Technology plays an important role in achieving your business goals, so it's crucial that your IT is managed by the right people. A small team of in-house experts will have the proper resources to cover all the moving parts of your IT infrastructure, whether it’s managing updates, quickly recovering from downtime or disaster, cutting down on technology expenses, securing assets, and so on. But if your IT needs to be at peak performance, you will often have to look for outside help for many reasons that range from better expertise to cost savings.
Two of the most common options in outsourcing IT maintenance and management are traditional IT support and managed services. Both help businesses with their IT but massively differ in how they do it. How do you know which one is better for your business?
Traditional IT support
Traditional IT support is a reactive support strategy because technicians and consultants only render services in reaction to an issue or a required upgrade in a client’s IT network. It is also known as “break/fix” and “low touch” support, as contact with a client’s IT infrastructure is minimal until something broken needs to be fixed.
This support strategy is gradually growing unprofitable. Not only will your business be billed premium rates by the hour, but revenue will also be lost as systems are down for repairs. And since break/fix technicians have little to no experience of your network, troubleshooting and its accompanying downtime takes longer.
Issues that could’ve been minimized by preventative monitoring instead escalate to more serious and expensive problems before they are addressed. This subjects a company's IT budget to unforeseen expenses that can eat into capital prepared for moving the business forward.
As a business model, break/fix support earns its revenue from breakdowns. It doesn’t make sense for service providers to address the root of IT problems and put an end to future client calls. You may liken this kind of IT support to putting a band-aid that does not really help a client move forward with their IT plan.
But don’t be so quick to dismiss it. Traditional IT support is still viable for some businesses, particularly for those that don’t rely too much on technology or complex IT infrastructure for essential and everyday operations. For instance, if your company is looking for something more flexible than lengthy IT support contracts, you may find occasional troubleshooting more cost-effective.
This setup can also give you more control over your IT maintenance expenses since you will call for services only when you need assistance. What's more, it allows you to have control over your data, without having to worry that non-employees have access to critical business data.
In contrast, managed services prevent problems and achieve peak stability and performance in an organization’s IT infrastructure through a proactive approach and regular monitoring. While traditional IT support bills clients by the hour, managed services packages are offered at a fixed monthly rate.
A managed services provider’s (MSP) basic support strategy consists of preventing IT problems through round-the-clock remote monitoring and management (RMM) of an organization’s servers, desktops, and devices. For instance, RMM software monitors the performance and provides diagnostic reports on an organization’s systems, such as the state of all hardware, software, and operating systems, CPU performance, storage availability, missing updates, security vulnerabilities, and so on. This allows the MSP to fix issues remotely.
Manning the software is an IT team with a comprehensive lineup of IT skills for remote and on-site support. They are like having an outsourced IT department without having to pay for wages, benefits, and other HR costs.
And where traditional IT services focus only on issues they were hired to address, MSPs provide holistic support to an organization's IT infrastructure, often specializing in one or more of the following areas:
- Strategic technology planning to help build an IT plan that aligns with the requirements of your business and contributes to its growth
- Unlimited support in the form of help desk, remote, or on-site support
- Business continuity planning to protect data and to enable your company resume business with minimal downtime in the event of catastrophic data loss
- Cloud services or other cost-effective, flexible, and scalable solutions in productivity, data storage, and more, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) as the most common options
- Managed security or a range of protective services, including managed anti-malware, web filtering, and mail protection
- Storage services that focus on data storage, backup services, and archiving;
- Vendor management where issues with vendors such as telephone and internet providers are managed on your behalf
- CIO services or reporting on availability, utilization, security and threats, data backups, assets, licensing, software inventory, capacity planning, etc.
Technology doesn’t have to be overwhelming and confusing. Hudson Valley IT can provide your organization with solutions to properly maintain and manage your technology. Find out the best option for your business today.