What Are Managed IT Services?
If you’re a small- or medium-sized business owner, you might have heard the term “Managed IT Services” before. What exactly is it, how did it start, and what do you need to know?
Managed IT Services means that you’ll hire a 3rd-party to handle all of your company’s business IT services for a flat recurring rate. This 3rd-party provider essentially acts as your IT department for any processes and tasks, from supporting customer needs to cybersecurity and cloud storage. These providers help your business operate smoothly, save resources, and scale.
You can even hire providers that are knowledgeable about your specific industry’s compliance standards and what your customers are looking for in a technology experience.
In this blog, we’ll go over the following to help you gain a better understanding of Managed IT Services and what to look for when hiring a provider:
- The history of Managed IT Services
- 6 commonly provided services
- How to get started
Want an experienced firm to provide your company with Managed IT Services?
Contact 46Solutions! We have over 300 years of combined IT experience and have provided Managed IT Services for many small to medium-sized Kentucky businesses. Call us at (859) 788-4600, email us at info@46Solutions.com, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.Schedule free consultation
History of Managed IT Services
Having a 3rd-party troubleshoot, maintain, upgrade, and monitor computer networks is quite common in today’s world. But, this wasn’t always the case. It used to be that technicians would only build, install, and repair computer systems. Managed IT Services only came into popularity in the early 2000s when computer manufacturers scaled their processes to mass produce computers. IT firms now had the bandwidth and resources to take on more clients and focus on customer support and preventative maintenance.
Billing also changed with the advent of large-scale manufacturing. Firms used a fee-for-service rate, in which each service was billed separately. When Managed IT Services came into popularity, many firms turned to a flat-rate pricing structure.
With each technological advancement came even more improvements in the managed IT service space. For example, providers could now remotely monitor and resolve issues. As cloud computing and SaaS platforms evolve, managed IT service offerings will evolve accordingly.
6 Commonly Provided Managed IT Services
The managed services that IT providers offer can widely vary, which is great because your company can find the right coverage for your needs and receive enterprise-level support at your pricing point.
Let’s go over the definitions for the 6 most commonly provided Managed IT Services here:
IT Support/Help Desk:
Providers help end-users, such as your staff members or customers, fulfill information requests and with technical troubleshooting support. They can even white label the support experience for your customers.
Managed IT Services and IT Support frequently get conflated with each other. So, what’s the difference?
IT Support and Help Desk is only a part of Managed IT Services and falls under a broader umbrella. While it’s a massive and critical part of a service offering since problems occur every day, it is not the only service offered.
Learn more in our blog, What’s The Cost of IT Support In Kentucky? | 46Solutions.
Network Infrastructure and Disaster Recovery:
Providers establish what hardware, software, systems, and devices your company will need to function. They will then set up any servers, wireless routers, and other hardware infrastructure needed.
It’s also vital that providers create data backup and disaster recovery solutions so that your business can continue to run despite disasters, reduce downtime, and recover in a reasonable period.
Setting up security infrastructure can include everything from installing anti-malware software to adding email filtering. Providers typically provide 24/7 cybersecurity services to protect your company from breaches around the clock. Not sure if your small or medium-sized business would benefit from cybersecurity?
Learn more in our blog, The Cost of Cybersecurity for Your Business | 46Solutions.
Companies are opting into cloud computing solutions more frequently with the increase of remote companies. An IT provider can help your company select the right vendor and handle the computing, storage, and troubleshooting aspects from anywhere in the world.
Learn more in our blog, How Much Does Business Cloud Services Cost? | 46Solutions.
Many companies are choosing to use the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or software-on-demand model instead of paying a lifetime license. For example, Office 365, Adobe, and many anti-virus software platforms have SaaS platforms. An IT provider will install and train your employees on how to use it and provide help desk support.
Do you have a customer support team or a call center? Or need specific messaging software? IT providers can set up communication software such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which are cloud-based phone systems, and video conferencing abilities for clients.
Learn more in our blog, How Much Does VoIP Cost? | 46Solutions.
How to Get Started
When you’re ready to hire a Managed IT services provider, you’ll want to find one who has:
- Experience – Your provider should have at least a decade of experience servicing companies.
- Certifications and Awards – Is your provider certified to work with the platforms you currently use or have the certifications your industry requires? Award-winning providers have been recognized by the industry or the local community for being great at their jobs.
- Good Reviews – Excellent customer reviews on Google are an indicator that you’ll enjoy working with the provider as well.
Once you’ve found a prospective provider, reach out to them for a proposal. Upon review, you’ll sign a service-level agreement (SLA) if you decide to move forward. The SLA will specify what your provider will deliver, the timeline for deliverables, and any key performance indicators for success.
Ready to Hire Affordable Managed It Services for Your Kentucky Business?
46Solutions has the expertise and innovative strategies to provide enterprise-level managed IT services for your small to medium-sized Kentucky business, from help desk support to cybersecurity and cloud computing to VoIP solutions. As a Top 3 IT Firm in Lexington and Best of South Lexington business, we’re known for our servant leadership and knowledge.
Contact us at (859) 788-4600 or email@example.com for a free consultation. You can also fill out our easy 5-question online form below.