In today’s modern world, it’s nearly impossible to run a successful business without the help of computers and information technology. IT hardware, along with business software underpins many companies. Business information technology is used to automate administrative tasks such as payroll and invoices, run machinery with reduced manpower, communicate with clients, support retail operations, and keep track of all financial and customer data.
Manufacturing, retail, government agencies, schools, healthcare, and just about any industry you can think of needs and uses computer programs and IT equipment that runs on specific platforms or operating systems. So, while IT is not your company’s core business, it is so intertwined with your daily operations that without it, your business could not compete in a fast-paced and competitive economy.
And herein lies the challenge. How do you keep your computer systems running efficiently and securely with as little downtime as possible? The solution is Managed IT.
What is Managed IT?
Managed IT is a business model delivered by a Managed Services Provider or MSP. These companies provide expert IT personnel to support and service computer systems to reduce system downtime due to one or more conditions, including:
- IT equipment failure
- Lack of system maintenance
- Security threats such as malware
- Human error such as accidental data deletion
- Old software that requires revision updates
- Hardware glitches or software bugs
Your computer system is one of your most valuable assets. When it goes down, your business might come to a grinding halt. And you run the risk of losing loyal customers if they’re unable to access your website for information or to make a purchase.
Managed IT takes responsibility for ensuring your IT assets are operational at all times, which helps to keep your company profitable. Expert computer technicians are assigned to your IT system and can perform almost all required tasks remotely.
These service providers access your local area network or LAN remotely to provide oversight and direction in three critical IT support areas:
- Infrastructure - Keeping your computers in good working order with regularly scheduled maintenance and advice on when to repair or replace IT equipment.
- Software - Rolling out new software releases and securing your IT system with anti-virus software to prevent cyberattacks.
- Platforms – Assistance in setting up the right operating environment for software applications to run on. Advice on security protocols, system back-ups, and more.
Additional roles of a managed IT provider may include implementing the correct software configurations and installations that best fit the needs of your type of business and the size of your operations. Continue reading for a more in-depth discussion of the role that managed IT plays in helping your business succeed.
What Are the Foundational Components of Managed IT?
Your managed IT service provider should offer various levels of service to meet the needs of both large and small computer operations. Often, a flat monthly fee is charged that fits the level of IT management your business requires. Some companies may have a small IT department already in place, while others may have none.
Managed IT providers will offer the following components that act as a foundation for IT systems management.
System administration: Creates and optimizes an IT infrastructure that supports day-to-day business activities, such as setting up and maintaining servers, network equipment, and employee computer hardware.
Patch management: Procures, installs, schedules, and tests patches for operating systems and applications to reduce the threat of system intrusion or data breaches by bad actors.
System Monitoring: Provides 24/7 monitoring of your business computer network to detect and prevent security threats, performance problems, or bandwidth issues from internet service providers.
Help desk support: Answers questions and solves problems that are affecting employee workflows. This helps to reduce or eliminate downtime and employee frustration.
Lifecycle management: Manages and tracks all IT hardware assets and software apps or subscriptions from procurement, through operations, and until retirement. This helps to maintain consistent performance throughout each component’s life cycle.
In addition to these foundational components of managed IT, your company may require additional services that can be delivered by an MSP. These include systems planning to meet business expansion, cloud solutions for a remote workforce, compliance support, disaster recovery, or cybersecurity.
Why Outsource Your IT to a Managed Services Provider?
Today’s business workforce often uses multiple technologies to complete work assignments or during conversations with clients. These encompass mobile devices while in the field, a laptop when at home, and the computers assigned to each employee at their workplaces.
All these devices may need to connect with business systems. This creates another level of IT support, which is typically too much for in-house IT staff. If your company doesn’t have the staff to support your business computer infrastructure successfully, then a managed IT provider is the most economical solution.
Here are the main reasons why outsourcing your IT to a managed services provider makes good business sense:
- Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may not have the cash flow to hire in-house IT experts, or your IT team might be too small to meet employee demands for IT maintenance and help-desk tickets.
- Many Cincinnati and Columbus companies have a great IT department, but tasks such as maintenance, help desk, back-ups, and end-user support overburden IT staff.
- Your company has expanded the complexity and size of its IT department such that it requires the expertise of external IT professionals for security, upgrades, and system migrations.
Don’t let the size of your IT department hold your business back from expanding into new territories or developing more products and services. Contact Modern Office Methods today learn how our managed IT services can give your Ohio business peace of mind over your computer systems and networks’ maintenance, operation, and security.