Managed services provide the ability to create a seamless IT experience for your company. However, the various service offerings and packages offered by managed IT services providers (MSPs) can often be unclear. In order to choose the best managed service offering for your company, you should understand the pillars of a managed IT package.
What is managed IT services?
Managed IT services is essentially an outsourced IT department. Instead of employing a costly in-house team, you hire an MSP, which is a company that specializes in managing other businesses’ technology for a flat, fixed monthly fee.
Unlike a break-fix or reactive service provider, your MSP always monitors and maintains your IT—you don’t just call them when something breaks. In other words, a quality MSP is proactive; they catch problems before they cause downtime. This alleviates day-to-day IT headaches, which ultimately mean you win in both the short term and the long term. The higher productivity you reap on days with no IT issues compound on each other, leading to more output and growth over the course of many months and years.
The pillars of a quality managed services IT package: What services are included?
To truly understand what managed IT services is, you need to be aware of the core services included. There are four pillars that should be part of every managed IT services package:
Help desk: A help desk is your support center whenever you have a technology issue. For example, if your server goes down, then the help desk is who you call or email to get support. A quality MSP will often provide 24/7 support so you can get help no matter what hour it is.
On-site resource: While many technology problems can be resolved remotely it is helpful to have an onsite resource. This person services as an MSP’s onsite eyes and ears. They can assist the helpdesk with complex issues, regularly review your network to maximize uptime, and provide valuable feedback regarding your IT infrastructure.
vCIO: With any project, IT or otherwise, it’s important to have an experienced expert who oversees the entire process from planning to end. That’s where a virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) comes in. Your vCIO formulates your IT strategy and builds out your IT budget. A quality MSP can provide you with vCIO services as part of their managed IT services package.
Project teams: An MSP will spend the majority of their time monitoring and managing your IT. However special projects, like office virtualization, infrastructure upgrades, or PC replacements come up. A reputable service provider will have dedicated project teams to research, quote, and deploy these types of projects successfully.
4 Features of high-quality managed IT services
While the components of a managed IT services package may be similar, the quality of support from vendor to vendor can vary dramatically. That said, high-quality managed services will provide the following four features:
1. Customized technology support that fills in your gaps
After reading about the four pillars of a managed services IT package, you may think, “I don’t need all that.” And it’s true — some companies just need very basic technology support because they already have an internal IT team. That’s where co-managed IT services come in. While managed services is outsourcing all your IT, leveraging all pillars mentioned above, co-managed services is outsourcing just part of your IT.
Having the option of co-managed or managed IT services means you always get a solution that’s customized to your unique needs. For example, if you have an internal special IT projects team, an MSP like Umbrella Managed Systems can take care of your technology’s daily maintenance, freeing up your in-house team to focus on the project.
What’s more, at Umbrella, our Strategy and Alignment service takes customization to a whole new level. With it, you get an IT consultant who will tailor a unique plan to leverage technology for growth. Our consultant can also help you with services like cloud migrations and cybersecurity. Whether you choose outsourced or in-house IT or another service, you can be confident that you’ll get the same responsive IT support we’re known for — whether you need a quick remote fix from our help desk or on-site support, we react fast and treat your business like our own.
2. Proactive IT solutions spearheaded by experts
A major differentiator between an average MSP and a quality one is proactivity. All MSPs will monitor and maintain your network and technology. But how many actually leverage IT to make your organization better?
A high-quality MSP like Umbrella will do just that, providing both reactive and proactive support, and more. We go above and beyond the typical amount of service offered by most MSPs, assigning your organization a vCIO and ProOps Engineer. While the vCIO can provide staff training, give advice on the latest technology, and guide you in IT planning and budgeting. Meanwhile, the ProOps Engineer improves and optimizes your workflows and offers best practice remediation.
The result is that technology isn’t just some passive aspect of your business, but a key tool used to drive business growth.
3. Latest technologies in a rapidly changing world
Technology is evolving rapidly. What was new one year ago is now quickly being outpaced by faster, more secure, more advanced technologies that just hit the market. When you work with a high-quality MSP, you leverage the cumulative knowledge of technicians that are at the forefront of new technology. They keep pace with the latest advancements and are constantly testing new tools, which means you don’t have to.
Best of all, you get access to these new tools and technologies to monitor your networks and keep them secure, as well as the most up-to-date security training. The result is your business is safe from the latest cyberthreats and has more advanced technology than your competition, helping you grow faster.
4. Experts with industry-specific knowledge
Your business and industry is unique. This means you won’t reap as many cost and time-saving benefits if you’re dealing with an average MSP. To get the most from your provider, you need them to understand your industry, your unique pain points, and what matters most to you. When this happens, they can offer guidance and best practices to ensure you adhere to the latest developments, industry regulations, cybersecurity measures, and more.
Umbrella has deep experience helping businesses in a variety of industries. From healthcare to manufacturing, accounting, nonprofits, and more, we have the industry experts you need to reap the most rewards from your MSP solution.
Your IT should ignite growth
Now that you understand what is managed IT services and the benefits it offers, you know that it provides both a short-and a long-term solution to your technology troubles. It eliminates daily headaches while providing you the stability and power of advanced solutions to drive business growth.
Remember, not all MSPs provide the same quality of service. So look for those that offer the features and benefits mentioned above, and you’ll be well on your way to a reimagined business where technology is no longer the problem, but the solution. Get in touch with Umbrella today to learn more.