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  • The Benefits of Managed IT Support Services for Businesses

  • Managed IT Support Benefits

    Virtually every business can benefit from outsourcing their IT support through a managed services provider. We’re based in New Jersey, a hotspot for tech companies, and we can tell you from firsthand experience that many companies simply could not function without managed IT services, and many more than that thrive only because they’re able to outsource their IT support.

    It’s one thing to say it, though, and another to tell you exactly where and how you can benefit. So, that’s what we’re going to do here today. What are the benefits of outsourcing your IT support services? We’ll tell you, but first, we need to talk about what is included in a standard managed services package.

    What Do Managed Support Services Include?

    The first thing to recognize is that there are two different kinds of IT services you can outsource. These are Managed Services and Break/Fix.

    Break/Fix is cheap to maintain, as long as everything is working correctly. When something breaks, you call a technician, and they come out to diagnose and fix your problem. They charge an hourly rate to do so, and often that rate is steep. If you frequently have issues, this can grow very costly, very quickly.

    Managed Services are more expensive to maintain because you pay a continual fee instead of only paying when a problem occurs. However, you get dramatically better services, including proactive error monitoring, risk mitigation, and ongoing support for non-critical issues.

    Managed Services include a variety of different IT support and infrastructure management services, such as:

    • Cloud storage and backup management.
    • Infrastructure management for business services.
    • Systems administration for everything from your operating systems and device management to Outlook.
    • Network monitoring and security.
    • Server management, maintenance, and upgrades.
    • Disaster recovery.

    Managed Support Services

    Essentially everything you need, technology-wise, to get your business running and keep it going; can be provided by a managed services provider. This can work with both on-premises and remote infrastructure or hybrid solutions.

    So, what are the specific benefits of using outsourced, managed IT services?

    Pricing is Predictable

    Perhaps the biggest benefit of outsourced IT for many small and mid-sized businesses is pricing. With break/fix, pricing is inconsistent. If multiple things break in a month, your charges skyrocket, leading to unstable and uneven cash flow. With a managed provider, your costs are the same from month to month, scaling with business needs rather than unforeseen issues.

    Predictable Service Pricing

    Pricing is also better than doing everything in-house. In-house, you have to deal with hiring certified employees, training them, and keeping them on call when needed. You have to deal with unexpected expenses for hardware and software, which can be immense. Scaling also becomes an issue: as your business grows, you need to invest more in your infrastructure, which can be costly.

    There Are No Sunk Costs

    Sunk Costs List

    Sunk costs in IT refer to the expenses you have to pay just to stay where you are. Employee salaries, certification expenses, turnover, insurance, hardware and software upkeep, consulting expenses; all of the operational costs you have to pay just to stay operational are dramatically reduced or eliminated. The managed services provider handles all of those for their staff, and you only pay for your contract.

    24/7 Response Time

    Your website and your infrastructure need to have 24/7/365 uptime for the most effective business. You can’t shut everything down at the end of business hours. Anyone who works remotely, anyone working late, they all need access whenever they can work. Email doesn’t stop at the end of business hours either.

    How much does it cost to keep someone on call for your IT support needs around the clock? If a server goes down, if email starts bouncing, or if the VPN stops working, how long does it take someone to fix it? With an outsourced IT provider, there’s someone on call around the clock. Moreover, often they have dashboards and monitoring set up and can detect and fix issues before you even notice that there’s a problem.

    Customer Service Agent

    Without outsourced IT support, you’re left managing all of this on your own. You need to detect an issue, be notified of an issue, call the relevant on-call person (and pay them an after-hours overtime rate), pay for any fixes necessary, and hope it can all be resolved by the time your business opens.

    Access to Greater Expertise and Skill

    It’s no secret that hiring talented, skilled, certified employees is difficult. The stars need to align.

    • Candidates with the relevant skills need to be available and willing to move to your area if they’re not already in the area.
    • Employees need to maintain their skills and gain expertise while learning.
    • You need to be able to pay a competitive rate to attract first-rate employees.
    • You need to be able to offer advancement to keep talented employees around and reduce turnover.
    • You need to be able to interview candidates appropriately to find those who know their stuff, rather than those who only know surface-level interview information.

    Hiring Own Employees

    Can you do this? Can you do this in your area when competing against every single business out there with IT needs? Bear in mind that virtually every business has at least some level of IT needs, and most of them are going to be competing for the same group of talented IT specialists. On top of that, you have to compete with the managed services providers themselves, hiring up the best talent, AND national/global companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft building up their rosters of skilled employees.

    When you contract with a managed services provider, you get access to these top-level employees you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. That’s because you’re splitting the cost of those employees with every other client the outsourced IT provider has on their roster. You pay them so they can afford the top talent to bring to you instead of needing to pay those costs up-front for yourself.

    Regulation and Security Compliance

    Have you ever looked at city-level, state-level, federal-level, and industry-level compliance regulations? Do you know what regulations govern your industry and your business? Do you know what simple, sensible actions nevertheless violate policies and can get your company audited or fined? Do you know the ins and outs of:

    • HIPAA – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
    • PCI-DSS – Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
    • GDPR – General Data Protection Regulations
    • CCPA – California Consumer Privacy Act
    • SOX – Sarbanes-Oxley Act
    • GLBA – Gramm-Leach-Billy Act
    • FISMA – Federal Information Security Modernization Act
    • FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

    Security Compliance and Regulations

    Do you even know which of these apply to your business?

    Every industry and every region has its own set of regulations you need to comply with to keep your business and your users safe. While you might not have the resources to monitor and understand all of these, you still need to comply. Either you figure it out, or you hire a company that can do it for you. For obvious reasons, the latter is the go-to for many companies.

    Proactive Monitoring and Issue Handling

    As mentioned up above, one of the biggest challenges with business IT is when an issue crops up, how it is handled. How long does it take to detect a problem? Who reports the problem, and to whom is it reported? How quickly can it be handled, during business hours or outside of them?

    Many businesses simply have to wait until something fails in a way that affects critical business production. When email servers lock up, and emails start to bounce, how long does it take to discover the problem? When a VPN goes down, and your remote workers can’t access your servers, will they report it, or will they take the rest of the day off? If a new security threat propagates throughout the internet, do you have someone on staff to proactively patch your systems? If a hacker breaches your servers, will you even know?

    Proactively Monitoring Site

    A good outsourced IT support company sets up active monitoring for everything from firewalls and security filtering to software updates to hardware verification to uninterruptable power supplies with remote monitoring. They will be able to detect an issue, often long before it affects production. Moreover, they can reach out and contact you or even fix the problem before you know about it.

    Single Point of Contact

    If something goes wrong, who do you contact? When you’re managing your own IT services, often the chain looks like this:

    • Your employees notify your helpdesk.
    • Your helpdesk looks into the issue and, if it’s not something they can fix, escalates it to higher-tier IT.
    • Your IT staff looks into the issue and determines what has happened. They contact the relevant people, including vendors, external support, internal purchase and financial approvals, management, and more.
    • Everyone waits for everyone else to communicate effectively.
    • Eventually, the issue is fixed.

    Without Single Point Contact

    This process can take hours at best but often takes days or even weeks depending on how difficult certain people are to contact. If you have to wait for purchase approval before ordering a replacement device, this can ruin the productivity of individual employees, entire departments, or even your business as a whole for an unacceptably long time.

    Conversely, with an outsourced IT provider, your business has one point of contact. You have one phone number to call, with a guaranteed representative on the other end, ready and able to diagnose and solve your problem.

    Better User and Employee Uptime

    Happy Employee and User

    One of the primary benefits of outsourcing your IT management in New Jersey is better uptime for everyone involved. Whenever something fails, whether it’s an individual user’s device, a piece of infrastructure, your website, or something else, it affects production. It might affect production for an individual employee, or a small subsection of your customers, or your entire business. Whatever the scale, the fastest and best possible support comes from a managed services provider. Everything is more effective and more efficient when you have 24/7 skilled support on hand.

    More Focus on Core Objectives

    Focussing on Core Objectives

    One of the more undervalued aspects of outsourcing your IT support is that you can keep your internal business operations more focused on your core objectives. More of your budget goes into hiring people to do the development of new products, or customer support, or administration, or research. More of your time is spent on strategic guidance and forward planning rather than troubleshooting and managing IT. You can operate with a smaller staff and a more focused budget when you outsource business processes like IT.

    A Competitive Edge

    Successful Business Operation

    Did you know that only 29 percent of businesses use outsourced IT services? Despite their value, that’s a broad gap. There’s a not-unreasonable chance that your company could be one of the few in your area, niche, and industry using outsourced services. That means you’re able to reap all of the benefits listed above and can focus more of your time, energy, and budget on business objectives. Meanwhile, your competitors are wasting their time and money on their own IT services. You gain a competitive advantage.

    How to Find a Good Outsourced IT Provider

    While we could list out a host of different qualities to look for in a managed services provider, most of it boils down to three key qualities.

    Good Outsourced Provider

    • Knowledge. Your outsourced IT provider needs to know what they’re doing, both in general IT and in IT-specific to your industry, niche, and company.
    • Location. Your outsourced provider should have an office local to you for the fastest possible in-person response times.
    • Pricing. Your chosen IT company should offer competitive pricing that saves your business money over doing IT yourself.

    We offer those benefits to businesses in New Jersey and beyond; and have for over 20 years. If you’re in the marketing for managed IT services and outsourced support, please contact us today. We can discuss your needs, our services, and what option is right for you. Additionally, feel free to reach out at any time if you have any additional questions or concerns about managed IT services or similar. We’re standing by and ready to help at a moment’s notice.