You’ve been hearing the phrase “Managed IT Services” and seeing it online, but what does it mean? How are these services defined, and what do they involve? When you partner your business with a managed service provider (MSP), it’s important you understand how managed services should work so you receive customized solutions for your business instead of cookie-cutter flat-fee services.
Definition of Managed Services
Managed services are technology services that are outsourced to a third-party company, rather than by an in-house IT team. Of course, a business may keep a small IT team on staff to fix small problems, but use an MSP to monitor their network and manage their cloud services or data center, perform disaster recovery and data protection tasks, and otherwise mitigate risks for their network.
How did managed services providers evolve? They started with large Fortune 500 enterprises back in the 1990s, when those companies had large computer systems and networks to manage. Then, managed services software grew more cost-effective and scalable over time, and these services became available to small businesses in 2005.
Before this, small businesses’ computer systems were repaired through a break-fix model, where a business would contact a repair company, and that’s the only time an IT company would view their network. As managed services emerged, they gave small businesses a business model that would allow them to stay on top of their IT needs while operating within a smaller budget than a large enterprise.
Examples of Managed IT Service Offerings
The phrase “managed services” covers a wide range of IT services, which can include the following:
- 24/7 Network Monitoring: This service is exactly what it sounds like—an MSP monitors your network all day, everyday, to prevent your system from crashing or experiencing data breaches and cyberattacks. Since your system is always running, your network needs close day-to-day monitoring just as much as large enterprises’ big data networks.
- IT Project Management: While this may seem like it could be managed with a software program, IT project management works best as a service. When this is offered as an integrated service, your business will work with a wide range of MSP personnel who all have expertise in different areas. They can lead your IT project teams and offer a structured approach to planning, organizing, and executing your projects.
- Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery: Sometimes, disasters occur, but you can survive them if you prepare for them. With disaster recovery services, your MSP will help you get your most critical systems back up and running as quickly as possible after a disaster occurs. Business continuity planning is a larger, long-term recovery strategy that helps your business bounce back from disaster.
- Data Backups: For your business to survive a disaster or a smaller setback, you will need data backups of your network. Having up-to-date backups will allow you to keep your business running, even if your network is breached or develops problems.
Managed Services for Your Small Business
These are just some of the services an MSP can offer your small business. If you want to find out about the other services we offer, or if you would like to partner with us, contact us today.