When looking at managed IT services providers, getting lost in all the technical jargon of the services is easy. However, most managed IT providers offer some standard features. This blog explores some of the essential components provided by managed IT providers and what these features can do for your business.
Hardware includes the physical components of your computers and technology.
Most providers hand-pick all the hardware that they include in their service to their clients; this allows them to maintain a secure and high-performing network. By using the same type of equipment for their clients, managed IT service providers can specialize in the technology's functionality. This specialization means that the IT team understands all the unique aspects of the hardware and using monitoring they know about potential issues that could affect your devices before it becomes an issue for your business.
For example, many managed IT services providers include enterprise-grade equipment, including firewalls, managed switches, managed Wi-Fi, and other devices as needed. Fortinet FortiGate firewalls, Ubiquiti Unifi switches, and access points are excellent options for business hardware.
Monthly managed IT services fees often include monitoring, managing, updating, and maintaining all the hardware deployed to your business. Managed IT providers work proactively to resolve the hardware issue and maintain business continuity.
Software controls your hardware, and like most managed IT services providers, Bit-Wizards carefully chooses the best software for our customers. Some of the most important software for your business is the kind that allows you to work, communicate, and keep your information secure. Some examples of this kind of software begin with Microsoft 365 Enterprise (previously known as Office 365). Since Microsoft is the leader in this market, their products are the most robust and secure option. Managed IT services providers also install enterprise-grade anti-virus and malware protection software on their workstations. Some excellent choices for this kind of software are Bitdefender and Microsoft's 365 Advanced Threat Protection for email and file share scanning.
Monitoring software allows IT professionals to update customer workstations, remotely access computers to help with a quick fix, and to get notifications if something is not working. Monitoring software also alerts managed IT companies when someone is trying to gain access to a network, or a malware threat is present. Proactive monitoring means that IT managed services can immediately act and keep the IT environment working smoothly and safely.The following are examples of enterprise-grade monitoring and management technologies: Ninja, TeamViewer, Windows Remote Desktop, and GoToMyPC.
Communication software are the programs that allow you to work securely and communicate with your team, even when you are not in the office. Software such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Ring Central allows team members to remain in contact and collaborate on projects.
Managed IT Services Teams
We all know that no matter who you hire to manage your IT, the last and probably most important piece of the puzzle are the people you will call when you need IT help. The benefit of hiring professional IT services is that typically professional services employ a team of diverse experts. The combined experience of these professionals span hardware, software, networking, servers, security, and more, which means you—the customer, reap the benefit of that breadth and depth of experience every time you pick up the phone for help. At Bit-Wizards, those people are our certified, friendly, infrastructure engineers. Learn about our team here.
Benefits of Managed IT
Services Management & Virtual CIO Services
Some of the best managed IT service providers offer some additional services, including Services Management and Virtual CIO Services.
Services Management is when your IT professional steps in and works with your technology services so that you don't have to! This type of assistance can include troubleshooting connectivity issues with your Internet Service Provider. At Bit-Wizards, our team does the tough job of communicating and waiting on hold to resolve internet connectivity problems while our customers stay focused on their business.
A Virtual CIO provides your business with a Chief Information Officer who is readily at your disposal—without the 6-digit salary. A virtual CIO helps customers plan for future technology challenges and meet business goals.
For example, Bit-Wizards customers enjoy a virtual CIO service that includes monitoring their current IT landscape and providing a quarterly business review with a virtual CIO. During this quarterly review, we continue to work through challenges and strategize how technology can be an asset to their business. If it's a new phone system that they need to purchase, our team does the technical legwork to figure out what technology and implementation are right for their business.
How to Pick a Managed IT Service Provider
Of course, not all IT Service Providers are the same. When comparing IT Service Providers, consider the hardware and software that they recommend and do your own research.
Additionally, ask if they provide proactive monitoring. Without proactive monitoring, these IT companies do not know if your hard drive will fail or if your internet connection is spotty. The best part of a proactive managed IT service provider is that you may never feel the effects of some IT issues. If you are considering a Break/Fix service, check out our blog on Break/Fix vs. Managed IT.
If you are looking for someone to manage your business’s IT, be sure to check out our list of the Five Scary Mistakes Business Owners Make When Hiring IT Service Providers.