There are so many different options for managed IT services nowadays that sometimes it can feel overwhelming trying to find out which ones are offering the right things. Oftentimes, providers offer different things, or else they use different wording for the same things. The bottom line is that a business looking for managed IT services needs to have a clear idea of what they need from it. We discussed this with a London-based provider, TechQuarters. Having providing managed services and business IT support London based clients have been relying on for years, TechQuarters had a lot to say about what should be included in a managed IT services contract.
What are Managed IT Services?
The best way for any given business to understand what they should be getting from a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) is by understanding precisely what managed IT services are – because there is sometimes confusion around that. According to TechQuarters, many people mix up managed IT services with remote IT support. While there are similarities, IT support is in fact just one small part of what an MSP does. Rather than simply being their to fix your IT when it breaks, an MSP will take full responsibility for your IT infrastructure. This means they will manage all of a business’ software and systems, and they will take more of an initiative with an organisation’s IT.
So, what are some of the specific components of good managed IT services?
Essential Components to Managed IT Services
1. Proactive IT Support
As we mentioned beforehand, there is a very clear difference between IT support and managed IT services. Not only is IT support just one component to managed IT services, but the approach that professional MSPs take with support can often be very different. As TechQuarters described it, an MSP specialises in proactive IT support. This means they are not waiting around for things to break. They will be actively monitoring and investigating their client’s systems to make sure they are running efficiently; and if they notice something is at risk of malfunctioning, they will do their best to fix the problem before it affects the client.
2. Managed Security
An MSP should always include managed security. This is because security is completely essential and non-negotiable for any business that uses digital services and systems, and is connected to the internet in any way. The number of cyberattacks happening to businesses is constantly growing, and the risk gets ever higher. Therefore, many businesses will benefit greatly from partnering with a professional MSP, because their experience and resources will be far more extensive. They will usually make sure their client’s security is up to scratch, as well as making a plan to improve it over time.
3. Backup & Disaster Recovery
Tying in with managed security is backup services and disaster recovery planning. These two things are also crucial for any business that relies on digital systems and data. Backup service simply means that MSP will ensure that the company’s data is replicated and stored securely off site – so that it something happens on site that affects their data, it can easily be restored. Disaster recovery is the plan for those scenarios, detailing how long it will take them to respond to a disaster, and how quickly they will be able to restore the client’s functionality.
4. Software Procurement
Software is a huge part of modern business nowadays. Many MSPs these days are partnered with software vendors and other tech companies so that they can offer their clients the best-in-class solutions as well as personalised IT management and support. For instance, TechQuarters are partnered with Microsoft, and have been providing Microsoft and Office 365 consultancy for over a decade. One of the advantages of procuring software from an MSP is that they will usually be able to onboard you at preferential rates, because of their partnerships.