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7 Advantages of Managed IT Services

Many small to mid-sized organizations are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to help alleviate some of the strain on their internal IT resources, or take over the management of their network all together.

There are quite a few benefits to partnering with an MSP, from improved reliability to a better understanding of assets, which are all valuable in their own right. These are a few that top the list for most organizations considering some form of Managed IT Services. . .

So, first of all, what is 'Managed IT'?

A quick Wikipedia search turns up the definition: “Managed services is the practice of outsourcing day-to-day IT management responsibilities as a strategic method for improving operations.”

A managed services provider (MSP) is defined as “. . .typically an information technology (IT) services provider, who manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to their clients either proactively or as they determine that the services are needed.”

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What IT Can You Outsource?
Used with permission from HTS

Outsourcing your IT (often called managed IT services) has many benefits for small- to medium-sized businesses. Businesses without large IT staffs or the necessary tech skills or infrastructure often choose managed services to take the place of or supplement their own IT professionals. This allows for

  • Flexibility when growing or moving: A managed services provider can give you temporary resources when upgrading your infrastructure, for example

  • Specialized resources when necessary:For a flat recurring fee, you get access to the managed service provider’s entire staff and their specialists, whereas for that same cost you could hire only a single part-time person with a single skillset

  • Cost savings: By outsourcing your IT, you can realize significant savings, as IT providers can arrange services and hardware at a lower cost

There are many benefits to outsourcing your IT, but what exactly can managed IT services cover for you? What can you outsource? If you think managed IT services is just about getting IT phone support during afterhours or having someone else create new email accounts for you, then think again!

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Gmail or Exchange?
Used with permission from HP Technology at Work

When it comes to business email, change is in the air.

Web-based platforms have all but taken over the personal email market—Gmail alone has over 425 million active users worldwide and counting [1]. With Microsoft® also ending extended product support for Exchange Server 2003, now could easily seem like the perfect time to switch your office desktop email client and server to an online solution.

But most small businesses should think twice.

Solutions that are perfect for home use are often underpowered when it comes to getting office tasks done, and email is no exception. Here are the top ways desktop email clients and servers are still beating their browser-based challengers, and why they should still be your top choice for business email.

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Setting Your Long-Term Technology Strategy
Used with permission from HTS

Most people have likely heard of "buyer's remorse". It's the regret one feels after purchasing an item due to a variety of factors and is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item. The buyer might feel remorse due to guilt from extravagance, that they were over-influenced by the seller, or just made a bad choice. It is a feeling that most everyone can relate to. Whether it is the purchase of a home, car, or even lunch at a restaurant, we all want to ensure that we made a wise decision that will prove to be a good investment in the future.

While consumers often deal with buyer's remorse, an overlooked part of any purchase is the long-term effects that a purchase has on the buyer. Many purchases require ongoing maintenance costs, updates, and costs for additional services as part of the purchase. For organizations, many purchases are made on a whim to satisfy an arising business need, financed by a one-time cash influx, or bought with the intention that it will never need to be replaced. This mindset can lead to something worse than buyer's remorse and is a symptom of not having a long-term technology strategy.

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