Managed IT service providers are commonly hired by small to medium-sized companies in a bid to save money while maintaining an efficient and capable IT infrastructure. These managed IT contractors are essentially third-party IT departments, helping a company with everything from security concerns to hardware failures. What, then, do managed IT service providers actually do? Here is a brief guide to some of the most important kinds of work they carry out.
Keeping an eye on the health of a computer network is time-consuming and beyond the capabilities of many smaller businesses. Managed IT service providers remotely monitor their clients’ systems so that they can efficiently handle problems and predict where faults will occur. They will relay alerts or concerns to their liaison within a business so that everybody is kept in the loop about potential network hiccups and data silos.
Cybersecurity is immensely important for businesses of every size and in every field. The threats faced by modern businesses are constantly multiplying and evolving. Businesses are data-driven, and that data can become very vulnerable indeed. Spyware, ransomware, and man-in-the-middle attacks are frequently leveled at businesses. Managed IT service providers are crucial protective forces employed by companies that cannot afford to hire in-house security cadres. They keep up to date with the latest threats and implement security protocols. They may be involved in the education of company employees: good security training is one of the best ways of keeping hackers out. Hackers often rely upon human error when looking to infiltrate a network.
Sophisticated hacking attempts often start with spear phishing – which can be defeated by training staff correctly.
Despite the best efforts of planners and monitors, problems do occur from time to time. Managed IT service providers handle problems as they occur. This usually involves remote troubleshooting. Employees of a company contact the service provider and are taken through a series of steps to help them solve the problem. In some cases, managed IT service providers may visit a premises in person in order to sort out more complex issues that require hardware fixes. In the troubleshooting role, managed IT service providers essentially take on the tasks usually given to traditional IT departments.
Managed IT service providers can lend their expertise, as well as their hands, to small businesses. Small businesses without in-house IT departments are unlikely to have the experience within their ranks to fully plan the overhaul or expansion of computing and networking services. Managed IT service providers are frequently consulted during the planning of IT hardware and software. They can balance the acquisition of the best equipment against the budget requirements of a company and advise on the latest technology that should be invested in.
Managed IT service providers can also help with acquisition. They are far better suited to IT service acquisition than employees or executives with minimal computing knowledge. In this role, they are often operating in a third-party consultancy role.