When you think of your IT department, you think of the group of people who come to the rescue when something goes wrong with your computer, right? What if you could have an information technology department that constantly monitors your technology and prevents problems before they arise?
This would mean no more downtime, no more telling customers “I’m going to have to call you back, our server is down right now.”, and no more freaking out about your sensitive data when a computer crashes.
Insert managed IT services!
The goal of a managed services provider (MSP) is to monitor your technology closely so they can prevent issues before they even arise. This is a big shift from the traditional “break-fix” approach which simply means waiting until something breaks and then fixing it.
The case against the break-fix model.
For years, the standard practice was to use your computer until it broke and then call that computer technician you have on speed dial. The technician would set a repair time, drive to your business location, and repair your computer. So, what are you doing in the meantime?
Chances are, you are sitting around waiting for your computer to be repaired, having a mini panic attack about all the work you’re going to have to catch up on when the computer is finally back online. In the meantime, you are losing potential customers because you have to tell them your system is down temporarily. What is that age-old saying? “Time is money?”… That’s the one. You can’t afford to be offline.
Another valid concern is whether or not your important work data is going to be recoverable. What if it’s not and you lose all of your hard work? Initiate a HUGE panic attack!
Starting to see why the break-fix approach should be a thing of the past?
When you invest in managed services for your small to medium-sized business, you are on the road to taking your technology seriously. You are beginning to see how your computers and the data stored on them are extremely valuable and worth protecting.
So how do managed services work?
As we stated before, the managed services approach is all about monitoring existing hardware and preventing issues down the road. This is accomplished in many different ways.
- Installing monitoring software on all computers and servers. This software sends data about all the different hardware and software components back to a central dashboard that your MSP can monitor. The software flags potential problems so your MSP can jump on it before it becomes a problem.
- Ensuring all data is backed up and easily recovered in the event that a hard drive dies. This can be accomplished with a cloud storage platform like SecuriSync or Google Drive. Some MSPs also use cloud-based programs that store an image of your drive to be easily accessed and restored. Disaster recovery is a breeze when working with the right managed services provider.
- Securing your computers and servers with antivirus and running scheduled scans. This is a very important step in preventing malware, viruses, and ransomware that can cripple your organization.
- Keeping computers up to date with the latest security updates. Your MSP will have a computer update policy in place that keeps everything updated and running smoothly.
There are many other things that managed services providers do to keep your business up and running but these are a few of the most important areas.
You’re probably looking at your budget thinking, how am I going to pay for this?
How do you pay for managed services?
Typically, MSPs will charge a flat, monthly fee that is contingent on the number of devices that are being monitored and the amount of data being protected. This is a fantastic approach because instead of working unplanned tech repairs into your budget, you have one monthly rate that you can work with. At this point, you have simplified your IT expenditures and protected your business from tech disasters. That’s a win-win in our book!
Alongside the simplified pricing, MSPs will draft a service level agreement (SLA) that directly states what you can expect from your monthly cost. This helps keep things transparent so you know exactly what you are paying for and how it is benefiting your business.
Small businesses often don’t have the money to hire in an in-house tech support agent so a managed services provider can give enterprise-level support for a much lower price.
This business model works out great for your business and the IT provider. It simplifies IT in every way imaginable.
If you are in business in 2020, I’m sure you rely heavily on technology. It’s time to leave the break-fix approach behind, embrace the managed services philosophy, and take your business tech seriously.
Managed services keep your devices monitored, secured, and backed up so you can do what you do best… run your business.
If you are looking for a managed services provider that takes your business operations seriously and strives to keep you at 100% uptime, you can learn more about our network management services and our computer maintenance services.