What is a Managed IT Service Provider?

A simple guide to understand the fundamentals of Managed IT and its benefits for a business.

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Unless you have had experience of a Managed IT Service, you may find the term a bit of a mystery. However, one of the advantages from a customer point of view is that you only need to understand the benefits for your business, because as a Managed IT Service provider we cover all the technical requirements for you! To help you better understand Managed IT, here is a beginner’s guide to what is on offer and how it can benefit you and your team.

What is a Managed IT Service?

Put simply, a Managed IT Service is the process of outsourcing all or part of your IT and the operational management of it, to a trusted and reliable partner called a Managed Service Provider.
According to YouGov, 39% of UK businesses already use a Managed IT Service Provider for their systems. Managed IT Services have grown in popularity in recent years as the complexity, risks and greater dependency on IT and data become a real strain on in-house IT teams and traditional IT services models. These needs of course have increased still further with the popularity of hybrid/home working. 

A Managed IT Service typically includes a package of services and service levels to manage all or part of the management lifecycle of an organisation’s IT – from provisioning and installing hardware, software, and cloud services, through to support, preventative or reactive maintenance and monitoring, to ensure everything is working as it should.
Managed IT Service providers are more commonly referred to as MSPs and are the evolution from traditional ‘break-fix’ IT Support, which simply fixes problems when they occur. A Managed IT Service is delivered by an MSP and effectively allows organisations to outsource their IT infrastructure and the management of it to the IT professionals at the MSP. This may work alongside an in-house IT department, but often the MSP team will effectively become your IT support department.

By signing up to a Managed IT Service you can typically expect the following services:
  • Remote and in person support
  • Anti-virus, Patch Management, and web filtering
  • Remote monitoring and management of your servers, workstations, laptops, and network devices
  • Professional advice and guidance
  • Help desk support
  • Continual service improvement
  • Additional layers such as enhanced security services, a virtual Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to oversee your IT strategy, and enhanced backup and disaster recovery services.
What is the break-fix model?

The break-fix model is essentially a pay-as-you-go service where you pay your IT provider to fix something as the problem occurs. This might be charged on an hourly basis or per job, instead of through a subscription like the one you would pay to an MSP.

Unfortunately, what you don’t get with break-fix is the ongoing preventative and responsive maintenance, nor the support services and consultation an MSP provides – all essential components underpinning Managed IT Services.
You may also find yourself purchasing part of a service to deal with a particular problem such as Managed Anti-virus or Patch Management.

In recent years, the break-fix model has all but been replaced by the Managed IT Service model because of today’s essential requirement for always on, proactive and reactive management of an organisation’s IT. Anything less than always on is a serious risk to an organisation and its operations.
Why Choose a Managed IT Service Provider?

A Managed IT Service offers so much more value for money compared to the break-fix approach. Here are some of the key benefits:
  • Access specific specialisms or expertise - You will have access to specialist IT knowledge and expertise which is invaluable for small businesses and understaffed IT departments that will struggle with gaps and risks.
  • Predictable costs - Most of a Managed IT Service is wrapped up in a simple monthly fee, unlike break-fix where the true cost is only really known once the final bill is received.
  • Maintenance and upgrades - MSPs work mainly on preventative maintenance through continuous monitoring of all the devices they are responsible for. This is so they can stop issues happening before they become a problem. Updates to systems are also carried out automatically without you having to worry.
  • Scalability - A Managed IT Service and provider can be flexible and handle the peaks or troughs in demand that an in-house team would struggle to cater for. A break-fix provider is not interested in the overall smooth running and management of an IT operation, whereas a Managed IT Service Provider is incentivised and bound by SLAs to deliver this.
  • Peace of Mind & Focus - A Managed IT Service Provider is set up to monitor and manage your IT and can focus on your business priorities; confident that your operations or business are not being exposed to unacceptable levels of IT or data risk.
As an expert Managed IT Service provider, the Konica Minolta team is here to ensure your IT is there to support your business and enables you to thrive.
To explore how we can help your business, why not contact us today for a free no-obligation assessment here.
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