Today, it’s more important than ever for a business to have effective IT support. From employee productivity to data security, most businesses use rapidly evolving technology. Some companies are most comfortable with traditional in-house IT support, while others choose outsourced tech support. Another option is managed IT services, with its round-the-clock dedicated teams of technical experts combined with business focused skill sets that can reach beyond the traditional IT support role.
Several factors can help you decide which option is best for your business:
- Support availability
- Skill sets
- Security measures
Traditional IT support and managed services both have advantages and drawbacks. The size, culture, and technological complexity of a business help determine the most suitable type of tech support.
In-House and Outsourced IT Support
Traditional IT support can consist of in-house or outsourced teams. In-house support usually consists of a team of full-time employees. This type of support is best suited for small businesses or large, nontechnical businesses that do not need a high level of tech support or a wide spread of skill sets.
Outsourced IT support involves either purchasing a certain number of service hours or paying a flat subscription fee for a set selection of services which can sometimes grow into an expensive staff augmentation scenario. You may end up paying for services that you will never use. An outside company provides the technical support within a predefined set of measurable service level targets.
As with Outsourced IT Support, Managed Services are tech support services provided by a third-party partner. A team of dedicated experts provides constant support and monitoring for a business client’s applications. Coverage ranges from regular business hours to 24x7x365, and additional services can be added to suit a company’s needs.
Recurring services can be tailored to the specific needs of a client such as monitoring, patching, and performance troubleshooting necessary for your business’s particular applications. Additional services across strategy, governance and change management can add significant value to working with Managed Services Providers (MSPs).
A major difference between traditional IT support and managed services is cost. Besides salaries and benefits, a company that relies on in-house tech support must pay for recruitment, training, and office space for its support staff. Outsourced traditional tech support often involves a subscription fee that covers services that the business may not use.
Managed services on the other hand, provide support without employee-related expenses. A business can usually purchase a selection of the tech services that it needs. A team of highly qualified experts is always available without the added expense of training and updating employee skill sets. When you rely on managed services, you can set your tech support budget without added costs of recruitment, hiring, and training.
By embracing a more proactive strategy toward managing IT needs, many clients are able to make long term savings via Managed Services providers and avoid some of the pitfalls often seen where visibility into new or emerging technologies is lacking. A good MSP should work with clients to enhance and optimize service costs, providing regular review of usage with recommendations against a known business roadmap.
In-house tech support is readily available during business hours, with a team of experts just down the hall. The support team will understand the company’s culture and infrastructure, and will have developed relationships with key employees.
But what happens after the tech team clocks off for the day? For example, an application may need a software patch or disaster recovery on a weekend or during a specialist’s vacation.
Managed services help prevent downtime and inconvenience. Tech support is available when you need it, whether it’s during business hours or 24/7. A managed services team is always on call and can address high priority issues immediately. Even better, managed services provide proactive monitoring and alerting that can prevent a small issue from turning into a potentially costly business disruption.
If your company does not rely on complex, rapidly changing technology, traditional tech support may be the best option. Your in-house or outsourced support team should be able to keep pace as your technology needs evolve. However, a company that uses rapidly changing technology, such as cloud computing, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), or machine learning (ML), will likely have to hire more staff and invest in upgraded skill sets.
A managed services company provides experts who already have the skill set to support an evolving company. Utilizing a spread of incremental skill sets within a managed service enables a business to take advantage in latest technologies without the expense of hiring an FTE for each distinct role. Instead of recruiting new staff and updating skill sets, you can focus time and energy on other projects. Managed services can anticipate future technological needs and provide highly skilled support for your applications.
Security is always a major concern for a business that relies on technology whether it is on-premises or in the cloud. According to the IBM 2020 Intelligence Index, 8.5 million data breaches occurred in 2019. The Verizon 2020 Data Breach Investigation report says that 70% of breaches were caused by outsiders and 45% of the breaches featured hacking. Additionally, over 80% of breaches that involved hacking comprised some form of brute force or use of lost or stolen user credentials, more commonly appearing in phishing style attacks which can be specifically crafted and directed at an individual organization.
Working with a reputable managed IT services provider can help lower your chances of experiencing a breach or cyber-attack. The support team members will have the necessary skill set to evaluate your organizations’ cybersecurity risk and proactively monitor and detect threats and will be able to quickly resolve cybersecurity threats.
The stakes are high when it comes to choosing the right type of IT support. If your company does not have complex IT environments and is stable, traditional IT support would probably be a good fit. However, if your business is using modern technology such as cloud, analytics, machine learning etc. a managed IT service provider would be a better fit to help minimize risks, proactively monitor your IT environment and deliver strategic guidance to enable innovation and make the most out of your technology.
If you’re interested in looking into managed IT services, contact Softlanding now.