Businesses nowadays rely on technology to some extent. They use it to improve efficiency, automate processes, and more. It’s no wonder that the market value of managed services worldwide has been steadily increasing, valued at USD 267.3 billion in 2022 and projected to rise at a CAGR of 13.6% until 2030.
With the numerous benefits of managed services, it has become a necessity for small and medium-sized businesses that need the latest technology to stand out in a highly competitive market and maintain the sustainable growth of their business.
In this article, we’re going to dive into what managed services is, their benefits, what you should look for in a managed services provider, and when you should think about hiring one for your business.
Table of Contents
The Definition of Managed Services
The term ‘managed services’ pertains to the act of outsourcing business management responsibilities to a third-party agency. Various business responsibilities can be outsourced to a managed services provider (MSP), such as marketing, supply chain management, recruitment, and customer support. However, managed IT services are the most common type of managed service, so that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article.
Managed IT services are a great way to outsource repairs and maintenance to experts. The best MSPs can take care of various functions for your company, including IT support, network security and administration, data backup, communication, and more.
Top Benefits of Managed Services
The integrity and security of your network are crucial because it contains your business’s information. According to a recent survey by Devolutions, 60% of SMBs underwent at least one cyber attack in the previous year, while 18% experienced six or more. Your network also helps you maintain many functions in your business that allow you to be more efficient and cost-effective. Therein lies the many managed services advantages that we’re going to discuss.
1. Predictable and Minimized Spending
IT systems and infrastructure can be quite expensive, and you could often run into unexpected costs. One of the main managed IT services benefits is that these costs can be more predictable and minimized.
In general, MSPs charge a monthly fixed fee of $175 to $250 per user, depending on the level of service you need. Having a fixed monthly or annual payment means you’ll be protected from unexpected out-of-pocket costs and repairs that could set you back thousands of dollars.
For small businesses, one of the benefits of managed services is the lower upfront costs to start. When you’re starting from scratch, hiring and training a team while purchasing servers and other IT equipment can be costly, but when you work with an MSP, these costs are lessened.
When expanding your company, being understaffed and lacking time and resources can cause issues. You’ll have to hire and train new people, which can take weeks and thousands of dollars, and there’s no guarantee how long they’ll even stay.
One of the numerous managed services benefits is allowing you to scale your business easily. The MSP absorbs the cost of hiring and training. Moreover, you’ll never have to worry about being understaffed because, unlike in-house teams, MSPs allow you to easily and quickly add more people as your business needs grow.
3. Minimized Downtime
A recent analysis by Uptime Institute found that 60% of outages incurred at least $100,000 in total losses, increasing drastically from 39% in 2019. In worst-case scenarios, companies lose upwards of $1 million during outages. These statistics show that downtime and any other types of technical issues should be avoided in today’s business landscape.
In this case, the benefits of managed services are that they can help mitigate these technical difficulties by implementing backup systems, providing 24/7 support, and employing other strong safeguards to prevent outages from happening at all. MSPs can implement measures that an in-house team may not have the skills or bandwidth to do.
4. Data Compliance
Businesses are required by the government to adhere to strict standards that should be implemented in their IT systems. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) are two of the most commonly applicable standards.
Violating these standards can not only result in huge fines but also damage the reputation of your business, which could be hard to recover from. Taking advantage of managed IT services benefits helps ensure you don’t violate these regulations, as MSPs run audits and reports to prove that your business is following all standards to the letter.
5. Network Security
As we’ve previously mentioned, more than half of SMBs have experienced at least one cyber attack in the past year. Even just one successful cyber attack can extensively damage your business. MSPs help mitigate such risks by protecting your assets.
Among the managed services advantages is that they understand the security challenges in your industry and can proactively put up reliable security measures. Aside from being safe from data breaches, this will help build your trust rating among customers and encourage them to do business with you.
6. Access to the Latest Technology
One of the biggest expenses in IT is the technology itself. What’s worse, because of so many software and upgrades available, it can be challenging to discern which ones are appropriate for your business. This is crucial since you wouldn’t want to invest in new technology if it doesn’t meet your business needs or if your team doesn’t have the expertise to maximize its use.
Some of the major managed IT services benefits are that you’ll get access to the latest technology that your business needs and the cost of upgrades and new investments will be included in your monthly or annual fees.
7. Increased Business Focus
A recent report found that at least 60% of organizations will rely on managed services by 2025. Of the many managed IT services benefits, this is probably the one with the most misconception.
The best MSPs perform more than just menial repairs and maintenance for your IT systems. They also help redesign workflows, automate tasks, and upgrade equipment to improve efficiency and free up tasks so your team can focus on projects to innovate your business.
8. 24/7 Support
Technical errors can happen anytime, so constant monitoring is necessary to prevent them. Managed IT services utilize remote monitoring technology to oversee your systems around the clock and real-time alerts to correct any problems before they can noticeably impact your business. Having support available 24/7 can also help improve cybersecurity since any data breach alerts can be acted on in real-time
Traits To Look For in a Managed Services Provider
Now that we’ve highlighted the numerous managed services benefits you can take advantage of, you’re probably considering hiring one for your business. But what should you look for in an MSP? Here are some qualities that we think you should consider:
- Availability: Although you don’t work 24 hours a day, your MSP has to be available around the clock to cater to your network and security needs. As we mentioned previously, technical errors and data breaches can occur anytime, so your MSP has to be available if that happens.
- Industry Expertise: While technical expertise is important for an MSP to do the work that your business needs, industry expertise is equally crucial. Legal requirements and processes vary by industry, and you can only maximize the many managed services advantages if you work with an MSP that’s knowledgeable about your industry’s nuances and requirements.
- Adaptability: Your MSP should be able to cater to the specific needs of your business and adapt according to your preferences.
- Accreditation: Industry accreditation affirms that a service provider can operate with the utmost professionalism, work quality, and compliance. You should check if your MSP is accredited by the relevant association of the industry you’re in.
- Transparent Pricing: You should choose an MSP that brings value to your business and is not focused merely on profits. Review the fees for their services and check if the bundled services they offer are required for your business and not just a ploy to charge you more.
- Quality Assurance: To ensure that your MSP is committed to quality, you can ask specific questions about their quality assurance process. You should evaluate these processes to ensure that they can avoid errors and report inconsistencies.
When Should You Hire a Managed Services Provider?
One of the biggest factors in taking advantage of the benefits of managed services is knowing when your business needs one. Here are some telltale signs you should know about:
- You want to lessen your IT costs.
- You’ve experienced a security breach.
- You experience network issues that cause significant downtime.
- You want to strategically scale your business.
- You’re no longer compliant with industry-specific regulations.
- You lack system monitoring.
- Your security measures aren’t regularly updated.
- You keep running into a wall when encountering technical problems.
If any of these applies to your business, you can certainly benefit from hiring a managed services provider. However, you may also want to staff augmentation versus managed services. If you merely need to add specific abilities to your IT workforce or need temporary staff, you can consider staff augmentation.
Managed Services Benefits — Key Takeaways
Overall, managed services will allow you to easily scale your business, ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations, maintain the security of your network systems, minimize downtime, and increase your team’s focus on business innovations. To ensure that you’re making the most out of the many managed services benefits, choose a provider that’s right for your needs and know when the right time is to hire one.