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If you’re running a small to medium business (SMB), you’ve probably come across the term “managed IT” or “managed IT service.” What is managed IT, and what can it do for your small to medium business? Today we’ll answer these questions and more. Read on to learn about managed IT and how it helps your business win.
Managed IT is a specific type of managed service. To explain managed IT, we first need to talk about managed services in general. Managed services are those services that a business outsources completely to another more specialized organization. These exist all over the business world for a wide variety of reasons. Usually, a company invests in managed services in areas that aren’t core competencies. Managed services are a way for companies to focus on their core business, outsourcing peripheral functions to other more specialized businesses.
Some businesses enlist the help of managed services firms to handle their HR needs, while others may outsource elements of their customer service. One of the most common examples of managed services, though, is managed IT.
Managed IT, then, is the intentional outsourcing of a company’s IT needs to another firm that specializes in IT support. The company using managed IT services pays the managed service provider (MSP) to meet their technology needs, reducing or even eliminating the need for in-house IT support.
The main alternative to managed IT services is to develop a robust in-house IT department. When they reach the end of their abilities, you’ll call in pricey contractors who usually can’t guarantee that quick of turnaround time. (Brutal honesty: they can’t, because they’re prioritizing their managed IT clients over you!) This is sometimes described as the “break-fix” model. Do what you can in-house, and then when something breaks that your team can’t fix, you call in the big guns.
The break-fix model worked when businesses weren’t so dependent on their IT infrastructure, but it doesn’t work well today. Think of a piece of crucial tech in your office. Maybe that’s your online sales platform, or it’s a server or database of some kind. If that one thing suddenly stopped working, how long could you survive waiting for a specialist to show up and start fixing it? You don’t want to wait until a specialist has an opening to come fix it. You need dedicated support.
We’ve already alluded to a few benefits to using managed IT, like dedicated support. Here are a few more reasons you should use managed IT to win.
Massively Expand IT Capability
If you’re running an SMB, you have real, concrete limits to the number of IT professionals you can afford to hire in-house. A 50-employee company can’t have a 25-person IT department and stay in business for long. Take a long, hard look at your current IT capability. Can your staff really do everything? Chances are you have a few folks that are specialized in a few areas. Additionally, they’re all adequate in basic IT functions.
When you bring in a managed IT service, you’re hiring a company that specializes in just one thing: managed IT. If they’re a 50-employee company, well over 25 of those people are IT specialists. They bring a wide variety of specializations to the table, too.
You massively expand your company’s IT capability by bringing on a dedicated support team. A managed IT service can typically do far more than you can currently do yourself.
Allow Existing IT Staff to Specialize
Bringing on a managed IT service may allow you to reduce your own IT staff, but another option is to let them specialize. Right now, they’re probably overworked, running from problem to problem. They solve problems outside their expertise, but they do so inefficiently. Bringing on a managed IT firm to handle most functions allows your IT staff to focus and specialize on proprietary or value-added IT processes specific to your company.
Focus on Your Core Business
If you currently run all your IT in house, how much of your time as a leader is spent dealing with your IT team? Every hour you spend on IT is an hour you aren’t spending growing and improving your core business. Offloading 80, 90, or even 100% of your IT needs to a managed service provider frees you up to focus on what you do best.
If you’re ready to see what managed IT can do for you, we’re here to answer your questions. Contact us today to start winning with managed IT.
Published on 17th May 2019 by Ian Brady.