What are managed IT support services for business?
As your business grows, your IT demands grow too. That might mean you need to hire an IT team, or grow your existing one. However, you might find it more effective and more convenient to partner with a Managed Service Provider (MSP), who can provide those IT support services and, importantly, can scale their services whenever your needs change.
Those IT support services might be outsourced in part or in whole and could include things like:
- System and server monitoring
- hardware and software installation and upgrades
- data backups
Why do I need IT support?
There are four overarching benefits to outsourcing IT support.
- It’s generally more cost-effective than maintaining an IT support team in-house.
- You don’t have to worry ‘How many IT support staff do I need?’, nor do you need to decide which skills you need to hire and which roles you need to fill — you’re outsourcing those concerns as well. That also makes scaling and growing far easier. If you prefer to have an in-house IT team, an MSP can very precisely fill any skills gaps that exist.
- Because an MSP is likely to have a greater range of IT experience than staff members in an internal department, you have access to that expertise by outsourcing your IT.
- A service level agreement (SLA) guarantees the level of IT performance that your business wants and needs.
What does an IT support specialist do?
In short, if it’s to do with your IT, the answer is ‘everything’, but here are the major areas.
Core IT support service tasks
Your MSP will set up your software or hardware for you, monitor your systems and devices, and fix them if they don’t work. A major advantage of a Managed Service Provider over an in-house team is that if necessary, the MSP can be retained to monitor and fix your IT twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, and every day of the year.
Using the cloud means that your software doesn’t sit on your hardware, but is instead accessed online through servers that don’t belong to the business. There are many reasons why your business might prefer cloud services, and it’s often to do with cost and flexibility. An MSP can migrate you onto the cloud and provide the necessary support when you’re on it. They can also help you integrate your cloud with existing on-premise solutions.
A more strategic infrastructure arrangement can have a positive impact on efficiency and productivity. Take the example of operating system virtualisation. This method of containerising applications means the services you use become portable between systems, or even between the cloud and physical premises. This creates ‘clusters’ in your operating system that are more flexible, provide better back-up if a physical server was to fail, and can reduce overheads.
Data Protection and Security
Wherever your systems, your servers, and your data sit, it’s very likely that someone will try and get to them. On average, there are 300 cyber attacks on a business every year, whether that’s ransomware, malware, phishing attacks, DDoS attacks, or any other type of threat. They can all mean lost working hours, lost cash, lost trust, and potentially the financial and reputational damage of GDPR fines.
An MSP can show you where your weaknesses are, and what types of attacks are most likely, and can help you protect yourself – including putting education and processes in place to reduce human error. The MSP will be able to back up your data and make it recoverable in case an attack does get through and means you can’t access it.
Businesses have always relied on communication. However, when so many teams around the world work remotely, and client meetings so often take place over video calls, connectivity takes a central role in commercial success. Your MSP should make an expert assessment of how best to reliably connect your organisation, and make sure work is smooth and effective wherever it happens.
How to find the right IT support services for you
If you think an MSP might be right for your business, or you simply want to find out more about what IT support might look like for your business, call 01268 288100 for an informal, no-obligation chat. Or download our latest guide to find out what IT Systems you might need to upgrade and what to invest in to help you grow your business.