Managed Services

Managed IT Services: The Perfect IT Solution and Service for Your Small Business

Chaz Hager April 28 2021

Nearly all businesses rely on technology—whether accepting payments, billing, processing payroll, communicating with clients, or working remotely—technology that is always available, fast, and easy to use are top priorities. Yet, managing IT and ensuring that technology is up-to-date, safe, and reliable can be time-consuming and costly for small to mid-sized businesses.  Enter: Managed IT Services from a Managed Service Provider.

That is what draws many businesses from law firms to construction companies and even school districts to managed services for IT. Hiring IT employees with the right credentials to provide not just on-site support but also protect an organizations’ data and keep hardware and software up to date and available 24/7/365 is simply a bigger time commitment, financial challenge, and skillset requirement than using managed services.  

The Challenges of Capacity and Advancing Technology

IT teams are comprised of experts in their fields whether that be cybersecurity, databases, infrastructure, or applications. Individuals simply don’t have the capacity to know and stay up-to-date in all of those areas while providing ongoing support to meet business needs.  

For example, according to the Gartner Group, between 20% to 50% of all help desk calls are for password resets alone. Dedicating precious IT resources to this type of support issue creates a quandary in every organization. Password resets are a required best practice fail-safe for security, but maintaining staff to address password resets and potential other access issues involves different skill, and therefore, cost levels. Do you hire a team of IT support specialists, network technicians, or cybersecurity pros or simply use a managed service provider to cover all your organization’s needs? 

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Here are some of the considerations and benefits of managed services. 

Why Many Organizations Choose a Managed Service Provider (MSP)

1. One monthly payment eliminates large capital expenses and incremental costs

  • Predictable pricing 
  • Reduced overall costs 
  • Improved cash flow 

2. Peace of mind and network security even with expanding cyberthreats   

  • Ongoing safeguards against breaches or attacks, including 24/7 monitoring 
  • Timely responses to actual or suspected cyber events 

3. Protection of customer data, protected information, and confidential intel  

  • Business-critical operations stay operational 
  • Lower risks of breaches save costs of remediation and notification, damaged reputation, downtime, and lost business 

4. Staff remain focused on business priorities

  • Software updates, ongoing security, and even support can be outsourced cost-effectively 
  • Highly skilled technicians, experienced in all applications can be available according to your preferred and pre-set service level agreements 

5. Advanced technology and expertise

  • Reduced time spent evaluating, bidding, buying, maintaining, and updating technology 
  • Faster recovery from slowdowns and incidents  
  • Labor and training cost savings  

6. Network availability, speed, and updates

  • Payments, billing, payroll, and communications all benefit from updated technology and network speeds and 24/7 monitoring  
  • Remote work and collaboration are seamless through cloud applications and ongoing support  

Technology enables and streamlines business. Yet, with the myriad of vendors, network options, software updates, and security concerns facing businesses, making complex technology decisions and maintaining technology can overwhelm business decision-makersmost of whom dont have technology backgrounds. Managing IT shouldnt be a hassle or a burden when there are cost-effective options to help businesses use technology to propel their businesses forward.  

With managed services, you can outsource the services that make the most sense for your organization and retain control over those that you have the staff and budget for. You can work with your managed services provider to discuss your needs and come up with the right combination of managed services and service level agreements that will meet your organizations needs. And should those needs change in the futureand its highly likely they willyou can work with your managed services provider to address your organizations changing needs. 

How Much do Managed Service Providers Charge?

The adage of good/fast/cheap holds true for IT as it does with many areas of business. You can have two, but not all three. A good network is fast but not cheap. A suite of applications that work well together may be good, setting them up to work that way may not be fast. Your IT team may excel at providing ongoing support, but perhaps planning for future needs may fall by the wayside. All organizations struggle with balancing quality, cost, and speed.

All organizations struggle with balancing quality, cost, and speed. And low quality may be inexpensive initially but expensive in the long run. With an experienced managed services partner on your side, you can successfully balance your organization’s current and future needs and costs. Typically MSPs charge a flat rate for the monthly service and depending on what services levels you're looking for the price moves up in specialty and needs. 

See industry-specific checklists to help you determine if managed services and a managed service provider like Northriver is right for you.:

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