In the days before the cloud, IT managed services (AKA outsourced IT) was a luxury available only to enterprise organizations, and it looked a lot different than it does now. The model then was to bring in a team to augment your own staff and respond to issues on the spot. Something broke, they fixed it.
Remote access made outsourced IT a lot more accessible, and providers began monitoring and solutioning offsite, providing issue response and other helpdesk services for a monthly fee. They’d keep your system up and running, and answer your call within 30 seconds when it wasn’t. To be frank, they also built in upcharges and hid fees in contracts, and they worked in multiyear contracts that didn’t exactly encourage best efforts.
Technology has kept growing at an exponential rate, and IT managed services has grown alongside it—for a certain percentage of providers, anyway. You can definitely still find a lot of production-oriented service providers who promise certain response and resolution times, and nothing more. Providers who keep ahead of the curve now focus on outcomes; they offer a technology approach that supports your business.
Serving Strategy With Technology
The old model would make sure your financial system keeps running. That’s important but not the whole story: A smart IT managed services provider today will help you delve into how you process invoices and whether that system is efficient and effective for how you work.
Security and reliability are the baseline. Any IT managed services provider needs to be able to meet those needs. So much more is possible, however. Technology exists to serve people, and a provider who leads with that understanding will work to weave in how your people work and where your business is going to ensure that your technology does all it can.
Managing Complexity With Humility
As the IT landscape has grown in complexity, so have managed services. Anyone who tells you they can do it all either isn’t doing enough or isn’t doing everything well.
Nobody can be the best at everything, which is why top-tier IT managed services providers also are adept at pulling in the right expertise for each element of your system. They draw on vendor relationships to address every aspect of your technology, and they oversee that service.
You still have one point of contact, working to provide seamless service across multiple vendors.
Putting It All Together
The good news for small to medium-sized businesses is that they can get a lot more expertise for less than it’d cost to build an in-house IT team. But it’s a lot to sort through, and the field of providers is only getting more crowded, which means a greater chance of ending up with an IT partner who doesn’t deliver what you’d hoped.
The rewards of selecting a partner who aligns with your business are too good to miss. You can make sure you find that partner by checking out our ebook: Finding Your Way Through IT Managed Services. It’s quick and practical and helps you weed through your options to find the one who’ll help your organization thrive.