Saving Time and Money: The Benefits of Managed IT Services

by | Jan 18, 2024

Technology is at the core of most businesses, making it vital to pick the right approach to IT management. Managed IT Services offer a compelling alternative to the traditional in-house IT model. On average, businesses using managed IT services saved 23% on IT costs. As tech expenses continue to grow, that represents a significant savings. Additionally, around 78% of organizations reported increased efficiency after switching to managed IT. That’s made it not only cost-effective, but a time-saver across a wide range of industries.

What Are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT services is the outsourcing of information technology (IT) tasks to a specialized third-party provider. They’re known as a Managed Services Provider (MSP). Outsourced IT tasks can include everything from basic digital office tools and Wi-Fi network management to advanced software solutions and security systems. Managed services are often provided on a subscription basis and may offer multiple tiers, allowing for predictable IT management costs.

The Challenges of Using In-House IT

Managing an in-house IT department can involve considerable resources. Hiring, training, and retaining skilled IT professionals can be both costly and time-consuming, making it a bigger investment than many businesses realize. The average salary of an IT professional is $67,123, and that doesn’t include others costs like onboarding, training, 401K, incentives, and other benefits. Additionally, technology trends are constantly changing, making it hard to stay up to date with the latest hardware, software, and cybersecurity needs. Falling behind can mean losing customers to market competitors or being at risk to data breaches.

For small business especially, it can be hard to find the right balance. Diverting too many resources to maintaining technology can leave businesses less profitable. On the flip side, cutting corners with costs can seem appealing short-term, but can backfire in a multitude of different ways. Increased risks can include lack of disaster response, inefficient technology, and poor cybersecurity. The cost of downtime alone can be incredibly difficult for an unprepared business to recover from.

Managed IT Services Can Handle the Unexpected

When everything is running well, and IT issues rarely happen, it’s easy to grow content. That mindset can leave in-house IT technicians underprepared when a major event arises. That’s where managed IT services come in. Since MSPs have access to larger teams and more resources, they’re prepared to handle not only day-to-day activities but also anything unexpected.

Events can range from simple disruptions to a system failure that requires emergency movement of critical data. Not only are some tasks time-sensitive, but going too slow can cause irreversible damage or long-term setbacks. A key part of what makes managed IT services effective against these incidents is incident response plans. They help dictate the best way to handle any situation, no matter the size, ensuring a stable and reliable IT environment.

MSPs Are Well Equipped for Scalability

The scalability of managed IT services is a standout benefit, especially with the challenges of in-house management. Overall needs and growth can be variable month-to-month, which can make it more difficult for businesses to adjust on the fly. MSPs provide easy access to a greater pool of technical staff and resources. Whether there’s a major data breach or an influx of new staff, an outsourced team can meet changing needs.

In contrast, trying to manage those changes can be very expensive in-house. It can mean hiring new staff on short notice, where they must provide immediate support with little to no onboarding or training. That can be expensive, inefficient, and lead to more mistakes, which can cause even more challenges in the future. While there’s a time and place where in-house IT staff can be a good choice, the lack of scalability makes it more costly and less effective than outsourcing.

IT Compliance Is a Growing Concern

A growing area of focus is IT compliance. With cybersecurity threats increasing, new regulations are being developed to help reduce risks for businesses and customers alike. Yet, many in-house teams are not well equipped for data security and threat detection. That means even if everything is running well as-is, if a hacker targets a business, they may be far more vulnerable than they realize.

MSPs are instrumental in navigating cybersecurity and compliance. They can ensure industry-specific laws, such as PCI for payment processing or HIPAA for healthcare. Not following regulations puts the business at risk and can cause severe legal fallout. By using managed IT services, companies can ensure they are consistently meeting compliance demands, allowing them to focus more time back on their business.

Understanding the Pricing of Managed IT Services

Pricing structures for MSPs can vary across different markets and industries. They’re tailored to suit different service offerings, the unique needs of each organization, and the scope of services required. Their flexibility and more consistent costs is what makes them an appealing option compared to relying on in-house IT.

Fixed-Fee Pricing

This model involves a consistent monthly or yearly charge from IT companies, regardless of the number of users, devices, data used, or hours worked. Despite typically having a higher base rate, this plan offers predictability, making it suitable for growing businesses. The cost remains constant throughout the contract term, facilitating easier budgeting.

Tiered Pricing

Tiered pricing is similar to fixed-fee models but differs in its structure of bundling services into distinct levels. This arrangement allows businesses to choose a service package that best suits their budget and needs. Since services are bundled together, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to get a comprehensive set of offerings at a great value.

Per-Device Pricing

In this model, a monthly fee is applied to each device covered under the contract. Expanding coverage to additional devices or including more services incrementally increases the overall cost. This approach is generally most cost-effective for organizations with a limited number of devices utilized by many employees.

Per-User Pricing

Instead of focusing on devices, the per-user model calculates monthly costs based on each user. This can be more cost-efficient for organizations where employees use multiple devices, as it simplifies the pricing to a per-person basis.

Usage-Based Pricing

Designed for businesses with variable data or traffic needs, usage-based pricing ensures that companies pay only for the services they use. While offering operational flexibility, this model’s main challenge is in predicting monthly costs due to fluctuating usage levels. MSPs often provide consultations to help estimate a likely budget range based on expected consumption.

Custom Plans

Recognizing the unique needs of different businesses, some MSPs offer customizable plans. These require detailed communication to ensure that they are cost-effective, meet all IT security needs, and do not include charges for services that are not required. Custom plans may not always be openly listed as an option, but if the available one aren’t a good fit, there is no harm in asking.

Co-managed IT: A Middle Ground Option

Co-managed IT presents a middle ground option for businesses wanting to maintain some of their in-house IT staff but can’t handle everything without third-party help. This approach combines the appeal of an internal IT team with the expertise and expanded resources of a third-party MSP. It’s especially beneficial for organizations anticipating growth, have unpredictable day-to-day demands, or just needs to augment their own capabilities.

For example, an outsourced MSP team could give core help desk support on common issues that can be solved remotely. Bigger problems or those that require in-person support can be escalated to the in-house support team. If there’s a large influx of difficult problems, the MSP can also provide higher level technicians for more advanced support until requests slow down again.

Managed IT Services Are an Affordable and Effective Approach

As we’ve explored in managed IT services can be a great and flexible approach for many types of businesses. Even those opting to maintain a few in-house IT staff can be a lot more dynamic by taking a co-managed approach. Regardless of approach, the wide range of service plans, the cost-effectiveness, and the scalability makes it a strong option for any business. With the cybersecurity market expected to reach $346.4 billion by 2026, IT isn’t just about fixing day-to-day issues anymore. It’s an essential part of keeping business protected from major losses and legal liabilities.

Is your business in need of managed or co-managed IT services? Use our contact form to get in touch with us for a consultation or call us at: +1 (800) 297-8293

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