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Hiring Managed IT Services (A Practical Guide)

How To Hire A Managed IT Services Company

Ready to invest in managed IT services? Then you probably want to know how it works.

The basics idea you need to understand is that nearly every managed service offering will be based on a monthly subscription plan. The cost will depend on what’s included in the plan. What’s included in the plan is (or, at least, should be) based on what you need.

Since each managed IT services company is unique, it’s important that you make sure you’re paying for managed services that actually deliver what you need.

Hiring A Managed IT Services Company

What You Should Know Before Hiring

There are a few myths out there about what managed IT services mean to businesses that invest in them. Let’s set the record straight:

You Don’t Have To Fire Your Internal IT Team

Instead, you can augment your internal team with additional support from an external IT company. After all, managing IT can be a daily struggle. Your IT manager or internal IT staff will tend to spend most of their time just "putting out fires" one after another.

As important as that is, the constant stream of requests, troubleshooting, and maintenance tasks can keep your IT personnel from tackling the larger goals you have for your business technology, including:

  • Developing comprehensive IT security measures and practices to keep you safe
  • Major projects, such as migrations, upgrades, and relocations
  • Replacing servers and other fundamental hardware

You Won’t Lose Control Over Your IT

This is entirely up to you. While some businesses would prefer to offload IT and never think about it again, others still want or need to maintain agency in the IT sector of their organization. Both are fine, and both are possible. It’s just a matter of finding the right managed IT services company and making sure you're on the same page as you about how the management of your IT will work.

You Won’t Necessarily Have To Pay More Than You Did For Internal IT

Based on data from PayScale.com, we know that an IT technician will cost you somewhere between $45,000 - $71,000 per year. The range is dependent on how experienced the technician is, what types of certifications they have, etc.

An average small business should expect to pay somewhere from $100 - $115 per device per month for a managed IT services contract. Again, that cost can vary – but it can still come in much lower than the $65,000 per year you would spend on a single employee.

Can You Customize Your Service Contract?

Yes, managed services fall under contracted IT services. The Master Services Agreement (MSA) and a Service Level Agreement (SLA), spells out in great detail, the definitive contract durations and managed services terms. These two documents define the relationship between the business requirements of the customer and the services that get delivered by the provider.

The Master Services Agreement provides the complete scope of services the stated business is contracting from the service provider. The document spells out the service methods and processes, data privacy requirements, and financial penalties for failing to meet the terms of the service contract.

The Service Level Agreement covers any performance guarantees the service provider is making related to the contracted services. These performance guarantees may include infrastructure uptime and availability, service incident response time, and data recovery time objectives. Typically, companies will set allowable thresholds for the performance guarantees and require the service provider to pay financial penalties if limits get breached.

The contracted subscription terms can vary. The provider may bill using either a flat-monthly or pay-per-use billing model – depending on the nature of the service. The subscription price typically is determined by one or more of the following variables:

  • Number of users and devices
  • Number and Type of managed services
  • Types of functions and features that get delivered

Will You Actually Get A Better ROI On Managed IT Services?

Yes - with managed IT services, you can shift your spending strategy, freeing up resources, and potentially cutting costs.

Your ROI will be based on the following:

Reduction OF Downtime And Delays: Often, day-to-day computer issues do not get immediately noticed. Managed IT providers run monitoring and reporting tools that identify the unknown items. They will report their findings when a potential problem gets discovered. That way, the problem gets fixed before it causes frustration and downtime for your employees.

Problems Are Fixed Remotely (And Quickly): Workstation issues can usually get solved remotely, eliminating the expense of a technician doing an on-site visit and assessment. This is a fast, easy way to resolve common computing issues so your employees can get back to work.

Elimination Of Hourly Fees: Undetected IT issues become expensive hourly service calls. This happens when a system isn't monitored correctly. When the server and network outages keep happening, this is a sign there may be deeper problems that could be expensive to repair.

Confirmed AndPredictable Costs: When mission-critical technology fails, this can cost your company in several ways. First of all, your workflow is disrupted. Your employees can’t work. During any downtime, employees still get paid (often overtime), which includes paying the in-house technical support personnel, possibly paying outside consultants, and a potential loss of business.

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