What Is Managed Services?

What is managed services? It’s a question we hear often, and it’s a valid one. The IT community and MSPs (managed service providers) frequently use the term, but with little to no explanation about what it truly means. We’re here to define managed services and explain the benefits of a managed service plan.

The difference really lies between managed services and regular break/fix IT support:

  • Break/Fix IT Support – Customers call IT repair business when computer “breaks,” and are charged only for this service. Usually, zero to little preventive care or maintenance is performed.
  • Managed Services – Customers partner with an IT provider for long-term preventive and as-needed IT support as a subscription so they can budget their IT support and needs.

Break/fix IT support can be likened to taking your car to a mechanic for repair after an accident or for occasional maintenance. Managed services is like paying for premium car insurance for your luxury car, which includes oil changes, tune-ups and repair of any damage.

With all the benefits of managed services, you might wonder – should everyone be on a managed service plan? Not necessarily. There’s still a time and place for standard break/fit IT support, but there are many instances where a managed service plan makes more sense.

Managed service plans support a number of users and devices at a fixed-fee. This gives businesses more certainty and control over monthly operational costs – meaning no more “bill shock” if you have a user that is experiencing multiple IT issues each month. Under a managed service plan, you’re no longer charged per incident – typically, all service tickets are included in your monthly subscription. This is especially beneficial to companies or households with multiple technology users.

Many MSPs also include the cost of up-to-date hardware and software (and installation costs) in your monthly subscription. Not only does this mean you don’t have to invest capital upfront to get new IT equipment and software in your home or business, but you rent the equipment from the MSP – meaning that if anything goes wrong, they will replace it at no cost to you. Having the newest hardware and software for a manageable fee is a benefit worth exploring.

An additional benefit of a managed service plan is having a Managed Services Agreement (MSA), which usually includes a guaranteed Service Level Agreement (SLA). An SLA means that when issues arise, the MSP has a plan to resolve your issue within a certain time-frame. Operating on a break/fix IT model with a service provider won’t necessarily guarantee the fastest resolution to your issues, as managed service customers’ issues are prioritized over the “best effort” casual customer. For many businesses and residences, faster resolution of issues is worth the investment, because it saves time spent waiting on IT support.

A managed service plan also offers the benefit of 24/7 support. This is particularly important if weekends and after-hours are of critical importance to you or your business. If you run a 24/7 business, a managed service plan means not having to pay after-hours rates to get support when you need it.

Protection, prevention and monitoring are also included in a managed service plan, giving you the peace of mind that your devices are armed against the latest threats. The latest software deployed on computers and mobile devices protects against viruses, malware cyber attacks and other malicious threats, while also allowing secured login (such as multi-factor and two-factor authentication), and password management. Monitoring makes it easy to see a real-time view of system health and alerts the MSP to minor problems before they become major. A healthy IT environment increases an MSP’s efficiency, and these benefits are passed on to the customer. It’s a win-win!

Cloud storage, document collaboration and cloud-based backups are also included in a managed service plan. Utilizing the benefits of the cloud is a no-brainer for businesses today, as it’s more secure and efficient. Cloud-based backups are essential to prevent your valuable data from being lost in the event of a power failure, malicious attack or natural disaster (flood, fire, etc.). With a managed service plan, your household or company will use the cloud to its fullest potential, saving time and money.

These are just some of the benefits of IT managed services, and there are many more. If you would like to increase efficiency, lower IT costs, and make use of the latest hardware and software, reach out to us to take full advantage of a managed service plan. Call us at (330) 558-1097
for a free consultation, or contact us today. We would be happy to discuss whether a managed service plan makes sense for you.