What is Managed IT?

Managed IT system administrator in glasses working on laptop and correcting errors in server hardware

As technology becomes central to everything we do, more and more organizations are turning to managed IT. Those that haven’t yet made the switch to an outsourced IT provider are often unsure about what the service covers or the benefits it offers. After all, we already manage our IT services, don’t we? Of course you do, since every business and nonprofit faces complex technology demands in the digital age – and that’s precisely why managed IT is such a popular choice.

Meeting technology needs often creates a significant drain on smaller organizations’ resources that can threaten productivity or profitability. Managed IT takes the convoluted web of technology demands off your daily to-do list by turning the whole kit and caboodle over to a provider specializing in information technology. While services vary and contracts are often customizable, the best managed IT providers offer comprehensive support that helps clients meet a long list of technology-related needs, including:

  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Data security
  • Data storage
  • Data backup and recovery
  • Cyber-risk management
  • Communications technology
  • Networking and connectivity
  • System selection and integration
  • Updates, upgrades and expansions
  • Troubleshooting and problem-solving

This wide-ranging service offers a host of valuable benefits to small and mid-sized organizations that lack the deep pockets and expansive staffing abilities of the larger entities with which they compete.

Lower costs

Managed IT allows predictable budgeting and reduces the overall cost of IT by leveraging the provider’s economies of scale and specialized expertise. Maintaining a qualified in-house IT staff often represents a prohibitive expense; managed services let even small organizations meet their full range of IT demands on an as-needed basis with qualified experts trained and certified by a company that focuses on IT, so you don’t have to.

Scalability

As organizations grow and technology advances, IT needs and appropriate solutions change. Managed IT provides solutions scaled to individualized needs and can accommodate changes rapidly, often at a far lower cost than the organization would incur by purchasing a whole new system independently. Managed IT providers also work with clients to anticipate future needs, meaning costs can be scheduled and transitional downtime is minimal or non-existent.

Efficiency

Outsourcing IT allows organizations to maintain a singular focus on core work, which can make a critical difference when staff is limited. Your staff may be capable of securely backing up data and resolving connectivity issues, but is that the best use of their time? And through proactive problem detection and ongoing maintenance, managed IT ensures access to key data when you need it, keeping networks and equipment up and running so the organization can be too.

Vendor Management

Selecting appropriate vendors and interfacing with them takes time and specialized knowledge. Managed IT providers research appropriate tools and vendors to meet client needs and provide training on new systems and equipment. They also handle interactions with hardware and software vendors for everything from helping select systems and placing initial orders to reporting problems and escalating tickets to the proper level, ensuring that issues are resolved quickly and effectively.  

Risk Reduction

Defending against cyber-risks is a full-time job in today’s threat-intensive environment. Managed IT helps your organization protect sensitive data, meet compliance goals and prevent malware by identifying and correcting potential vulnerabilities. Firewalls, anti-virus and other software tools work together with advanced security protocols and constant monitoring to detect and prevent incidents that could threaten the organization. If hackers do get through, your provider can help you limit exposure, resolve the problem and quickly restore any data or systems affected by the breach.

Competitive Edge

Managed IT services give small and mid-sized organizations access to the advanced technology and cloud solutions that large organizations use. By taking advantage of the latest tools and professional insights through managed IT, smaller organizations are in a better position to compete with larger companies that can maintain a full in-house IT staff.

There’s no question that today’s technology offers businesses and nonprofits an amazing array of benefits. But choosing, using and maintaining that technology to its full potential can be a significant burden, especially for small and mid-sized organizations. If you’re ready to learn more about how managed IT services can help your organization achieve better results at a lower cost, reach out to the managed IT experts at HBP.

Written by Donovan Brock, Director of Managed IT Services