Offloading some or all of the computing resources work at a business to a managed IT service provider can be an immense relief. It's wise to know the broad strokes of what an IT service provider can do for you, though, before you commit to hiring one. Here are five basic things all customers should know about managed IT services.
A lot of IT questions don't require a technician hovering over your shoulder to see what's wrong. By installing appropriate remote assistance software, a technician can see what's wrong with a system and make sense of it.
Notably, many models of IT services now require remote assistance. If you have a cloud-based SaaS solution sitting on a system half a continent away, it makes a major difference to have a professional who's comfortable with the interface dealing with your concerns.
Unsurprisingly, some problems do require a more hands-on approach. This may be as basic as installing the remote software that will allow them to connect with your systems. In some cases, it may entail regular in-person technical assistance.
Always ask an IT service provider whether they offer on-site support before committing to an agreement.
Reduced Labor Costs
Keeping professionals on your team who constantly do IT work may not be the most cost-effective solution. Even if you do have permanent IT staff members, they may need some extra support during software rollouts, updates, hardware upgrades, network changes, and similar tasks. You can then revert your regular IT staff while maintaining a reserve of IT assistance for surge events.
Keeping Up with the Updates
Every managed IT service provider has a nightmare story about a customer who only sought out professional help after things got ugly. Oftentimes, this occurs during the update or end-of-life processes. By the time the customer realizes how messed up things are, the issue has existed for years.
Fortunately, an IT service provider can keep all of your system's updates in order. They about updates and they also have to perform similar work for other customers. Consequently, you can depend on them to know when big or emergency updates are coming down the pipeline. That means you also can relax, knowing they'll understand what to do.
Sometimes, you just need someone to point you in the right direction. An office that's adding a graphics person, for example, can turn to their managed IT service provider for advice about what hardware and software to use.