Technology can help streamline processes, build customer relationships, and gain data-driven insights. Despite these and other key advantages, technology can present several challenges. First, it can be difficult for small or underfunded organizations to find and retain qualified staff due to lower pay and demanding workloads. Second, procuring and managing IT resources in-house can be expensive. Although these challenges can be formidable, especially to small businesses, forgoing the implementation of technology in the digital age is more than unrealistic. The inability or refusal to stay on top of the latest technology solutions can often mean that an organization will not be able to sustain itself long-term.
To keep up with the demand for technical solutions and infrastructure, managed IT solutions has emerged as a practice dominated by vendors that specialize in technology. Some business owners ask “why use managed IT services” if there is the option of performing these functions in-house. While there are multiple answers to the question “why choose managed IT services,” the top reasons have to do with:
1. Optimizing an organization’s cost efficiency
2. Reducing its risk
3. Managing environmental and market changes
4. Ensuring the organization is in compliance with security measures and legal-related requirements
5. Remaining competitive in the marketplace
Cost Efficiency of Managed IT Services
One of the key advantages of using managed IT services is the ability to save money. According to an article published by BizTech, managed services can reduce IT costs by as much as 40 percent. Organizations can save by either scaling back on IT staff members or eliminating the roles. When asking the question “why choose managed IT services,” leadership should first assess whether there is a need to maintain an in-house IT staff. Managed services providers can provide more accurate predictions on what a firm will spend on its IT costs. Providers can also help better integrate new or improved technical solutions with existing infrastructure and resources, while also leveraging cloud solutions. While cloud solutions may not be appropriate in every scenario, they can help save costs on maintaining and housing equipment. User experiences can become more dynamic and convenient when businesses implement cloud solutions.
Managed IT services can help an organization mitigate risks related to system outages. Although some degree of downtime is expected, preventing the loss of data is extremely important. When leaders think of answers to the question of “why use managed IT services,” disaster recovery planning is critical. Designing and implementing disaster recovery plans can become overwhelming for organizations that do not have the resources, experience, or expertise. Yet, disaster recovery planning is essential for addressing and recovering from data breaches, widespread system failures, and natural disasters that damage infrastructure.
Environmental and Market Changes
Handing over IT operations to a managed services provider can seem risky at first, especially if the organization is worried about outside access to sensitive information. However, when considering the question of “why choose managed IT services,” leaders should consider the fact that managed IT services vendors can adequately respond to environmental changes. If the IT needs of the organization change due to fluctuations in demand and market trends, vendors can respond more efficiently. Providing accurate estimates of what a firm needs to meet the needs of its customers and users is a crucial benefit of choosing managed IT services. An outside perspective can also help eliminate internal biases and save organizations from under or overestimating IT-related needs.
Various legal requirements, such as those spelled out in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, can be difficult to understand. Modifications to existing laws and the introduction of new regulations that impact consumer and data privacy can become overwhelming. Managed IT services providers can help keep organizations in compliance with legal requirements and shift this responsibility away from the organization’s staff.
The main advantage is that internal staff can focus on other responsibilities related to their roles and expertise. Managed IT services providers can also ensure the firm’s systems and processes are up to date with the latest security measures. This helps prevent data theft, unwanted intrusions, malware, and cybersecurity-related incidents. Vendors with IT expertise are also poised to stay on top of the latest security threats and can provide 24/7 monitoring to help protect the organization from becoming liable for unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Managed IT services vendors can assist organizations with keeping on top of drastic and sudden changes in technology. As fast as technology changes, most organizations experience difficulties with managing and responding to those changes. A managed IT services provider can apply a proactive approach since the provider’s focus is solely on the organization’s IT-related functions. As a business grows, external IT vendors can help manage that growth and change the technology-related solutions an organization uses. IT vendors can make recommendations for changes that align with a firm’s growth and need to respond to changing market dynamics. Part of remaining competitive involves performing better at something than other firms. A managed IT services provider can assist with increasing performance efficiency or providing a superior solution to the target market.
While some may question the need to outsource IT operations to a managed services provider, completely handing over all aspects of a firm’s IT functions is not the only option. Quite a few organizations choose managed IT services providers to take over a few functions while maintaining a small in-house IT staff for basic operations. It is important to first assess the firm’s projects, any backlog of requests, and what the organization needs. Leaders and decision-makers should clearly define what the business needs to accomplish, as well as several future-oriented goals. For instance, does the business want to expand its user support or make that support available through additional avenues such as online chatbots? Choosing the right managed IT services provider means aligning the organization’s short and long-term goals with the provider’s experience and capabilities.