Skip to content

Why Managed IT Services are Superior

July 26, 2013

While the concept of Managed IT Services has been around for quite a few years, many business owners continue to be puzzled by it.

Managed IT Services (or managed services for short) provide small businesses with their own IT Department at a cost that can be less than hiring a part-time employee or using existing staff to do the job.

It can even benefit companies with an existing IT Department by greatly reducing help desk, troubleshooting and maintenance tasks to allow your IT staff to focus on more productive projects. Again, this could be at a lower cost than hiring an additional IT employee.

Consider that a 2011 Computing Technology Industry Association poll of 400 IT and business professionals found that 46 percent of those using MSPs for some or all of their IT needs have reduced annual IT budgets by at least 25 percent, including 13 percent who reduced their IT costs by at least 50 percent. Another 50 percent said they have seen reductions of 1 to 24 percent.

With guaranteed response times, remote monitoring and maintenance of network infrastructure, and a help desk to answer employees’ IT questions, Managed IT Services provide a superior alternative to break/fix repairs in which an IT company only shows up when something breaks.

The Problems with Break/Fix

Break/Fix services hamper profitability and productivity in a number of ways:

  • Unexpected repair bills that can’t be budgeted for
  • Extended downtime that prevents employees from working
  • Interruptions in the employee workday while they deal with the problems themselves before spending money to call in a break/fix service
  • A much greater potential for lost data
  • Long waits for the break/fix IT service to start working on the problem.

We’ve seen devastating consequences that could have been prevented if a qualified IT person had been checking the network on a frequent basis. Imagine the lump in your throat when you suddenly lose critical data and discover the backups haven’t been working for months.

Finally, small business owners have always distrusted break-fix IT services. That distrust is built into the relationship due to the conflicting financial interests.

Think about it – you make money when your network runs smoothly; the break/fix IT service makes money when it doesn’t.

Is it any wonder so many small business owners cringe when they think about their computer guy?

Why Managed IT Services are Superior

Managed IT Services eliminate the frustrations of break/fix computer services by:

  • Offering services for a flat monthly fee that can be budgeted for
  • Reporting that gives you a better understanding of how technology affects your company
  • Proactively monitoring your network to respond to issues before they become catastrophic events
  • Proactively maintaining your network to keep it secure from external AND internal threats, prevent lengthy downtime, and  preserve the confidentality, integrity  and availability of your critical data
  • Offering a Help Desk to answer your employees’ technology questions and resolve issues
  • Dealing with your technology vendors for you so you don’t waste time in the vendor “blame-game”
  • Ongoing consulting to help you make the best technology decisions for your firm.

Oh, and that inherent financial conflict? It’s a thing of the past because Managed IT Services companies don’t make money if they’re constantly fixing problems, so it’s in their interest for your network to run smoothly, too.

Imagine – you might actually be happy to see your computer guy.

How Managed IT Services Work

How do Managed IT Services, and specifically our FlexIT Managed Services program, work?

In our case, we interview the business owner and other key staff to learn about your business and assess your existing technology against the company’s goals and objectives. We then craft an agreement that matches the company’s needs.

After signing an agreement detailing the level of service, we standardize the servers and workstations by installing the latest updates and patches, ensuring that all software is legally licensed, that needed support contracts are up to date, and performing general maintenance tasks to get your computers to a manageable state.

We then install small applications called “agents” on each server and workstation. We monitor those agents for problems and if one crops up, we use the remote access tool in our agents to log in during off-hours to resolve the issue without causing downtime for the employee.

Monitoring also helps us spot issues before they cause extended downtime, such as the installation of rogue programs, viruses, misbehaving software, bad or conflicting updates, and downed computers.

Between actively monitoring our agents and passively monitoring through email alerts, we often fix issues without our clients even noticing a problem.

Our maintenance procedures result in a greatly reduced number of computer problems for our clients. We keep our clients’ operating system and application patches and security updates current. This fixes any known issues in the operating system or applications.

Our Help Desk service answers computer questions for employees, such as how to do something in Outlook or Word or Excel or what to do with the spam that got through the anti-spam filter.

Our Vendor Management service deals with your technology vendors for you so you don’t have to waste your time battling the vendor blame-game.

All of these services are provided with response time guarantees, so if the agreement states we will respond to a down server within an hour, we will, even if we have to drop work for non-managed clients to start troubleshooting your issue.

Finally, through ongoing consultations, we help you make decisions that allow your business to take full advantage of what modern technology has to offer and help you avoid mis-matched hardware and software.

We, in essence, become a partner in your company’s success, just as your own IT Department would.

How to Get Started

With the number of threats facing small business networks these days, from downtime to buggy software to hackers to corrupted or lost data, small businesses need IT help just as much as large enterprises.

With that in mind, you need to contact an MSP (managed services provider) such as FlexITechs to learn more about what Managed IT Services could do for your specific business.

You can learn more about our FlexIT Managed Services Program by visiting our web site at http://www.flexitechs.com. We’re also available at 302-537-4198 or ericm@flexitechs.com if you’d like schedule a Business & Technology Assessment.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: