Over the past decade, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have become more acquainted with Managed IT services as they increasingly see the value in this type of technology strategy. The demand for Managed IT services is hot and shows no signs of slowing–and with good reason. Partnering with a team of IT professionals offers affordable solutions to the challenges many SMBs face in an increasingly tech-dependent world.

If you’re considering Managed IT services and want to know more about it, here is an overview of how it works, why it’s beneficial to SMBs, and how to connect with the right partner.

What is Managed IT?

Managed IT services is a partnership in which a company outsources its day-to-day technology responsibilities to a third party. This third party, known as a Managed Service Provider (MSP), provides IT support in various roles, depending upon what the business needs. Roles MSPs fill include but are not limited to, providing storage, backup, recovery, email hosting, cybersecurity, and network monitoring. The services MSPs provide evolve as technology progresses and/or the tech environment changes. How it works is businesses pay a monthly subscription fee for the IT services they choose to outsource, resulting in costs that are both predictable and affordable.

How Will My SMB Benefit from Outsourcing Our IT?

One of the primary drivers for SMBs to outsource their IT to an MSP is the financial benefits they derive. No more worries about draining their capital budgets on equipment or your own in-house IT staff, as their Managed IT agreement provides the hardware and highly trained personnel you need to handle your IT requirements (internal and external). Managed IT is an investment that comes with a high level of value, convenience, and confidence. Here are several of the benefits SMBs enjoy from partnering with an MSP:

  • Access to the latest technologies and reduced infrastructure expenses. MSPs take care of equipment and infrastructure costs. As a result, many SMBs find they can downsize the amount of on-site infrastructure, which frees up physical space, reduces energy usage, and eliminates the costs associated with having skilled people on-site to manage these important resources.
  • Better user productivity. One of the primary reasons to use technology is to increase productivity. Outdated or unreliable equipment that leads to system downtime directly impacts productivity, as your employees can’t work when their IT fails them. MSPs provide you with the hardware and support to mitigate these issues.
  • Frees up internal IT staff. Your IT staff can focus more on core competencies and other priorities necessary to help grow the business once they are relieved from other operational duties taken on by your MSP.
  • Receive expert-level IT support. Instead of working with a stretched-out staff, your employees can turn to your MSP’s IT experts for any issues that arise. No more waiting for someone to become available to troubleshoot and resolve a problem. One simple call and the issue will get priority. Rather than operate with an overworked and under-budgeted IT staff, SMBs receive access to a robust, knowledgeable, and expert team included in one fixed price.
  • Scalability. As your business grows, so can your IT. No more limits on what SMBs can do because of outdated or limited equipment capabilities.
  • Predictable costs. When a company internally manages all of its IT resources, the costs can wildly fluctuate. With a subscription-based service to take care of daily technology needs, costs are predictable and within budget.

As you can see, SMBs benefit from more than just cost savings when partnering with an MSP. Managed IT services ensure companies are operating with the latest technologies and are continuously up and running, with downtime drastically reduced. Technology, along with the costs associated with running it, is very expensive. As a result, in just a short period of time, SMBs often find themselves in a more solvent position after partnering with an MSP. The ROI associated with managed IT can’t be matched.

Finding the Right IT Partner

The evolution in IT these days is unprecedented when contrasted with any previous technology booms. It seems as soon as a new software program or app is designed, something else is quickly on its heels as a replacement. As a result, hardware must be frequently upgraded to support the latest applications. IT problems can emerge out of nowhere, and it’s important to have someone available who can resolve any hiccups before they result in downtime. Finding the right IT partner—one who can easily manage all these challenges—is key.

When seeking the perfect MSP to partner with for Managed IT services, you’ll want to look for a few specific traits. Ideally, they should hold a belief in strong security, guide decisions based on business continuity strategies, and understand when and where SMBs need scalability. Here’s what to look for in an MSP:

  • Proven track record. Get references and read case studies about any potential partner you’re considering.
  • Understanding of industry. While MSPs are experts in what they do, it would be ideal if they have experience in the industry they’re supporting. It’s important to ask questions regarding any regulatory concerns or compliance issues—they’ll need to know how to support any regulations you have to comply with.
  • Security-centric. Cybersecurity is too important to let fade into the background. Be sure an MSP is 110% in on the latest security solutions and understands current threats.
  • Budget flexibility. The right partner will work within any budget constraints you may have and can help find solutions that fit within any limitations yet deliver optimal service.
  • Support availability. Look for a partner that offers both remote and on-site support, depending on the issues that crop up. You’ll need to be up and running at all times and, when eventual problems arise, they’ll need to be resolved ASAP.

The right MSP will be open to questions, provide full answers, and, most importantly, be customer focused. Like any other type of partnership, there needs to be a good fit from both a cultural and philosophical perspective. Everyone should be on the same page, with the same goals.

If you’re looking to streamline your expenses and free up your budget, Managed IT services might be the solution for you. If your Green Bay or Fox Valley business is interested in learning more, contact Wisconsin Document Imaging today to speak with one of our sales specialists.