Included (Available Ala Carte)||Per Hour Rate|
|Site Internet Monitoring||YES||YES||Not Included (Available Ala Carte)||Per Hour Rate|
|Managed Antivirus||YES||YES||Not Included (Available Ala Carte)||Per Hour Rate|
|Managed DNS with site, virus, and spyware blocking||YES||YES||Not Included (Available Ala Carte)||Per Hour Rate|
|Managed Email (Outlook 365)||YES||Not Included (Available Ala Carte)||Not Included (Available Ala Carte)||Per Hour Rate|
|Advanced Hardware Replacement/Service||YES||Not Included (Available Ala Carte)||Not Included (Available Ala Carte)||Per Hour Rate|
|Recommendations||The best in IT protection and support.||Excellent IT coverage at about the same cost as a few service calls.||Great for small business with a small IT budget.||For businesses who want to pay per call/appointment.|
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Intechtel provides managed IT, tech support, and computer repair with on site service in North Idaho and Eastern Washington – including, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Hayden, Post Falls and surrounding areas.