What Are Managed IT Services? [Definition & Description]

Technology is increasingly becoming embedded in how we do our jobs. managed IT services definition

  • In manufacturing, IoT technology aid consistency and efficiency by monitoring for problems and alerting when a machine needs attention.
  • In the financial sector, banking software and applications make it possible for customers to budget, deposit checks, and even apply for loans without visiting a physical branch.
  • And for professional service organizations, you now use technology in various ways as you embrace a remote or hybrid workplace.

But what happens when you encounter an issue with the technology you’ve come to rely on? You need someone or a team to support your IT environment.

There are a few different options out there for IT assistance, but one that businesses are turning to more and more is managed IT services. This is one of The KR Group’s solutions for small businesses.

Definition of Managed IT Services

managed IT services definition In the simplest sense, managed services are outsourced IT support. 

Instead of hiring an internal IT manager, you partner with a managed services provider (MSP), and they’ll become your trusted adviser.

When you have a problem or need help, you’ll send them a service request, and they’ll resolve your issue.

However, MSPs are more than just on-call help.

A managed IT services package includes non-negotiable components, such as remote monitoring and maintenance (RMM) software and a cybersecurity package.

What else does an MSP do? Here are a few more things you should know about managed IT services:

  1. How they’re structured
  2. What’s included
  3. The pros and cons
  4. Ideal candidates

This article will give you a better idea of what to expect with managed IT services. However, it doesn’t go into all the details of what an MSP does. For that, you’ll want to head over to our ultimate guide on managed IT services.

The Structure of Managed IT Services

MSPs provide similar services to an in-house IT department, but they are structured differently.

First, managed IT services are subscription-based. You’ll pay a monthly fee to cover support and your MSP’s solutions package. (How much you’ll spend varies based on the number of users in your organization.

The way MSPs provide support is also different from an internal IT department. They staff a whole team of engineers so they can meet the needs of all their clients.

As a result, you have a cost-effective option for high availability to engineers, which is hard to achieve with your own department.

What’s Included with Managed IT Services?

If you’ve been handling your IT environment independently, you know how much work it takes.

The right IT solution for you will take this burden away from you, so you can focus on what actually makes your business money.

MSPs accomplish this in a few different ways:

1. Remote monitoring and management

Part of monitoring your network is ensuring threats don’t make their way into your IT environment. Remote monitoring and management (RMM) is the term used to describe the continual overview your MSP has on your environment.

RMM is what allows your MSP to keep tabs on your network despite not always being physically present at your office.

2. Security support

Your MSP is not only monitoring your IT environment for suspicious or malicious activity, but they also provide a suite of solutions to improve your security postures.

When you sign up for managed IT services, you’ll receive best-in-class antivirus, anti-spam, and DNS protection to help catch threats.

Your contract also covers additional security support, such as regular assessments, user education, and backups.

3. Availability and redundancy

While not a specific software or hardware component of your IT network under managed services, redundancy is an important aspect of outsourcing your IT.

You’ll have this with how your MSP staff’s their engineers, but your provider will also hold inventory to create a sparing strategy shared among you and their other clients.

Pros and Cons of Managed IT Services

Like any service, there are pros and cons to managed IT services. managed IT services definition

Some of the pros include:

  • Managed IT services give you 24/7/365 access to IT support, and you don’t have to coordinate availability to make that a reality. 
  • You’ll work with engineers who can resolve any problem you may have. 
  • MSPs offer more value with their high availability and skill level for the same price as an in-house IT engineer.
  • Not only do managed IT services provide the most value for their cost, but they also eliminate the recruitment and hiring processes.
  • MSPs have the time and knowledge to keep up with new solutions and processes that can benefit your IT environment.

Managed IT services have a lot of benefits, but they also have their shortcomings. Here are some examples:

  • Some MSPs use offshore support. If having local engineers is important to you, make sure you ask your provider about their engineering staff.
  • MSPs are best suited for small or medium businesses. However, if you’re too large for an MSP, you’re likely big enough to afford an internal IT department.
  • You and your provider might butt heads if you are reluctant to replace old or outdated solutions. By working with an MSP, you’ll increase the operational maturity of your IT environment, but that also means you’ll need to update solutions.

Another way to qualify if your company should invest in managed IT services is to see what qualities make you a good fit.

Good Candidates for Managed IT Services

Managed IT services make sense for many companies looking to grow with between 25 and 100 users.

Keeping that in mind, here are some likely candidates for managed IT services:

1. Companies looking for cost-effective IT support

The structure of managed IT services often makes it the most cost-effective option for IT, while the structure ensures you’ll always have access to IT support.

Additionally, managed IT services cost less than hiring an in-house IT engineer with the qualifications to handle even the most complex problems.

2. Small- or medium-sized businesses

Managed IT services are best for small- and medium-sized businesses because it provides access to the high knowledge and skill base of IT engineers that would otherwise likely be out of your budget.

If you’re a large business, an MSP can’t handle all of your IT needs, but they can help you through co-managed IT services or break-fix support.

3. Organizations with industry regulations

Managed IT services are beneficial if you must comply with industry regulations, such as FINRA, SEC, HIPAA, NERC, etc.

Since MSPs have experience working with companies ruled by these regulations, they can bring their back-tested knowledge to your IT environment.

Could Managed IT Services Be Right for You?

Knowing the basics of managed IT services is an excellent way to know what to expect from an MSP and ultimately determine if they’re the right type of IT support for you.

In a nutshell, when you sign up for managed IT services, you’ll have a third-party company’s qualified engineers supporting your IT environment and providing you with cybersecurity solutions to reduce threats.

So, how do you know if they’re right for you?

Download our free IT Solutions Quick Guide, which will direct you to the best support option for your business.

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