Did you know that October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month? The purpose is to reduce the risk of attacks and keep data safe. IT experts around the world are working hard to inform and educate everyone to have a better understanding of cybersecurity.
As a part of that education, we want to introduce you to the idea of managed IT. It’s a great way to expand access to IT expertise and improve your cybersecurity position.
What’s Included in Managed IT?
When looking at managed IT service providers, what should you really expect? Every provider is going to craft their own packages, and many will customize their services for an individual business. Even with those options available, there are some standards in the industry. In general, these are numerous services you should expect to be available from any managed IT provider.
One of the primary roles of managed IT is handling system administration. This is the service where they actively run your technology infrastructure. They take care of servers, networking, security and more to maintain a healthy infrastructure that stays active and accessible.
Updates come in many forms and functions, and they are essential to the efficacy and security of your technology infrastructure. Some updates are simple and automated. Others can be severely disruptive to business practices. Your managed IT service provider will know which are which and help to plan around those disruptions accordingly.
Active monitoring is what protects you from attacks. Monitoring and reporting allow you to assess the health of your network and tech resources in a way that is understandable and actionable.
Help desk support is where you or your staff can call (or email, or whatever contact methods you have arranged) for direct help with technology. This can range from printer jams to crashed servers. The point is that help desk support is straightforward and on-demand. The quality of help desk support is one of the key distinctions between the best managed IT providers and everyone else.
It is inevitable that your technology will wear out or eventually become obsolete. Futureproofing is about strategy for when this happens. Your service provider works with you on a long-term plan to replace hardware and software as it reaches the end of its life cycle. Futureproofing should help you avoid downtime and let you plan how to grow your business over time.
Why Should I Outsource the Management of My IT Environment?
Here are the top four reasons to outsource the management of your company’s IT environment:
Staffing your own IT personnel will almost always be more expensive than outsourcing it. Primarily, IT service providers will have a contract for a set number of hours or an ad-hoc use case. It’s difficult to staff your own IT department with ad-hoc workers. Because of that, many internal IT departments are understaffed, overworked and still too expensive.
Managed IT allows you to streamline IT services, so you’re only paying for time well-spent.
Knowledge and Experience
Perhaps the primary reason to outsource your IT management is to contract an expert. If you aren’t already a seasoned veteran of information technology, then you need access to expertise. Even hiring your own tech manager can be tough for business managers who lack firsthand knowledge of the industry.
Instead, you can outsource and rely on the professionalism of your contracted IT service provider.
It is common for companies with in-house IT departments to still contract with managed IT providers. There are several reasons for this, but at the top of the list is specialization. Your internal IT will handle the bulk of the services you need, but some tasks and technology require more time, knowledge and energy. This is where your IT department will benefit from outsourcing.
Outsourced projects can include print management, large-scale upgrades or additions to your tech infrastructure, external audits, and cloud management. Anything related to IT that will significantly overburden your existing resources might better be served by a managed IT contract.
Managed IT providers are there for a specific set of services. They are not split in a dozen different directions, and it allows them to focus their resources. That leads to high levels of reliability within the services they handle. This is most obvious when it comes to backup and recovery. Managed IT services that focus on backup and recovery will use multiple backup methods and have a recovery plan in place should the need arise. Many in-house IT departments fall short in both of these areas.
How Will I Benefit from Managed IT?
Managed IT can offer a lot for any business. In a general sense, you can expect some clear, raw benefits from your IT contract.
Cost-Efficient IT Spending
One of the best ways to utilize managed IT services is to supplement your internal IT capabilities with an outsourced contract. You allow your in-house IT to handle their regular duties and employ the contracted service provider to take care of ad-hoc responsibilities.
Managed IT providers work with a large number of vendors across their vertical markets. They often develop good relationships with those vendors, which can benefit your enterprise.
This is really the big one. No business can afford a cybersecurity disaster. It’s bad for the bottom line every time. Your managed IT provider can bolster your cybersecurity and help to protect you from the worst. They will also have a disaster recovery plan that enables you to mitigate the fallout if a problem does arise.
The simple fact is that you need professional IT resources, and managed IT can fill a lot of gaps. If you want to learn more about how managed IT can work for your Green Bay business and what you should expect, contact Wisconsin Document Imaging today. We’ll discuss the specific ways we can help your business thrive.