Every company requires some level of IT to operate today. Even the most down-to-Earth boutique shop needs to have access to technology, if just at the bare minimum to collect payment for the products they sell. Essential business functions like transactions, communications, human resources, billing, and logistics are all woven into today’s IT landscape. Managed IT services allow your business to stay on the cutting edge of technology without worrying about all of the updates, expertise, and gear required to maintain that competitive advantage.
Here’s what every business should know about Managed IT services.
An Introduction to Managed IT Services
Many companies struggle to manage their IT environment by themselves or afford the technology they need, which makes perfect sense. Unless you’re a sizable business, it’s unrealistic for you to have the resources to do so. That’s where Managed IT services come into play—allowing smaller companies to enjoy the same technology as the big guys without adding employees or spending a fortune on equipment.
Through Managed IT services, you outsource some or all of the responsibility to an external IT provider. If you have an existing IT staff in-house, they can shift their full efforts towards the projects that matter most for your business, as the bulk of your IT management will be handled by a team of professionals. If you don’t currently have an IT staff, that same team of professionals will take on all of those responsibilities for you, giving you access to the technology any business needs to thrive today without bringing on additional employees.
So, what types of services would your Managed IT provider be taking care of? Well, the list is potentially endless. However, some of the core services that you can expect from any Managed IT engagement include but are not limited to:
- IT support/help desk
- Networking and infrastructure
- Data storage
- Security management
- Cloud computing
- Email and other communication services
- Sourcing and managing technology hardware
- Software solutions
- Custom applications
- Data analytics
- Data backup and disaster recovery
- Virtual CIO
A Managed IT services team is composed of trained, experienced, and dedicated experts that focus all of their energy on IT. You won’t need to worry about staying up to date with the latest technology standards when you’ve got a professional team by your side that stays up to date for a living! Their knowledge and expertise will be shared with you.
How Can You Tell If It’s Time to Upgrade to Managed IT Services?
One of the most significant signs you would benefit from partnering with a Managed IT services provider is that you require technical expertise above and beyond what’s available to you in-house. If you’ve been feeling left behind by where your company is in terms of technology, then a team of IT experts on your side is exactly what you need. In addition, wanting to upgrade your existing technology, catch up to the industry standards, or have your core team focus its efforts on different projects are all also common reasons for switching to Managed IT services.
How Will It Benefit You?
Managed IT can dramatically improve your company in many ways, but let’s start with one of the most important aspects of any business: its bottom line. Regardless of your company’s size or the industry it operates within, you rely on IT to do business. As such, downtime equates to money lost. Managed IT services allow you to minimize any downtime by ensuring that your employees have access to the technology they need to do their jobs daily.
Outsourcing IT responsibilities to a Managed IT provider also eliminates the need for you to staff your own internal team or purchase your own costly hardware such as servers. Eliminating these expenses from your budget will lower your overhead dramatically. If you do have an existing IT staff, Managed IT services will allow them to focus their attention on more critical projects within your business. Rather than setting up new PCs, managing your network, or resolving downtime and user issues, they can focus their energies on the big projects that really impact your company, such as improving a proprietary application or solution.
Managed It services come with predictable monthly costs, eliminating budgetary guesswork. This gives you something that you can count on. Costs will never spike, and you’ll be able to effortlessly transition to new technologies without having to worry about the massive costs of purchasing equipment, training staff, and onboarding new tech.
These services also scale with your needs. If your business booms and needs to expand to new locations and new markets, your provider will be with you every step of the way to accommodate your expansion. Managed IT makes it possible for you to adapt your technology to your changing circumstances.
Choosing the Right IT Partner
Managed IT providers are often depicted as technological wizards that can solve all of your digital woes. While this is partly true, all IT partners are not created equal. You need to find a provider that is right for you and your unique needs.
The first things to check for are a track record and experience in your industry. How long has this provider been in business, what’s their reputation, and are they familiar with what your needs are? Do your homework when shopping, and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals, case studies, or testimonials.
A Managed IT services provider should also be able to respond when an issue arises promptly. You can’t afford to wait while your network is down, bringing your operations to a halt. Ask about guaranteed response times, and make sure what they offer is something you can live with.
Perhaps most important of all, your IT provider’s staff must have the required technical expertise to manage your technology effectively. Inquire about their team, things such as training, skillsets, core competencies, and industry certifications. Does the provider have valuable third-party vendor partnerships for the tools your business will need? All of this determines whether or not a Managed IT provider is qualified to do the job well.
If your Minneapolis business would like to learn more about partnering with a Managed IT services provider such as DTS, contact us today. We offer flexible IT solutions to meet your ever-growing needs.