Managed IT Services can mean many different things when you speak with different people. So it can be confusing. I say this because Managed IT Services is something that can be offered in different ways. By that I mean may include more services than others. Some companies claim to provide Managed IT Services, but in fact they are really following the Break/Fix model (break/fix model will be discussed in a future blog post). In today’s blog post I want to demystify this for you so you understand the differences and can help you select the right partner for your business.
What Exactly is it?
In a nutshell Managed IT Services is the act of bundling a list of core services with support at a fixed price over a fixed term. Now, that sentence has a lot in it so lets break this down. Their are three main components I want to highlight. First is the core services. This is the technology stack the partner offers and they pair this with their support. This way you get the technology you need along with the support to maintain it. Second key piece is the fixed support cost. This is the best part of Managed IT Services as this gives you predictive billing that you can budget against and, as long as you stay in the boundaries of your agreement, you know you are not going to get a surprise bill. Lastly is the term. The term is to to lock in the pricing you agreed to and to fulfill any agreements the Managed IT provider has with their technology vendors. Typical terms are from 12 to 36 months.
Business Model in Line with Your Business Needs & Interests
The largest benefit to Managed IT Services is its a cost effective business model that lines up with the needs of your business. How so? Unlike Break/Fix, Managed IT Service Providers don’t want your equipment to break. Its in their best interest to do everything they can to keep this from happening. Things like maintenance, technology improvements, security, industry best practices, can all be easily followed to ensure your company is better protected and running smoothly. To get direct to the point this keeps both your costs and their costs low which helps your overall bottom line. Its really a win/win.
Different Types of Managed IT Services
Their is no one way or best way to offer this service. Some will bundle certain level of end user support in their offering, some will only offer support for the technology you purchase from or through them. Think of it this way, when you hire a Managed IT Service Provider (or MSP) the key difference is the support they offer. Ultimately you are looking at hiring an IT department, a partner in your business. So make sure the provider you are working with support your business needs, and more importantly, have your business goals in mind.