So what exactly is managed IT support? Basically it is a complete IT team at your disposal 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Managed IT support (or managed IT services) is an industry term for the services provided by a managed support provider (MSP). An MSP is simply a company that specializes in providing IT and technology support to other businesses. Managed refers to the fact that MSPs don’t just jump in to fix things when they break; they proactively manage your technology systems to prevent issues from happening in the first place.
Here are just some of the services typically included with managed IT support.
Predictable, Scalable Fees
Because MSPs take care of your systems from end to end, they usually charge a set monthly fee for their services. That way, they are incentivized to keep you up and running smoothly. After all, they are paid the same monthly amount if they spend 10 hours a week maintaining your system or 30 hours fixing a problem.
MSPs also scale their services to meet your business needs. Those monthly costs are on a per-device basis. That means, if you need to increase your team to meet business demands, your IT services can scale up to serve their needs. The opposite is also true: If you have seasonal lulls or need to downsize quickly, your IT support can scale as well.
What this means for businesses is that your costs follow your contracted plan each month. Larger equipment expenses can be planned for in advance and budgeted.
24/7/365 IT Support Helpdesk
Most MSP contracts provide around the clock support. That means no sick days, no vacation time, no sky-high costs for after hours services. You have access to your IT team every hour of every day year round.
Broad and Deep Subject Matter Expertise
With a managed service provider, you will have far more IT and cybersecurity expertise working for your business than you could afford to hire in-house. And they have the manpower to stay on top of new threats like ransomware, worms, phishing, hacking, insider threats, data leakage or even SQL injection.
MSPs are always investigating new solutions and technology tools as well, which they can bring to your attention to help solve business issues and roadblocks. Plus, who better to manage all this technical expertise than the people who speak their language. MSP leadership know how to manage and incentivize IT professionals so you don’t have to.
Cyber Security Services and Training
Most MSPs provide you with a cyber security plan that includes tested policies, effective procedures and training of your staff. When your whole team becomes cyber security savvy, they can implement best practices to keep your business safe. This combination will help shield your company from system failures and data breaches.
Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
A business continuity and disaster recovery plan is essential to any business. It provides the ability to bounce back quickly when problems arise. When you contract with an MSP such as Aeko, the MSP creates backup plans to protect your data and also restore it quickly.
Strategic IT Planning
Not all MSPs are equal, of course. You want to find one that not only serves your technology, but also your business as a whole. An MSP can also provide strategic planning, such as:
- Guiding you to the technology and infrastructure that will save you money while also enabling your business to grow, earning more revenue
- Inspiring innovation by keeping your team up to date on the latest technology changes
- Providing business insights beyond just technology
- Covering your cybersecurity: including both technical and human risks (NOTE: not all MSPs provide cybersecurity expertise)
Charting Your Compliance
Compliance is another area that not all managed IT support providers have expertise in. The three main areas of compliance that businesses face are related to credit cards (PCI), health information (HIPAA) or in doing business with government agencies or suppliers (CMMC). The right MSP will stay three steps ahead of you, chart your path to compliance and maintain those standards as the business and regulations change.
Delivering Exceptional Service
Reliable, responsive and secure are the three top traits of the best managed IT support providers. But you should also expect yours to be personable and proactive. After all, you should look forward to conversations with your MSP team because they resolve issues and provide insights into your business.
Plus All the Tasks You’d Expect From Your IT Team
- Advanced security and network operations center monitoring for servers
- 24/7 IT helpdesk services
- Software updates for your PCs, servers, networks
- Cloud enablement and management
- Server patch management
- Email server management
- Database server management
- Hardware purchase or lease
- Data/voice circuits
- Network implementation and management
When all these come together it means you have found the right MSP to act as your strategic partner; a partner to bring new ideas to your business and give you the tools and tech you need to make them work for you.
Leverage Managed IT Support to Meet Your 2021 Goals
Whether you are already working with a great MSP or looking to find a new one, make sure your conversations include the following reviews to help leverage your technology to grow your business:
- Technology roadmap. When was this last updated? Is it still in line with your goals?
- Cyber security plan. Are there any services you need to add? For instance, dark web monitoring or a password manager such as LastPass?
- Team training calendar. When was your team’s last cybersecurity training? Have new teammates joined since? Is it time for another training?
- Mock attacks. As part of ongoing training, are we planning mock cyber attacks? How often? What types of attacks will be mimicked?
2021 Ransomware Response Checklist
Know what to do if you are hit with a ransomware attack! Get this free, easy-to-follow checklist to post and share with your team.