Business

What are managed IT services?

Every company needs someone to manage IT for business to run smoothly. From computers and phones to networks and passwords, many moving parts keep small-medium businesses (SMBs) running and their data safe. But many SMBs don’t have the time, talent, or money to keep IT tasks in-house.  That’s where managed it services come in. 

Benefits of managed IT services

Through MSPs, SMBs can reap the benefits of receiving IT support services at a significantly reduced cost compared to creating a comparable in-house team. Additionally, MSPs can offer a wealth of experience from actively managing multiple client accounts that in-house teams would not have. 

When contracting with an MSP, organizations can forecast their monthly, quarterly, and yearly expenditure on IT, freeing SMBs from having to focus on this area of operational readiness. This allows SMBs to focus on growing their businesses without worrying about day-to-day IT issues or requirements. 

Another benefit is a greater opportunity for cybersecurity expertise and successfully enacted cybersecurity policies. MSPs work with standards such as PCI compliance day in and day out, and they should be able to steer an organization within the parameters and regulations it needs to adhere to. For some organizations, especially in finance, healthcare, education, and other industries, this type of regulatory compliance is mandatory for the IT portion of their business and requires the expertise and experience that a managed service provider can offer.  

MSPs can mitigate risk in this way while assuring that the experts in charge of your IT operations are always up-to-date on the latest information, technologies, and processes that will keep your infrastructure working efficiently and successfully into the future. 

More definitions for managed IT services

AgentA small program used by MSPs to remotely gather information about the status of machines and devices. Once installed, it allows MSPs to manage systems, update programs, and resolve issues faster.  

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR)—A combination of data backup and disaster recovery solutions that works cohesively to ensure an organization’s critical business functions will continue to operate despite serious incidents or disasters or will be recovered to an operational state within a reasonably short period. 

Break/fix —An older style for delivering IT services and repairs to organizations in a fee-for-service framework. Essentially, a client contacts a break/fix technician to request upgrades, maintenance, or resolve issues, and the technician bills the customer upon completion of the work. 

Fully managed IT services —Services coupled with a Network Operations Center to monitor systems proactively, resolve issues and perform work with a level of expertise and efficiency unparalleled to other solutions. 

Help desk—A service that provides information and technical support to end-users. Some MSPs white label their help desk services to create a smoother experience for clients. 

Information technology (IT)—An enterprise solution for storing, transmitting, creating, and using data through computing devices, networks, and telecommunications. 

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)—An MSP offering to SMBs. It includes virtualized hardware over a cloud computing environment such as server space, network connections, IP addresses, load balancers, and other computer infrastructure that allow clients to build their own platforms. 

Internet of Things (IoT)—The emergent network of tangible objects and products that contain software, sensors, and connectivity to the internet or private networks and can exchange information based on standards set forth by the International Telecommunication Union’s Global Standards Initiative. 

In-house IT managed services—The process where an organization hires its own IT service providers and pays their salary, benefits, and further training, as well as the infrastructure they oversee. This is typically a costly endeavor. Businesses that try to procure in-house IT managed services often lack the capabilities to fully service their system. In-house IT only also affects the ability of the business to grow and scale. 

IT channel—An industry-exclusive marketplace where VARs, MSPs, and OEMs provide platforms, products, and services to end-users by partnering with hardware and software vendors.  

Labor arbitrage—The phenomenon of decreasing end costs by utilizing the abundant labor forces, education, and training of untapped global workforces. 

Managed IT services—IT tasks and processes that are fulfilled by a third-party organization. 

Managed service provider (MSP)—An IT professional (or IT organization) that offers managed IT services for a variety of SMBs. Their core focus is supporting customer IT needs as opposed MSSPs (see below) that also include a cybersecurity focus. An MSP+ adds basic cybersecurity to their services, but the offerings aren’t as robust as MSSP offerings. 

Managed service and security provider (MSSP)—An IT professional (or IT organization) that offers managed IT services for a variety of SMBs. Their core focus is supporting customer IT needs with the important addition of cybersecurity services, including firewalls, endpoint protection, email filtering, and more. MSSPs provide 24/7 protection to combat security breaches and other cybersecurity issues. Click here to read more about the difference between MSP, MSP+, and MSSP.  

Mobile device management (MDM)—A security platform used to monitor, manage, and secure employees’ mobile devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) that are deployed across multiple mobile service providers and multiple mobile operating systems in an organization. 

Mobile device management (MDM)—A virtualized platform within a cloud environment that allows end-users to develop and manage internet applications that would otherwise require a complex infrastructure to launch apps. 

Remote monitoring and management (RMM)—A platform that uses a collection of services and tools to monitor, manage and deploy solutions to servers and endpoint devices utilizing agent software installed on endpoint systems. 

Service-level agreement (SLA)—A contract between a vendor and a client that specifies what the vendor will deliver in what timeframe and the criteria for measuring vendor success. 

Small- and medium-sized business (SMB)—On average, a business or organization that has 100 or fewer employees is considered small-sized; 100-999 employees is medium-sized. IT channel partners often seek SMB organizations as clients. 

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—Sometimes referred to as “software on demand,” SaaS is a licensing and distribution model that utilizes a subscription basis for access to software that is centrally hosted by its provider and accessed by end-users via a client. 

Value-added reseller (VAR)—An organization that adds services or features to a product then resells it as a new product or solution. 

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