Many fast-growing businesses assign an ‘IT Champion’ – usually, it’s the techiest person – to take care of IT tasks alongside their main duties. But, because it’s a role someone has evolved into, it means IT is not their core skill and takes time away from their main responsibilities.
With these kinds of setups, we often see it causes IT to become fractured, ineffective, and a drain on company resources – especially when staff turnover is high and multiple people try to organise the IT infrastructure.
The solution to this is the ‘IT as a managed service’ model offered by Managed Service Providers (MSP).
We know moving from a perceived zero cost to outsourcing can seem like a big decision – it’s often the biggest roadblock businesses put up when we try to explain the benefits of IT as a managed service. In reality, though, zero cost IT doesn’t exist.
But we won’t get into that here because we covered how the hidden costs of in-house IT end up costing you more in a previous post. You can read that here.
So, what is this IT as a managed service you speak of?
A managed service is where an external company remotely manages your IT infrastructure and/or end-user systems, typically on a subscription model.
There are many different types of managed IT service offerings because a good MSP will tailor the service around your businesses needs. But the idea behind all of them is to transfer the burden of maintaining IT from the customer to a service provider.
To give you an idea, our service typically includes:
- Microsoft Office 365 + Management
- Mobile Device Management
- Hardware Management
- Mobile Devices & Tariffs
- Backup & Disaster Recovery
- Antivirus Protection
- Hosted VoIP
- VoIP Hardware
Our other optional Extras:
- Structured Cabling
- Firewall, Router, Switches & Wifi
- Door Entry
- Video Conferencing / Modern Meetings
Who Uses MSPs & Why?
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are typical MSP customers. Smaller companies have limited in-house IT capabilities, so view MSPs as a way to obtain IT expertise at a cost that is sustainable.
IT as a managed service also bridges the gap between the capacity of your in-house IT department, and the increasing demand for fast-moving, stable, high-performance business technology.
And you know you’re getting high performance because MSPs are accountable to their SLA – a contractual arrangement between the MSP and its customer that spells out the performance and quality metrics that will govern the relationship.
You’ll get what you pay for. Guaranteed.
Other’s see IT as a managed service as a way to offload non-critical, routine IT chores that would otherwise eat away at productivity. Some IT activities are just about keeping the lights on.
Keeping these tasks in-house takes the focus of your internal team away from thinking strategically. Instead, skilled staff are stuck managing the supporting technology. Month in, month out.
But, perhaps the main selling point of IT as a managed service model is offsetting large upfront capital expenditures and replacing it with consistent IT support costs.
And if you know when you will need extra IT capacity – thanks to the SLA – you know exactly how much that will cost. This is incredibly helpful for accurate financial forecasting and budgeting.
To Sum Up
MSPs use their expertise and resources to bundle up technologies, software and solutions and provide them ‘as a service’ – IT as a managed service.
The primary value of which is to provide a competitive advantage, to make the most of the capacity of your in-house IT department, and to add value to your business.