Every day, new solutions emerge to show modern companies how they can optimize and enhance their operations through innovative and intuitive technology. For instance, retailers across the world are starting to use AI to automate some of the experiences that customers have with contact center agents, while hospitals use tech to track the experiences of patients and reduce re-admission rates. Airlines and travel companies are giving customers apps to streamline the check-in experience, while manufacturers use IoT to connect your fridge to your smartphone.
Although new technology can present powerful opportunities to enterprises across the world, they also demonstrate a range of new challenges too. As the pace of change in IT continues to move into hyper speed, IT departments can no longer cope with just a couple of standard computer models and operating systems. Those mobile devices and cloud technologies that have changed the communications world have also introduced a range of new complications for modern companies.
The good news? Managed IT Services could be the answer.
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed service providers, or MSPs, are experts that approach IT services from a holistic point of view, delivering efficiency and productivity much greater than anything that could be achieved in-house. Top service providers are also delivering ongoing maintenance and management to companies, complete with service guarantees, end-user support, and more. Back in 2014, only 30% of companies used IT service management. However, by 2015, that number had doubled, with statistics proving that managed IT services could provide up to 40% cost savings in most industry environments, while doubling efficiency, too.
For companies struggling with the emerging challenges of new technology, as well as the cost of hiring newly qualified workers, and purchasing infrastructure to support the latest feature sets, Managed IT Services can be a much-needed lifeline. These unique experts can handle everything from your data center solutions to your cloud deployments, collaboration tools, mobile initiatives, and even your security features. That means that you get more time to focus your resources on developing your business.
So, what are the key benefits of IT Service Management?
1.Better Productivity for Staff
It’s safe to say that most IT departments are stretched pretty thin. Fortunately, by outsourcing some of the back-end functions in your infrastructure to the experts in an IT Service Management company, you can dedicate the time and effort of your in-house professionals to tasks that will support your core objectives, and promote new innovation.
The average IT environment spends months, if not years choosing and deploying the right system for its needs. Many organizations are now finding it much easier to start with smaller, more agile solutions, that allow them to grow and expand wherever necessary. Many managed service providers can offer modular solutions to growth, that makes it easier for enterprises to scale their strategies depending on their needs. This means that you can add more power to your IT structure if you experience sudden growth, or lower your costs if you’re facing a rough patch.
3.Keeping Pace with IT Demands
The IT skills shortage is a significant problem in the IT space. Companies across the globe are desperate for specific talents and skill-sets, yet they’re struggling to fill the IT positions that are left open – particularly when it comes to mobile app development and cyber-security. Outsourcing these functions to a partner that has technological skill, and specialist insights could mean that you don’t have to face quite as many technology pressures in your business.
4.Proactive Support and Guidance
Most Managed IT Services come with solutions to monitor your infrastructure that ensures resolution starts proactively in the event of a fault or performance drop-out.
5.Predictable Costs and ROI
No matter how you choose to invest in your IT infrastructure, you’re going to need to spend some cash. Whether you’re spending on networks and security, or training staff to deploy new systems and manage changing equipment, the costs are potentially endless. By outsourcing your IT to an MSP service management, you can reduce some of the capital expenditures that come with managing your network in-house. Your costs become fixed-monthly payments, and overall, the amount you get in return for your payments is much higher than what you’d be able to achieve alone.
So, How Do You Choose a Managed Service Provider?
More businesses than ever before are beginning to rely on outside IT solutions for their networks, in an attempt to stay ahead of the constantly evolving technology environment. However, for most organizations, it’s worth noting that your MSP might be a supplement to your IT strategy, rather than a replacement. That means that you’re going to need to choose a team or company who can fit seamlessly into your current IT environment.
Depending on the size of your company, you may be able to get by with nothing but a Managed IT Services solution. However, for large businesses, MSPs are often seen as a useful opportunity to free up some of the existing IT staff within a space, so that they can focus on more strategic projects for the future. At the same time, your managed service provider could also help to guide your way towards the future, by ensuring resilience in the changing marketplace.
Your choice of IT service management solution will depend on your needs and preferences as a business. However, to help get you started on the right track, here are just some of the things you’ll need to look for before handing over your cash.
1.Choose a Managed Service Provider that Asks the Right Questions
A great Managed IT Services company won’t just agree that they can do all the right things for your business – they’ll ask you questions about how you operate, what your goals are, and what you want to accomplish. MSPs need to know all about your data, and what specifications are in place to run your workload. Look for someone who’s keen to learn about your company.
2.Look for a Range of Support Options
IT Service Management is all about getting you more out of your IT experience. With that in mind, you’ll need an MSP that can deliver ongoing support, both in terms of remote help and on-site assistance. Although remote support is great for resolving smaller issues, there are few things better than face-to-face assistance when you’re struggling with a particular problem. Look for someone who offers the best of both worlds.
3.Focus on Remote Monitoring
A great managed service provider will invest in remote monitoring systems that allow them to watch over your system and pinpoint problems before they become too severe. This is crucial if you’re trying to minimize the amount of time you need to invest in simply monitoring your business. Your MSP should be able to monitor servers, switches, workstations, firewalls, routers, and network devices at all times.
4.Search for Detailed Asset Tracking
Your Managed IT Services should include software and hardware reporting metrics that will assist with your asset tracking and compliance needs. Remember, you need to keep a close eye on everything that’s happening within your IT infrastructure if you want to evolve for the digital age. Sometimes, your managed service provider might even open a “virtual CIO” who helps to guide you through development processes.
5.Check for a Strong Track Record
Finally, managed service providers, just like any other professional in today’s online world, can earn a reputation for themselves as a result of “good” or bad work. Take the time to check the reviews and testimonials that your MSP has gathered before you make a decision. On the other hand, if you can’t find any information yourself, you could always ask your MSP to put you in touch with some of their previous clients. Most will be happy to do that if it means securing your business.
Investing in IT Service Management
It’s impossible to ignore the state of digital evolution that we’re engaged in today. With Managed IT Services, you can make sure that you have the resources and power necessary to stay ahead of the curve, and your competitors. Remember, a knowledgeable MSP is more than just a supplement to your IT infrastructure, they’re a solution that provides insight and growth to your business, delivering ideas for everything from workflow, to software systems.
The right Managed Service Provider could be the secret sauce that helps you to cement your place in the competitive market.