Businesses in New Jersey have a big issue! Many business executives are starting to lose hair because they’re still scratching their heads, still trying to figure out what managed IT services is all about!
If you’ve spent any time at all around the computer maintenance game, the words “managed services” have come up more than a few times. IT companies across the globe have moved to this business model, and others – hoping to ride the bandwagon – have branded their flat-rate retainer contracts as “managed services.”
This dual use of the words “managed services has left some company leaders scratching their heads wondering what exactly IT companies are talking about when they use the term.
So, let’s break it down.
An IT company is involved in managed services when they are hired to take on the responsibility for all of another company’s IT needs – management, maintenance, monitoring, reporting, troubleshooting, and helpdesk.
A managed services contract is entirely different than a retainer agreement that says, “If your computers break, we’ll come fix them.”
Where Did the Concept of Managed Services Originate?
Managed services came into being as a backlash to the inadequacies of the break/fix model. The problems with break/fix were:
- No proactive efforts to maintain systems
- Unreliable break/fix contractors
- Neglect of overall business technology strategy
- Extended, unexpected downtimes
- High break/fix contractor turnover
- No ongoing IT support and answers to daily questions
- No serious effort made to tailor IT to business processes or to use IT to automate functions
With the boom in technology, small to mid-size companies were, for the first time, leveraging some of the same IT tools used by their enterprise-level competitors. Because of this, they needed much more IT support than they needed when they were doing most tasks manually and selling locally.
The technology was changing how they did business, but they needed someone that was going to care for the IT that now undergirded their operations.
Break/fix was no longer a viable answer and the expense of hiring an in-house IT professional – complete with paid sick leave, vacations, and benefits – was out of reach for most of these small to mid-size companies. And, even if they found someone who would work for what they were willing to pay, did that new hire have all the requisite skills?
With all of these issues on the table, it didn’t take long for some IT professionals to find a solution to the problem – managed services.
These IT professionals put all they knew about keeping an IT system at it’s best into defined protocols and delivered the resulting action plan on a day to day basis for a monthly, flat-rate fee.
At the same time, the enterprise level companies were facing their own IT support dilemma.
They had internal IT staff, but they wanted a way to get ahead of IT slowdowns and breakdowns.
You see, even their internal IT departments were still functioning on a break/fix model!
Latching on to what was happening within the small to mid-size market, enterprise-level companies began to implement IT management and proactive maintenance principles and protocols into their in-house IT support departments.
Many of the Fortune 500 companies still use this proactive, internal team approach, but the tide is beginning to turn. For the past ten years, these mega companies – always concerned about the bottom line – have been slowly shifting toward outsourced IT managed services. They hired IT support teams like eSOZO to ensure that their systems were always running flawlessly.
Because outsourced labor is often more cost-efficient and the advantage of having an entire outsourced team of IT professionals at your disposal is more attractive than creating – and paying for – an in-house IT department.
What’s the Big Deal About Managed Services?
- Proactive Mentality – Because managed services companies operate on a flat-rate, monthly payment, they are most profitable when they actively keep your systems working smoothly instead of running to the rescue when things break down.
- Monitoring of Everything – Remote care is the secret ingredient for managed services companies. Managed services companies monitor everything from hard drive space to backups and firewall function, and alerts are sent the minute something even seems to be going wrong with your systems or cybersecurity.
- Rooting for Success – In contrast to the break/fix model that makes its money off of the IT miseries of companies like yours, managed services companies have a business model that cheers for and works toward near 100% uptime for your processes.
- Low Workflow Interruption – Because much of IT maintenance has moved to remote monitoring, alerts, and fixes, it is much less intrusive than the computer-fix-it-guy onsite response. Indeed, managed services companies visit their clients on a regular basis, but overall it is a model that causes far less interruption to the work your employees are trying to get accomplished.
- Single, Simple, Steady Monthly Expenditure – By harnessing the managed services model for your business, you can take advantage of an easily-budgeted monthly payment and get rid of sky-high break/fix bills.
Is Managed Services Going to Cost Your Company More Than Your Break/Fix Contractor Does?
Overall, there is a cost saving by engaging the services of an IT managed services company. Several factors play into these cost savings.
- Remote support, maintenance, and monitoring have a lower cost than on-site solutions.
- Systems that are maintained, efficient, and tailored to your business increase your efficiency and productivity.
- The latest technologies allow you to retain a competitive edge.
- Costs are spread out and are easy to forecast.
- The managed services company carries the burden of benefits, sick leave pay, and vacation pay
Are There Levels of Managed Services?
Yes, depending on the IT managed services company. Some have a single “all you can eat” IT support contract that covers everything except hardware and IT projects, such as equipping a facility expansion. Other IT managed services companies have levels of offerings that range from simple monitoring and alerting to comprehensive management, maintenance, monitoring, reporting, troubleshooting, and helpdesk.
How are Managed Services Going to Help Your Company?
- Delivering resolutions to problems before they can cause disruption and downtime.
- Proactive maintenance results in more efficient systems.
- A team that’s on your side – not hoping that your systems break so they can fix them.
- Lower, manageable, predictable costs.
- 24/7 monitoring and troubleshooting availability
- Vendor management – to keep you from sitting for hours on the phone with an overseas help desk
- One point of contact and someone to hold responsible for inefficient, slow, or broken IT elements
- More efficiency and higher productivity
- Lower downtime
- Security and Compliance expertise on your side
What kind of IT support does your company have? Are you still struggling with under-trained and sometimes unreliable break/fix teams that are only there when something has gone wrong?
A managed services company is the answer for you!
Contact eSOZO now at (888) 376-9648 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about managed services and how they can bring positive impact to your company’s daily efficiency.
The eSOZO team delivers IT managed services to small to mid-size companies across New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Author: Aaron White, Date: 20th February 2018