Table of Contents
- What Are Managed Service Providers?
- What Do IT Services Management Companies Do?
- How Much Do Managed Services Providers Charge?
- Why Should You Hire Managed IT Service Providers?
- How To Select The Right Managed IT Support Company
- 15 Questions To Ask Managed IT Service Providers
- Takeaways On Managed Service Providers
Managed providers handle IT operations to ensure peak performance, therefore improving business operations and cutting down expenses.
Their primary goals are:
- To assist a business that has little or no internal capabilities
- To support experienced IT teams that have too many responsibilities
For a fixed monthly fee, organizations can outsource ongoing support where the managed provider will be responsible for:
- Handling the organizations’ IT infrastructures and workstations
- Performing proactive monitoring and maintenance
- Managing the entirety or portions of their IT systems
- Providing priority support and user & device management
The partnership between the vendor and the client is agreed upon a Service Level Agreement (SLA), a contract that documents the exact services offered by the IT services providers, including availability, responsibilities and cost.
What Is The Difference Between Managed Service Providers And Cloud Service Providers?
Cloud service providers offer a range of IT services via a network, such as:
- Public cloud - the infrastructure is shared with other clients.
- Private cloud - uses an internal intranet and the client’s own IT team manages the cloud environment.
- Hybrid cloud - some environments are controlled by the client’s IT team and others by cloud services providers.
This is a type of partnership where the service providers are less concerned with their individual customers and, instead, they focus on controlling the infrastructure, applications and operating system of the cloud.
Managed IT providers, on the other hand, offer the kind of support to their clients that an in-house IT team would normally manage, including:
- Monitoring security
- Maintaining hardware
- Keeping software up-to-date
In this case, organizations have a specific server assigned to them and their managed IT provider will monitor the server and solve any issues that may arise.
Simply put, with cloud services subscriptions, you pay for specific services - like renting a server- whereas with managed IT, you get the desired service - like server support- but also a team who will manage your server.
What Do IT Services Management Companies Do?
Here are the most common responsibilities of managed IT providers:
1. Help desk
This is a great solution for organizations that have no IT resources in-house.
The service includes remote support, where a customer has access to an on-call IT specialist who can address issues quickly without affecting the organization’s productivity.
2. Security management
Considering that more than 155.8 million individuals were affected by data exposures in 2020, data breaches show no signs of slowing down. This indicates that the need for data security is more important than ever, especially for organizations that store huge amounts of sensitive information.
A managed IT expert can assist their clients with various security processes, including monitoring application compatibility, network intrusion detection and prevention, and virus and spam eradication.
3. Disaster recovery and data backup
Organizations manage data that are critical to their business operations. However, disasters can happen. This is where managed IT providers can come in handy.
They can provide you with secure backups and data recovery for both small files and entire databases, ensuring the safety and integrity of vital information.
4. Monitoring and maintenance
IT management companies monitor and maintain organizations’ systems and networks to ensure consistent uptime. This keeps computers and technologies up-to-date, minimizing the risk of financial loss and keeping the business productivity at its peak.
5. Reporting and analytics
Managed IT specialists supply their clients with detailed monthly reporting that measures the status and the health of their IT systems and networks.
After they evaluate the performance of these systems, these experts also offer suggestions and recommendations for improvement.
How Much Do Managed Services Providers Charge?
There are several key factors that affect the cost of managed IT, including:
- The type of services provided
- The level of involvement required from the managed IT experts
- The complexity of the client's infrastructure
- The business industry
- The amount of data that needs to be backed up
- Whether the business already has an IT team
The most common type of pricing is per-user. In general, managed IT providers in the U.S. charge between $100 and $150 per person, per month.
However, if you need more advanced services, such as security and consulting, then the cost of managed IT packages can jump to $200-$250 per person, per month.
Some managed IT providers may also offer per-device costs. In this case, they will charge you based on the number of devices your business uses, including computers, laptops, mobile devices, switches and servers.
For this type of pricing, you can expect to pay between:
- $120-500 per server
- $30-120 per workstation
- $25-100 per firewall
- $10-50 per switch
Why Should You Hire Managed IT Service Providers?
The revenue from global managed IT will reach $356.24 billion by 2025.
The demand for these types of solutions has grown exponentially in recent years. This is because they carry some unique benefits for organizations.
Whether you are a small business or a well-established company, managed IT providers can help you stay focused on expanding your business’s core competencies and better cope with time-consuming IT projects.
These are the key reasons to hire a professional managed IT provider:
Reason #1: Work With Highly Qualified Experts
One of the biggest benefits of working with managed IT providers is getting access to an entire team of highly qualified and experienced IT professionals at a flat monthly rate.
These experts have the necessary training and certifications specific to your industry, so they are competent and comfortable working with specific systems suitable to your business.
They also have access to the latest technology on the market which enables them to implement solutions easily and quickly. They are knowledgeable and equipped to keep your systems up and running while unlocking their full potential.
Reason #2: Ensure Data Compliance And Security
Internal data management is subject to a set of regulations created to keep it secure.
Organizations need to sift through the hundreds of current standards to see which ones apply to their specific businesses and industry and then meet various strict rules to ensure their data is maintained safely.
Some of the most widely applicable standards are:
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
While some organizations are not familiar with these regulations, others don’t have the time to follow them due to their many obligations.
However, these rules are important to follow as they can minimize the risks associated with maintaining client data, credit card numbers and other vital information.
There are also certain consequences for violating these rules. It can cost businesses a great deal of trouble, like damaged reputation and hefty fines.
This is where IT providers can come in handy.
They understand and can handle the complexities of compliance, ensuring that your organization meets all of the requirements and regulations. This will ultimately save your business a lot of money in the long run.
Reason #3: Enjoy Predictable Monthly Costs
Investing in IT systems is not only expensive, but it also requires calculating upfront expenses. However, predicting the cost can be difficult, especially as your business continues to grow.
When outsourcing managed IT experts, this cost is consolidated into a fixed set of operating expenses, meaning that the solutions provided by the vendor are calculated into your operational budget.
Because managed IT specialists in the USA typically operate with fixed monthly payment plans tailored to the organizations’ needs, the clients know how much and what they are paying for.
As a result, you don’t have to worry about any unexpected costs or additional fees.
Reason #4: Minimize Downtimes
The Global Server Hardware, Server OS Reliability study conducted by ITIC shows that, in 2020, 88% of organizations reported one hour of downtime costs at least $301,000, while 40% of them said that hourly downtime costs exceeded $1 million.
Servers can fail and computers can malfunction due to various reasons, including electrical disruptions and unintentional human error.
It’s abundantly clear that organizations need to do their best to minimize system downtimes.
Managed IT providers know the best ways to reduce potential risks of system malfunctions. They take a proactive approach to maintenance and have the specialized expertise to identify and troubleshoot potential problems before they turn into a nightmare.
Reason#5: Increased Efficiency And Competitiveness
Managing IT in-house requires technical expertise and takes research, development and implementation time.
This not only increases costs but may also decrease employee productivity.
Working with managed IT providers is beyond any doubt cheaper and more effective. It means having your issues fixed quickly and keeping your systems healthy at all times.
These specialists serve as an extension of your team. They are not only a resource you use when something breaks, but they are also a valuable partner who ensures peak operations performance, increased business efficiency and competitiveness.
How To Select The Right Managed IT Support Company
The success of your IT projects can often depend on whether you have a suitable managed IT provider that delivers services and capabilities critical to your business.
With so many options on the market, choosing the best company can be a tricky process. However, considering the following factors can help:
1. Technical expertise and certifications
The company you hire should be competent and have the relevant expertise to handle your project.
To ensure you have the right experts by your side, look for vendors with the right qualifications and certifications. This will help you understand how technically inclined they are and discover their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Industry experience
The experts who have previous experience working with clients in the same or related industry can serve your business better.
They have unique insights into a similar set of IT operations like yours and can foresee potential issues successfully. This can be the key to cutting costs and improving efficiency.
3. References and reviews
IT projects involve handling highly sensitive information, so you need to ensure you hire a trustworthy partner before you hand over your IT functions.
Therefore, make sure to verify these companies’ skills and reliability by asking them for some client references.
Checking their reviews is also recommended since it will give you additional information on their flexibility, transparency, communication skills and work culture.
The response time of the prospective managed IT provider is another key factor to consider.
If some issues come up, you would want to resolve them immediately because it may cost you money. No matter how big the problem is, these experts should be available on short notice and provide solutions quickly.
A good tip here would be for the provider to give upfront estimates of response times which will be included in your contract. This will give you an idea of how long it will take them to respond and fix issues in the future.
The partnerships between organizations and IT providers rely on a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
However, to ensure you get what you pay for, make certain that the partner you hire offers a contract that includes all of the services your business needs. Other vital information that these legal documents should include are:
- Plan of action when issues arise
- Response time
- Warranties and legal pointers
- Performance agreement
- Termination circumstances
15 Questions To Ask Managed IT Service Providers
- What are your core competencies?
- What relevant certifications do you have?
- Can you provide me with some client references?
- Have you worked on similar projects?
- How can you help me reduce my business costs?
- What security services do you offer?
- What is your disaster recovery plan?
- What compliance frameworks do you support?
- What is included in the legal agreement?
- What sort of response time can I expect?
- Do you offer after-hours support in case of emergencies?
- How often will you do backups?
- What is the estimated cost?
- Can your service provision expand as my business needs grow?
- Will you provide me with reports on the health of the IT systems and how often?
Takeaways On Managed Service Providers
Managed IT providers can help your business better manage your IT environment.
They offer various types of solutions, the most common being:
- Help desk
- Security management
- Disaster recovery and data backup
- Monitoring and maintenance
- Reporting and analytics
Managed IT providers in the United States may charge you between $100 and $250 per user, per month.
You should consider hiring these types of companies in order to:
- Work with highly qualified experts
- Ensure data compliance and security
- Enjoy predictable monthly costs
- Minimize downtimes
- Increased efficiency and competitiveness
To choose the best partner for your IT project, consider the following factors:
- Technical expertise and certifications
- Industry experience
- References and reviews
Best of luck!