Have you wondered what the difference is between managed IT service providers and general IT service providers? We will have a look at the differences and how this will affect your business. Managed IT service providers have a very different approach to your IT systems than what traditional service providers will offer. You will need to decide which offer best suits your business.
IT Service Providers
First, we will have a look at what IT service providers do and then we can highlight what makes managed It service providers different. If your company uses a traditional IT service provider they will usually operate on an on-demand model.
The on-demand model means that when you need them, you call them. When your printer breaks, for example, you just call them to come to fix it. Do you need a new computer for a staff member? You guessed it, you call them and they supply the new computer.
This on-demand model is also called a break-fix model. When something is not working as it should or is broken, you will get in contact with your IT service supplier. The supplier will then quote and solve the issue for you.
General services that an IT company will provide and issues they will help solve:
- Fixing or replacement of broken IT equipment. Broken computers, screens and printers can be fixed or replaced by an IT company.
- Data recovery. An IT company might be able to recover data that was lost.
- Lost connectivity. Need to connect to a network or the internet? Whether a new connection setup or fixing a broken one the IT services company should be able to help.
- The sale and installation of software that you might require.
- Installing network and storage solutions when you require these.
- Fixing issues with software that is not working or documents that won’t open.
- Trouble printing to a local or network printer.
- Supplying any peripherals that your company might need or replacing broken accessories like keyboards and screens.
- Install security software and systems when you ask them to.
Normal IT service providers will only get involved in the above when you identify the need and then contact them. They will usually open a ticket and then provide the support as needed. They will quote and invoice for the equipment provided and work done on a case-by-case basis.
Managed IT Service Providers
The main difference between managed IT service providers and regular IT service providers is that managed IT service providers will also provide proactive services. Managed IT service providers will audit and solve many issues even before they become an issue for the employees of your company.
Managed IT service providers will look at security, software updates, hardware updates, and networks to ensure that there is no downtime in the future. You should read more about the different services that can be offered by a managed information technology company in your area. The adage that prevention is better than cure is true for IT systems as for many other things in life.
This differentiated approach is seen through the following services:
- Although a managed IT services company will help with the replacement of broken equipment, they will also audit current equipment. They will arrange for replacements of aging hardware before it becomes an issue.
- Data storage systems will be checked and upgraded as needed before data loss becomes an issue. Recommendations can be made as new options for local and cloud storage become available.
- Network and internet connectivity will be monitored and changes can be implemented before any of these systems fail.
- Your managed IT services company can also recommend alternatives to software that might soon not be supported anymore. They can also recommend software that will improve your business systems.
- As more and more business functions are moving to the cloud the services company will be able to manage and recommend new service providers in this field.
- They will stay up to date with software issues and compatibility issues and offer help before these influence your business.
- Scheduled maintenance can also be planned through the service company to avoid future breakdowns. Peripherals like printers for example will require regular maintenance.
- A replacement schedule for hardware and peripherals will be recommended to future proof your business. IT equipment can become obsolete quite quickly and planning for the future is a valuable service they provide.
- Monitoring of the security both on your network and devices should be part of the managed IT services offering. A managed IT services company should not only be reactive when it comes to security but also be proactive. They should be up to date with possible vulnerabilities and fixes. They should also monitor your systems for any cyber-attacks.
Managed IT services companies will have monthly recurring service contracts and as part of this contract will offer ongoing services to your company. This is different from the break-fix model that other IT services companies operate on. Being proactive and not reactive offers many benefits to your company.
Budgeting is easier if your IT services company can take the long-term view and make recommendations for the future. Expensive downtime for your employees can often be avoided by monitoring and auditing your IT systems on an ongoing basis.
Catastrophic failures and data loss is also something that is easier avoided than fixed when it occurs. Make sure your IT systems are healthy and there are no hidden problems that you don’t know about.
In addition to all the proactive monitoring that a managed IT services company will offer, they will also do all the same things that a normal IT service provider can do. If any unforeseen issues occur with equipment, software, or data they can perform all the same services as a normal information technology service company. The number of critical failures and fixes however should be a lot less due to the ongoing services that they also provide.
Don’t get caught out by any sudden IT issues. rather plan for the future and get a managed IT services company to monitor, secure and audit your business-critical systems.