Are your IT support services costing you more than they should? When it isn’t practical to staff an in-house IT team or your existing IT team is over extended with larger projects, IT services that are based on a break fix arrangement may seem like a good option. This is a trap that many companies fall into when looking for ways to manage IT resources. When an IT technician gets paid based on the failure of your system, they don’t always have your best interest at heart.
Why you ask? Utilizing a mix of IT technicians that each have their specific expertise may seem like a good patch to managing what appears to be a temporary IT issue, but break fix technicians operate on a business model based on the high "per occurrence" or hourly rates they charge for rescuing you, so the preventative management and maintenance of your network, systems and equipment may not be their top priority.
When employee productivity is forced to halt or slow down not once, but rather consistently, combined with overpriced, one-time expenses (that are often surprise amounts due to a lack of guaranteed work hours) your company is no longer managing budgets to maximize revenue and growth.
Fortunately, you can avoid this common pitfall by partnering with a managed services provider (MSP). More and more businesses are moving to managed IT services to leverage existing IT staff or to fully provide the IT support needed to keep the company up and running while maintaining a flat-fee monthly budget.
Besides keeping budgets in check, the flat-fee managed services pricing model is based on your number of full-time employees, providing the much-needed flexibility to improve and complement your company's scalability.
Why Managed Services Has Become Go-To Solution for Businesses
Managed IT services includes preventative network monitoring to prevent downtime, better technology planning, and brings the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you have a dedicated, well-rounded, and certified team of experts that are making your business a top priority. In today's competitive market, businesses also need to be smarter about their IT services and support costs in order to maintain a manageable budget, thus maximizing budgets for efficient growth and increased profits.
This is the primary reason more decision makers are turning to the managed IT support services option. It is a partnership that adds value to your company, and frankly, just makes sense when you are trying to succeed in a competitive market.
Gartner predicts IT services spending will grow 4.2% in 2017 with investments in "services optimization and innovation" driving growth in this market. Today's businesses are hyper aware of economic challenges and this fuels the need to seek solutions for IT services that include solutions beyond day to day management and monitoring, but rather incorporate consultation for a technology roadmap and proper budgeting to accomplish the planned goals which will keep companies operating with technology and devices to maintain a competitive advantage for growth.
The broad list of IT services included with managed IT services combined with its predictable and scalable pricing has made this the go-to solution for today's businesses to strategically optimize IT operations and technology based on the company's growth plan.
Managed IT Services Fills in the Gaps to Alleviate Surprises
The goal of a managed services provider is to keep your network operating consistently, while optimizing your company's software management and technology planning. Managed IT support services fills in the gaps in IT operations and eliminate the surprises that can throw a wrench into a day's business operations, meaning that you, as a leader in the company, can focus your attention on running the business and employees can remain engaged to accomplish the company's growth strategy.
For example, let's say you come into the office Monday to discover your network has been down all weekend. Suddenly you're forced into a reactive position of hiring outside technicians who are unfamiliar with your company’s IT structure and its mission critical goals, which can spell disaster for productivity for the week.
But the problem of productivity is further compounded by the following:
- What if the technician doesn't specialize in the current problem, or based on the short notice, the least experienced technician was dispatched to diagnose your problem?
You now have a situation where not only has the start of work been delayed, but multiple break fix technicians will need to be coordinated to resolve your dilemma.
- Who is going to manage the contractors for efficient completion of the project?
Even if you can quickly assemble the necessary tech contractors needed, layered within this is that IT contractors rarely work together or communicate to coordinate a streamlined resolution.
Combine all of this with the fact that there isn't an available time estimate to the technicians arriving or fixing the unknown issue, much less knowing the final cost, and you have the perfect storm for a loss of productivity, frustrated employees that leads to low morale, and a surprise budget blow out due to yet to be known hourly billing.
This is just one example of the possible scenarios that ultimately lead to disruption in workflow and unapproved spending. Not to mention the looming specter of future issues from a system that is neglected or problems that were overlooked. If these are the types of possible IT surprises that keep you awake at night, you must consider a managed IT support services partner for your company.
Imagine a future where your company has IT support that can scale with your business, whether based on growth or right sizing, and offers a dedicated Technology Account Manager and a team of experts. That is the reality when you have a managed IT services provider whose sole purpose it is to coordinate and manage your network, your technology and provide day to day IT support to employees.
One Financially Efficient, Scalable IT Services Solution
If we look at the full breadth of included services, you will see that you have one solution available to manage your IT support services needs that will improve your company's scalability while continuing to provide budget efficiency via the managed services pricing model.
In the above examples, network monitoring, proper administration and a solid technology roadmap have been discussed, however these are only the tip of the iceberg in a solid managed IT support services plan. Proactive IT management includes regular network checkup visits, technology management and IT help desk support to keep your network infrastructure running optimally.
What should a solid managed IT support services package include? To truly assure that your networks will remain healthy and that your business productivity does not slow, the following should be inclusive:
1) Technology management via a centralized service for all of the following:
- Network Security: includes all patch management, anti-spyware and anti-malware management as well as spam management.
- Full optimization of desktops/laptops/mobile devices and coordination of all documentation
- Email management
- Voice services
- Data backup administration
2) Network Administration through a dedicated network administrator that includes network monitoring, a customized technology checklist for your company that utilizes industry best practices and a complete service report review.
3) Technology consulting with your dedicated, knowledgeable Technology Account Manager along with the guidance of a fractional Chief Information Officer with a focus on the following:
- Technology roadmap
- Scheduled network checkup visits
- Technology budgetary planning
4) An internal end-user IT support desk team. Be sure that the MSP doesn't use an outsourced ticketing system as you want your employees to have access 24/7 for fast resolution to IT needs. A quality MSP will offer an internal support desk team for the following services:
- Help desk support and on-site support
- Assistance in identifying and resolving problems
- Knowledge base education
- Support for the client portal and for mobility
These provide the scope of IT services management that will improve organizational productivity, keep your network up and running (less downtime!) and allow you to rest easier knowing that you are providing your company with the IT system management and maintenance it needs. Finally, enjoy peace of mind without worrying about the next big problem that is surely looming and how much it will cost.
With customized managed IT support services, you'll find your monthly costs will still be lower than if you were to hire in-house staff for all the expertise provided. You will no doubt have more coverage and a more manageable budget than hiring hourly, break fix technicians.
With the importance of extensive IT management, you should have available an agile business solution that lends to your company's scalability, not hold it back. Because of the flat fee pricing model, your monthly bill is calculated based on the number of employees you have, and therefore your pricing can scale in either direction based on the size management necessary for your company.
Download our FREE Business Guide to Managed Services eBook for a comparison of IT management models and use the included checklist to assess your company's current IT performance.