Remote Management

The Business Owner’s Guide to Managed IT Service Providers

How do you ensure that your business’s network is always running smoothly? You could hire your own internal IT team and have them constantly monitor your network. However, that’s not always an option for businesses that are just starting to grow and trying to keep expenses low.

A better solution is to hire a managed IT service provider for your network. These remote teams can assist you in managing your network and also offer IT support should you need it. But what else can they do and what are some of the major benefits to hiring one of these teams? In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Managed IT service providers
  • How they work
  • What they can offer your business

Managed IT Service Providers: a Definition

Managed IT services are the remote management of a business’s technology and its IT network. This external team is responsible for monitoring the network for potential problems, providing support when necessary and making small updates or performing maintenance to keep the network running.

A managed IT services provider is a third-party company that businesses sign a contract to manage their network instead of hiring an on-site team to do it. The remote management team works full-time and may require a monthly retainer for their services or a subscription. It all depends on the company itself. But nevertheless, the remote team still works to manage your network as any in-house team would.

What Managed IT Service Teams Do for Your Network

A managed IT team is a great resource for business owners who don’t want to bring on the cost of an on-site team or deal with having to pay for specialized IT experts every time there’s a problem with the network.

The managed IT service provider will proactively monitor the network for problems and perform maintenance or small upgrades to make sure everything is running smoothly and at peak performance. And if something in the network’s infrastructure should have an issue, they can quickly identify and fix the problem.

Some managed IT teams can manage the storage, infrastructure and network for cloud-computing. For cloud-based managed IT services, you can still choose what you want to manage yourself and what the external team can handle. Cloud-based service providers can provide support on an application level or at the network level. Many service providers will work with you to find a plan or solution that fits your needs.

How Your Business Can Benefit From Managed IT Services

Managed IT teams will do the day-to-day monitoring and maintenance for your business’s network, but there are other ways that you can benefit from their services. They’re a flexible, cost-effective solution for IT support, and they’re responsive should you need assistance with your network. But beyond that, how can your business specifically benefit from a managed IT service provider?

You’ll Get Support and Proactive Monitoring

Even though the managed services team is remote, you still have network support when you need it. There’s nothing worse than your entire network going down, but a managed services team will be monitoring it to prevent downtime. Some teams use specialized software to diagnose and repair minor issues, which can stop problems from escalating.

The team can also monitor the network’s performance as well and maintain it. You won’t have to worry about sudden drops in performance because the team is taking the necessary steps to ensure that everything is running smoothly. They can also prevent malware or viruses from making it into your network and disrupting activity.

You Won’t Need to Hire an On-Site Team

One of the bigger benefits of using a managed service provider is that you don’t need an on-site IT team for your network. The provider can remotely manage everything for you and, in some cases like cloud management, provide the hardware and equipment so you don’t have to buy it yourself.

The hardware and servers belong to the provider, so you save on the costly installation process as well as any necessary upgrades as your technology needs grow. The same can be said for bringing on more manpower as you grow. You won’t need to worry about hiring more IT support experts if you already have a provider managing everything.

You Can Scale Your Business and Network Without Worry

As your business grows, you need things like more storage space and bandwidth on your network. When you use a managed services team for your network’s management, you don’t have to worry about buying new hardware and adding it to your server room or data center.

Since the remote team can handle all of your IT needs, your business can scale with a network that’s always able to support it. As you bring on more people to your team and add more workspaces to your work areas, your network will need to be able to support these new team members. Having a remote team that can make recommendations and implement them will help you more easily expand. And if you open up a second business location and need to install hardware, your remote team will be able to help.

The Price of Hiring an IT Services Team

A remote IT services team can add so much value to your business. They’re a cost-effective solution if you need support in future-proofing your growing network. Hiring a managed IT service provider can be tricky, so knowing what you’re looking for can help the process.

If you’ve already identified your needs, finding a provider that fits your budget may also be a concern. Managed IT service providers can vary in their pricing structure. Some may offer tiered packages of management and support, while others may use a flat-fee retainer structure for their services. Depending on your daily and long-term needs for your network and business, you might find more savings with one pricing structure over the other.

Servers with red cabling in a data center at a managed IT service provider facility

Managed IT Services: One Solution, Many Benefits

Finding the right provider is the same as choosing any other vendor. You want them to be a good fit with the capabilities you need and within your budget. As your business grows, you may need more support. Finding the right managed services IT team also depends on their responsiveness and flexibility. But if you take your time and ask the right questions during the process, you’ll find exactly what you need.

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