When I talk to clients about Managed IT for their company, a few of the same questions come up. They're great questions, and they give me the opportunity to explain the value that Managed IT can bring to an organization. But if I'm getting these same questions time and again, it's a good indicator there are more people out there who are wondering the same thing.
Now, I'll be the first to tell you that a lot of Managed IT is specific and customized based on the individual company, but just about everybody is curious about the basics. Here are my answers to five of the most frequently asked questions I hear.
1. What is Managed IT Services?
Managed IT Services is essentially outsourcing your computers, network and help desk support to a vendor. When you choose a Managed IT partner, that partner will install agents on all your PCs and servers. These agents monitor the system and send reports whenever anything on the machines or the network looks like it’s in trouble—or is exceeding the thresholds we have set up.
For example, if the hard drive on your PC is getting close to being full, the agent will tell us, and our support staff will figure out a strategy for keeping it from crashing.
These agents report back on everything concerning the health of your IT functions. It’s like monitoring the heartbeat of your organization, which allows the Managed IT partner to be proactive.
Here, proactivity can look like doing a hot swap of a hard drive before it goes down, or making sure a backup is done on time. If anything on the network triggers one of the limits, it automatically generates a ticket and sends it to our support staff.
Once support staff receives the ticket, they get to work. That often looks like remoting into the machine to troubleshoot and if possible, repair it from a distance.
Help desk and support can help strengthen your organization. First, they are always available; if you have a smaller organization with only a couple of IT professionals, waiting awhile to get your problem fixed might be the norm. Not with Marco. We are also trained in a wide variety of technologies, so we have seen—and fixed—common problems many times.
2. How much does Managed IT cost?
Managed IT pricing is based on how many users are being helped, which makes pricing simplified. Plus, we can customize treatment of different user types. For example, at a hospital, some nurses only use the computers for a short time, while an administrator is on a computer all day—a power user. Those two groups typically require different levels of support, and therefore are priced differently.
3. What happens when you need IT Support?
Managed IT support calls fall into three categories based on their importance, the number of people the issue affects, and other factors:
- Priority One: When your network goes down or an application isn’t accessible to a whole group of people that prevents them from doing their job, we drop everything and help immediately because it's a top priority.
- Priority Two: If an application is not working for just one person, this is a medium priority call.
- Priority Three: If someone needs security rights added to a folder, and it’s not time sensitive, these are low priority calls.
4. What happens to internal IT teams?
In many cases, by handing over day-to-day IT services to a provider, your IT team will be freed up to pursue the kinds of projects that move your business forward, making your organization more efficient and able to better serve your customers. We take all the tedious and boring work off their plates—installing service packs, security updates and patches, and making sure backups are done at the appropriate time—so they have more time to address other IT initiatives.
5. Are we too small for Managed IT?
We find that organizations with 15-75 employees often weigh the cost of partnering with a Managed IT provider versus the cost of hiring and paying a full-time IT employee. While some organizations require an on-staff IT expert, they can gain a team of experts by using a Managed IT provider. While we have a team resolving issues and helping your users quickly, an organization's one-person IT department can only tackle one problem at a time.
To make sure our Managed IT is serving your needs best, Marco reassesses your organization about once a month. We will often begin the transition by having our own people on-site at your company for the first few months. And as the service continues, we hold a client business review every six months to review how things are going and assess your goals. Our priority is to always have a good reading on the pulse of your company, so we can respond, be proactive and manage your IT optimally.