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Introduction

There’s no denying the tangible and intangible benefits technology brings to organizations of all types and sizes. It’s a simple fact: technology helps businesses produce the results their customers desire, and ultimately, helps businesses make more money more quickly and efficiently. The technological infrastructure in place plays an integral role within the entire business – from the culture to the productivity and everything in between.

If you’re starting your search for a strategic technology partner, you might be wondering if managed IT services are right for you. Chances are, you’ve considered your options: hiring an internal person, outsourcing part of your IT department, and lastly, finding the right managed IT services plan to handle all of your technology needs.

Maybe you’ve learned that keeping your technological infrastructure running smoothly requires a lot more time and attention than you have on hand. In addition, advancements in the realm of technology happen fast and it’s hard to keep up and remain competitive without help. That’s what makes managed IT services a great alternative to virtually any other option.

Does My Business Need Managed IT Services?

Regardless of the type of business you’re running, managed IT services will likely be helpful if you’re overwhelmed with time-consuming tasks, such as:

  • Monitoring your technological infrastructure for issues and/or concerns
  • Applying security patches and/or updates as soon as they’re available
  • Troubleshooting end-user issues that arise during or after business hours
  • Setting up the proper security solutions to prevent data theft and/or loss
  • Configuring the network to work properly on all end-user devices
  • And much more

Above all, you might need managed IT services if you’re struggling with higher-level problems within your business, such as:

  • Slow or unresponsive communication with customers – from responding to requests to sending out documents and everything in between.
  • Inefficient day-to-day operations – from lack of proper inventory management to lack of insight into cash flow needs.
  • Vulnerability to security threats – from the way you send financial information to the way your employees browse the web.

That’s right… managed IT services can be surprisingly helpful in resolving not only technology issues, but business issues that arise due to rapid growth, expansion, and various other factors. After all, technology is the backbone of your operations.

When Did Managed IT Services Become So Widely Used?

Since the early 1990s, organizations of all types and sizes have been leveraging managed IT services to help them monitor, manage, and maintain their technological infrastructure. They’ve relied on MSPs (managed service providers) to help them handle all of their technology needs, whether they’re receiving on-site support or remote support. Before this, businesses relied on what’s known as “break/fix” support wherein they pay by the hour for help with setting up, managing, or protecting various pieces of their infrastructure.

Although break/fix support has been incredibly useful in the past, most businesses have grown past this. In today’s day and age, we’re more technology-dependent than ever before. More importantly, we have more rules and regulations governing the way we use technology in business than ever before. This is why managed IT services are becoming more widely used to maintain business operations, as well as ensure industry-specific compliance regulations are met.

The typical MSP provides a whole host of services – all for one flat-rate monthly fee. This may include:

  • Network design and configuration
  • IT security
  • Asset management
  • vCIO (virtual CIO)
  • Hardware maintenance
  • Network monitoring and reporting
  • End-user support (onsite and remote)
  • Mobile device management
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Application management

Most MSPs can deliver these services, so how do you know which MSP to choose? And what services you need in your managed IT services plan? Fortunately, our buyer’s guide has been created to act as a starting point for businesses looking for managed IT services. As you continue to read through this buyer’s guide, you’ll find answers to many of the questions you’ve been wondering, such as:

  • What exactly are managed IT services?
  • What are the separate components of managed IT services?
  • What services do I need in a managed IT services plan?
  • How much should I expect to spend on managed IT services?
  • How are managed IT services delivered?
  • What is the business case for managed IT services?
  • And much, much more

This buyer’s guide will help you navigate the decision-making process to ensure you’re making an informed IT outsourcing decision.