Virtually any IT tool can be part of your managed service strategy:
Software: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is one of the most important IT breakthroughs of the last 20 years. If your enterprise needs sophisticated software, your team members can now access it from anywhere in the world. This includes things like business productivity suites, image and video editing software, Customer Relationship Management, and more.
Security: IT security is now one of the most complex concerns of any business. Hacking costs U.S. businesses more than $15 million annually on average. Managed IT security can protect your sensitive data resources through continuous network monitoring, intrusion detection, patch management, and other services on the cutting edge of security.
IT Helpdesk: A better helpdesk makes life easier for callers, whether they’re your customers or team members. Managed helpdesk services get to the bottom of problems faster and resolve them right the first time, increasing morale and trust in your tech support quality.
Technology Strategy: A managed service provider can help you develop a blended IT strategy where outsourced services work hand-in-hand with in-house capabilities. You’ll get strategic insight to minimize overhead while further accentuating your core strengths.
The majority of managed IT services are delivered through a cloud-based platform. With cloud technology, you can access software resources on demand from anywhere. Expanding resources, such as storage, can be done in one click. You pay for only the services you access, and you can rest assured your managed services portfolio always scales according to your needs.
Some level of risk is inevitable whenever you use networked services of any kind. That said, it is always best to have industry-leading security experts on your side. A trustworthy managed IT services provider can furnish you with world-class network monitoring and intrusion response that helps you mitigate risk and fend off even the most determined attackers.
Regulation-driven industries like healthcare and finance have special IT needs. Confidential data needs to be stored safely and use the appropriate level of encryption.
A prospective managed services provider should be able to demonstrate complete understanding of your needs. That can come through industry associations, case studies from similar enterprises, and so on.
All regulatory requirements should be enshrined in a written Service Level Agreement so you can track adherence and take immediate action if concerns arise in the future.
Exact savings depend on your IT investments and outlook, but a well-executed managed services strategy should reduce your technology spend significantly. It’s not unusual for enterprises to capture savings of 20%, 30%, or more.
For companies that substantially pare down in-house services, savings of 50% are not unheard of. Some companies can eliminate in-house IT entirely. For enterprises like these, annual IT savings often totals in the millions, granting new opportunities to invest in core business areas.In effect, managed services target the 75% of IT spending that goes to people or technology. It is especially advisable in industries that tend to have high IT spend as a share of revenue, such as financials (12.7%) and media (5.3%). Small companies also tend to benefit: They typically outspend larger rivals on IT as a share of revenue, investing nearly 7%.
When it comes to tech support NYC business leaders don’t like to waste time. It’s no surprise companies in need of a network support specialist or other tech support expert often look to managed services for a solution. The results can exceed their expectations.
With managed services, tech support professionals are available any time of day or night. They are fully trained on the products and services relevant to you, so the experience is just like calling in to a dedicated, in-house helpdesk – without the overhead.
Managed helpdesk is often superior to on-site troubleshooting:
Your managed services can be expanded or reduced according to your needs in as little as a single day. One of the most vital elements in ensuring your package remains pertinent is to communicate with your managed services provider. A good provider offers useful service updates on a regular basis. An in-depth strategy meeting should be scheduled at least once each quarter to keep the relationship on track.
The cost of managed services will tend to grow modestly over time as you add workstations and offices. To maximize cost-effectiveness and quality, discuss matters with your provider before deciding on additional services, which may increase your prices somewhat more.
When a service portfolio is fully aligned to your needs, price increases should represent just a fraction of your IT savings. If you feel that your costs are accelerating beyond what's healthy for your business, it's always possible to review your technology posture and get back on track.
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a prime part of any managed services contract. The SLA sets the expectations for service accessibility. In general, a reputable provider will aim for 24/7/365 availability of critical infrastructure. Downtime in non-core services should produce no business disruption.
If a service outage does take place, your enterprise needn't do anything to remedy the situation. Getting everything back online and working as expected is the provider's duty. If downtime stretches beyond the confines of the SLA, providers will prorate future services or offer other compensation.
If a service outage is caused by external circumstances, such as a hacking attack, your provider will execute on your IT continuity plan. That means identifying the network vulnerability, closing it down as quickly as possible, and restoring both services and data to the most recent backup available.
A network security breach can happen anywhere – SMB entities are at risk just as Fortune 500 firms are. In fact, 60% of small businesses targeted by hackers close for good within six months. Under these high-risk conditions, your managed services provider must work seamlessly to bolster your security.
Engaging a managed services firm will significantly reduce the amount of critical IT infrastructure in your own enterprise. Hackers become more likely to target service providers directly, and the provider can marshal the top talent and technology to maintain end-to-end security excellence.
Providers can also offer you monitoring and proactive incident management for your internal resources, giving you an extra layer of protection. You should continue to ensure that your non-technical staff members understand their role in data security – human error can leave your business vulnerable.
Managed services should operate effectively with your enterprise no matter your staffing strategy:
One of the core advantages of managed IT services is their distributed nature. Cloud technology can be leveraged from virtually anywhere in the world. This allows you to ensure that new facilities are up and running quickly, no matter what other operational or logistical challenges you might be facing. In fact, you can even use managed services to integrate a diverse, remote workforce into your team.
Streamlining compliance is a core concern in a range of industries. Most companies choose to have their foundational compliance already in place before introducing managed services. That said, firms in compliance-centered industries should seek out a managed service provider that meets their needs.
Depending on their area of expertise, providers may be able to provide training and best practices to manage the unique challenges presented by audits or new certifications. Regardless of their industry focus, any provider should offer the high-level encryption demanded by the major global certifications.
Not all managed services providers can offer you strategic insight – however, the best options in NYC often offer consulting engagements where an IT expert can provide input to your Board or to other strategic stakeholders to ensure your enterprise goals are aligned with the right technology.
If you are considering the purchase of specific software for in-house implementation, such as an ERP or CRM suite, strategic advice from an objective expert can help. Providers may also be able to help with recruiting for technology roles, training, onboarding, and other issues.
All managed services brands are different, so discuss your needs with your IT partner.
Even if you have never engaged an outside enterprise service provider before, it does not have to be a complex process. The most crucial step is to outline your needs and expectations. You do not need to be able to name specific software or features – translating your requirements is the provider's job.
Many decision-makers find the vendor selection process easier when they distill their questions down to a specific checklist and compare the answers offered by multiple prospects. It's often a good idea to get input from all the key stakeholders affected by the managed services transition.
Any reputable provider should be willing to furnish you with a written service agreement without any implied commitment on your part. Be sure to review this with your legal team, finance department, and any current IT leadership to get all the facts you need for an informed choice.
It all begins by contacting a company you believe may be the best choice for you and talking directly with a principal consultant or other leader. Confident, clear answers to your questions should help get you closer to your goals for your enterprise IT organization.
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