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For those not quite sure what a managed IT service is – there are some, so let’s get it out the way!:

(If you’re already familiar, jump to the good stuff below)

Managed services are when you contract a company — a “managed services provider,” or MSP — to run the day-to-day management of all or part of your IT infrastructure. The MSP assumes responsibility for the monitoring and management functions that are essential in ensuring your business’s daily operations run smoothly.

Here are some typically outsourced services:

– Monitor infrastructure and take a proactive approach to prevent problems

– Consulting, design and implementation services

– Manage software patch and upgrades

– Installation of software upgrades

– Installation of new or replacement hardware

– Data Backup & Disaster Recovery

– Periodic testing to ensure smooth operation and maximum performance

– Maintain system documentation

– IT desk services

– Email Services

Thankfully, companies now realise that outsourcing some or all of their IT functions to a managed services provider does not lead to a loss of control over vital business functions but rather ensures companies can take advantage of the industry best practices, standardisation, and application support.

In a time of greater demands and shrinking budgets, businesses of all sizes must embrace new concepts and approaches for delivering IT services. Establishing a partnership with an MSP offers instantaneous flexibility and cost-efficiency but when is the right time to move to a managed IT service model?

Here are some signs that will give you an indication that it’s time to move away from a break/fix model to a managed service model:

1. When you need to enhance or update your existing system and want to avoid large upfront capital outlays

Managed Service - IT Support In Server Room

It’s hard to discuss moving to an outsourced model without having cost weigh heavily on the decision.

Outsourcing an IT infrastructure is more economical than investing in an internal IT department. You don’t need to pay holiday time or other perks to your managed service provider. All you do is pay them to keep you secure.

Enterprise customers and SMEs both benefit from a cost-effective way to outsource the enormous challenge of building, maintaining and supporting an IT infrastructure. Instead of paying for new equipment every few years, on a Managed Service Model you spread that capital outlay over a 3 year period. And then your hardware is replaced with new, up-to-date tech.

With a fixed monthly payment plan like this, IT departments can view costs over the length of the entire contract, allowing them to budget for other projects more effectively.

If you want predictable, consistent IT costs instead of random peaks and valleys that you often see with break-fix models, consider a managed service model.

2. You are concerned about your cybersecurity and want to reduce risk

You are right to be concerned by your lack of cybersecurity – gone are the days when business owners can think of it as an extra add-on. Today, Cybersecurity needs to be considered as a serious corporate business risk.

One of the worst things that can happen to a small business is a security breach. Imagine the chaos if your computers were infected with a virus, or if key data was stolen. As the business owner, the blame will fall on you.

An MSP will have access to more robust, secure and advanced cybersecurity than any individual business would be able to set up themselves, due to the high costs being shared by their multiple clients.

3. You need to be able to scale on demand

Ensuring your staff are equipped with the latest, easy-to-use tools enable you to scale out at a moments notice.

Setting up for long-term success is critical to help minimise risk and ensure the practice is returning the right levels of margin to the business. For businesses that are looking to grow, a managed service provides a path that can enable greater market impact, performance, and cost benefits.

4. You are sick of reactive maintenance and want preventative maintenance

Frustrated IT User - Managed Service

The traditional model of waiting until something breaks, calling IT support and waiting for a technician to fix the error doesn’t work for a modern workplace. Not keeping systems online can lead to a flood of calls from dissatisfied staff (or worse, customers!) Reactive maintenance means you are always one step behind.

Migrating from a break/fix model to an MSP (Managed Services Provider) is the best way to ensure business profitability in a cloud-crazy world.

Providing Managed Services also allows us to get in front of potential problems. The result is decreased downtime, and a smaller chance of damaging the customer experience, thanks to patches and updates occurring on a tight schedule and problems being proactively identified.

5. You are struggling to find the right people for key IT positions

Managed Service - Empty Waiting Room

The competition between security teams and cybercriminals is further complicated by the cybersecurity skills crisis. Many organisations say they need to increase their IT staff to manage the threats they are currently facing but admit it is difficult to attract talent. This is why partnering with a reputable Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a logical progression.

Thankfully for IT professionals, it rare for a company to reduce staff after teaming up with an MSP. Instead, there’s a shift in focus. The internal IT department can focus on projects that are strategically critical, providing a win for the business while keeping the staff’s skills sharp and satisfaction high.

Quick Recap

When is the right time to move to a managed service model?

  1. When you need to enhance or update your existing system and want to avoid large upfront capital outlays
  2. When you are concerned about your cybersecurity / Want to reduce risk
  3. When you need to be able to scale on demand
  4. When you are sick of reactive maintenance and want preventative maintenance.
  5. When you are struggling to find the right people for IT positions

Focus your efforts on what you do best – running your business – and leave the complex world of IT to the experts who do it the best and love it the most!