Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Managed IT Services
Some businesses come to Astute Technology Management after another managed IT service provider has let them down. Other times, we get contacted by small and medium-sized businesses who have never worked with an IT services firm before and aren’t clear on what to expect. We wrote this FAQ to answer all the frequently asked questions about managed services and solutions.
What is managed IT services?
An managed IT service provider (MSP) provides comprehensive monitoring, maintenance, and support of your business’s technology. By proactively looking over your network and information technology infrastructure, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, the MSP helps you eliminate the common obstacles that would undermine the day-to-day productivity of your team.
But the benefits of managed services partnership go beyond just more reliable IT. Imagine if you and your staff never had to worry about its network infrastructure or computer-related management tasks, ever again. How much stress would that relieve? What if you could always have the latest technologies perfectly integrated into your network, would it make it easier for you to stay ahead of the competition?
Partnering with a team of IT specialists who possess leading industry certifications unlocks your business’s full potential and eliminates a considerable source of stress.
What’s included in a MSP solution?
One of the great benefits of working with a managed service provider is that they give you everything your business needs to gain technology confidence, including backup and disaster recovery service, unlimited onsite maintenance, responsive IT help desk support, and much more—all for a single, flat monthly fee.
The MSP team will remotely management your network infrastructure, help you adopt a proactive security posture, act as your cloud computing consultant, and provide an IT help desk armed with today’s best practices for IT support. Reputable MSPs will also tailor their solutions to your industry and needs.
This single bill for all-inclusive IT support is a huge contrast to both hiring internal IT staff or working with an hourly support firm, both of which can present hidden costs and unnecessary stress.
Why would my business need outsourced IT support?
There are many reason to choose a proactive managed solution. Firstly, hiring internal IT staff is costly and time-consuming. A fiercely competitive IT job market means that salaries for desktop support technicians and network engineers have continued to trend upward, putting enormous strain budgets. Even when you can afford internal staff, the process of hiring is complicated. Do you know how to to test a technicians abilities? Do their skills align with your industry vertical and business?
Working with an external technology partner eliminates all these pain points and gives you total peace of mind for a flat, monthly service charge.
Research from CompTIA shows that 71% the millennial generation consider an organization’s embrace of technology and innovation as an important factor when choosing an employer.
Should I choose hourly IT support or managed services?
Hourly IT support firms, also known as “break-fix” firms, come onsite to your business and resolve problems as they occur. Businesses have been relying on this model of IT support for decades, but it’s quickly showing it’s age. The modern, connected digital business cannot afford to sit around and wait for an IT team to come onsite. What if they’re busy until next week or the week after?
Even minutes of downtime in a single PC can be disastrous, let alone days or company-wide IT troubles.
Businesses choose a managed service solution to leave this reactive model behind and adopt a proactive approach to their business technology. An MSP ensures that your day-to-day operations experience minimal downtime, eliminating the need for hourly service fee and keeping team happy.
Is what you do the same as an IT consultant?
An IT consultant’s uses their technology expertise to analyze your business, then design, deploy, and integrate new IT systems that help your business operate more efficiently. While this is outside the core value proposition, which is to stabilize your existing network technology, most veteran MSPs will offer what’s known as a virtual chief information officer (vCIO) service to fill a similar role.
They’ll use the information they’ve gathered about your business during their regular audits to help you design an IT roadmap. The roadmap gives your business a documented plan for major projects and IT upgrades that support your business goals. Regular, sit-down meetings between your leadership and the your vCIO team gives you the all the same insights that an IT consultant provides, with the added benefit of long-term relationship and regular communication.
In Insight Enterprise’s 2020 Technology Report: IT Trends for Midmarket and Small Businesses, 49% of professionals feel that implementing and integrating new technologies with legacy system is challenging, though 95% plan on forging ahead with new tech initiatives despite those difficulties.
Will you manage my cloud infrastructure?
Yes! Reputable managed IT support solutions include the maintenance, management, and security over your entire network infrastructure, including both on-premise and cloud systems. A skilled MSP will also not only maintain those systems, but they’ll act as a single point of contact for all third-party systems and applications, ensuring that SaaS applications, cloud storage providers, and cloud backup and and recovery are producing the best results for your company.
Trackvia found that 90% of business leaders say the cloud has increased the efficiency of their business processes.
When should I hire a managed service provider?
Now you know what we do, how do you know when you need that kind of support? There are several red flags that indicate it’s time to switch from reactive to proactive IT service model, including cybersecurity breach, frequent interruptions to productivity, or feeling behind the IT curve.
Do MSPs charge extra for on-site support?
Not a reputable MSP, no. The primary benefit from managed services is that they take time to understand your business and offer unlimited onsite and remote support, so you never have to worry about an IT services bill ever again. The right MSP should always be ready to help whenever you need it–no matter how big or small the job. Established MSPs will even provide after-hours support, monitoring your network 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, so that providing a high level of responsiveness, no matter what need arises on your end.
Where is Astute Technology Management’s helpdesk located?
All of our help desk staff are located right here in Ohio. We have dedicated staff onsite staff working from our offices in both Columbus and Cincinnati, enabling us to quickly service clients in both cities.
Not all MSPs do this, especially the fly-by-night providers who claims to offer full it services but then outsource parts of their client’s workload to low-cost countries like Vietnam or the Philippines. After you’ve made the decision to hire your a new technology partner you should ask lots of questions to ensure each vendor is keeping their critical functions internal. This includes network monitoring, cybersecurity monitoring, and help desk tasks.
How do you identify a worthwhile technology partner?
We designed this article to answer the most common questions, but this one is a bit harder to answer. We’ve create the Small and Medium-sized Business Guide to Managed IT Services to answer this and other more complex questions. If you have questions for our team directly, feel free to reach out at 614.389.4102 or [email protected].