The Benefits of Managed IT Services in 2021

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When it comes to your business technology, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best. Unfortunately, technology is one facet of running a company where many business owners feel they have the least amount of control, perhaps due to its many moving parts and overwhelming complexity. The question becomes one of how you want to approach managing your business’ technology and finding the right skill sets to do so. Enter the benefits of managed IT services.

You generally have two options for your IT needs: hire an in-house department or outsource the responsibilities to a third party. Which approach best suits your needs?

Hiring an in-house department of IT technicians can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. Just like with any other position at your company, you will have to put together the job description, duties and responsibilities, and preferred requirements. That’s not to mention the time it takes to advertise the position, collect resumes and applications, put together a search committee, and interview successful candidates. Add in the onboarding process and any training that they might need and you have a lengthy process that is not necessarily conducive to the “I need help right now” mode that many organizations find themselves in with their IT.

The alternative is to outsource your entire IT department to a dedicated third party. Believe it or not, this is a remarkably valuable asset for your organization to have. Plus, most IT maintenance and management can be done remotely without an on-site visit, meaning that you are not limited by the traditional barriers to finding top talent. You could work with a reputable company halfway across the country if you want to, and you can afford to be picky with who you hire for the job.

Note the key difference between your in-house IT talent and outsourcing. Hiring an in-house IT department is dependent on other peoples’ qualifications rather than what you want for your IT needs. When it comes to your business, you should do what you think is best for your specific needs, and if that is outsourcing to find the best fit for your company, then you should never be ashamed of that.

We always recommend that you start with an IT audit to ascertain where you currently are in terms of your IT infrastructure versus where you want to be. 4 Corner IT is happy to help with this process. After we gauge your current network infrastructure, we can work with you to identify your company’s major IT challenges and implement solutions that address them.

Or, if you would rather hire in-house technicians, we can supplement their duties and responsibilities by covering the more mundane parts of the job, like supporting your team and performing routine maintenance. This frees up valuable time and resources for your technicians to focus on what you hired them to do: innovate and implement. It does not matter where you currently are in your IT processes–we can jump right in and provide value for your company.

To learn more about our benefits of managed IT services, reach out to 4 Corner IT at (954) 474-2204.

5 Reasons Remote Monitoring and Maintenance is Essential

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While reliable technology support has always been important, the sudden and widespread adoption of remote work by so many businesses has made it an essential component for an organization’s success. However, for your team members to have technology that continues to serve them as they do so, it is important that they are able to receive the same support as they would in the office. To accomplish this, remote monitoring and maintenance has proven to be a critical resource, providing a litany of benefits. Let’s go into what these benefits are, and how they take shape through the implementation of this method of receiving support.

What is Remote Monitoring and Maintenance (RMM)?

As a managed service provider, a considerable portion of our responsibility is to be sure that our clients’ technology is operating as it should. To do so, a methodology known as remote monitoring and maintenance is employed.

RMM solutions give our team the capability to keep track of our clients’ technology solutions from a distance, thereby enabling us to diagnose, mitigate, and resolve many IT issues that would otherwise cause operational headaches (or worse). As such, we can deliver considerable value to those we serve. With our real-time monitoring tools, many issues can be detected before their impacts become noticeable.

This, in turn, translates to considerable benefits. Let’s go over these benefits now, to demonstrate how RMM supplements a business’ operations:

Proactive Maintenance, and All That Comes With It

Our services as an MSP are all about embracing proactivity whenever the opportunity arises, and remote monitoring and maintenance is the perfect vehicle to this very outcome. Our solutions will keep an eye on your infrastructure, alerting our team at the first sign of an issue and enabling us to solve it—often before you or your team members realize that an issue is present.

In addition to active issue resolution, this proactive maintenance means that we’ll also keep track of any updates that are available for your solutions and apply them appropriately.

Minimized Downtime

As any business owner knows, “downtime” is technically a four-letter word in the workplace. Depending on the severity of the event, even a brief instance can incur significant financial costs. Thanks to the inherent proactivity of RMM, most downtime events can be avoided (and their financial repercussions sidestepped) so that your business processes are effectively untouched by any issues.

Improved Security

RMM can also help you to keep your business better protected against threats. One of the primary reasons that cyberattacks can get to be so severe is that many are not detected until long after the fact.

However, with remote monitoring in place, our team of professionals can be alerted of even the smallest sign of a potential breach. This puts us in place to resolve the underlying problem and keep your business safe.

Ensured Productivity

Let’s jump back to the impacts of minimizing downtime for a moment. One of the most important, and most prioritized, aspects in any business is the level of productivity that can be maintained. Eliminating your downtime is one of the few ways to do so that can have a 100 percent impact on your productivity. The fewer issues your employees encounter, the more they will be able to accomplish—something that our proactive maintenance facilitates.

Streamlined Cost of Ownership

Everyone likes to save money, right? Unfortunately, a lot of the technology that a business relies on can swiftly cause costs to rise expeditiously. A lot of this is due to the combination of maintenance needs after the fact, and the downtime that is incurred in the meantime.

However, by avoiding this by means of proactive maintenance through a predictable and budgeted service, these costs can be reduced significantly, helping your business that much more.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the benefits that remote monitoring and maintenance provide—or you’d like to experience them for yourself—give 4Corner IT a call at (954) 474-2204.

Aspects of Managed Services Support

aspects of managed services support

Managed services and break-fix services play essential roles in supporting your business in IT-related matters. Small and medium entities face tough choices in deciding between the two aspects and complementing IT resources as well as personnel in place. 

Managed Services vs. The Break-Fix Mentality

Just as the name suggests, the Break-fix mentality interacts with your business only when you experience IT problems. 

The vendors of break-fix services send IT professionals to your location to provide remedies at your business location. 

After finding a solution to your IT problem, you are charged for the services rendered. The break-fix services have no ongoing fees and do not tie you to any contracts.

On the contrary, managed services entails outsourcing service providers that share the responsibility for your IT system. 

It creates an extensive and continuous relationship between your business and your service provider. 

Such services work off your business premise and use their systems to supervise and deal with identified IT problems. Mostly, the problems are identified before you experience any system outages. 

Why Break-fix is No Longer Good Enough for Your Business

Below are the main reasons why the break-fix mentality is not any good for your business. 

Subdues Productivity

When you use this model, you are forced to assign your IT needs to your employees. Since this might be a good idea in the short term, it reduces the level of productivity and leads to wastage of resources. 

Cost

In this IT model, you pay for labor, repairs, and consultation. It is impossible to budget for the issues, and there is no reasonable way of establishing whether you are paying a fair price. 

Besides, there are no preventive measures that you can put in place to avoid any problems in the future. This leaves you susceptible to surprise system breakdowns and costs. 

Extended Downtime

In this model, when you experience an IT problem, every minute costs you money. The sporadic nature of this model leads to extended repair time. The extended downtime and the additional repair time increases the cost making it undesirable.  

Do Managed Services Cost More Than Traditional Break-Fix Services?

Managed services cost more than break-fix services. Managed services involve the provision of a recurrent service, which translates to recurrent expenses. 

The services differ based on your business’s needs though it is vital to be proactive in using IT services to achieve business objectives. 

When you use this IT model, you accrue higher upfront fees, monthly subscription fees, and monitoring fees. 

Engaging a managed service provider increases the level of visibility and your capability to establish robust IT strategies. In as much as it is effective and creates accountability, the services cost more than the services rendered in the break-fix model. 

How Are Managed Services Priced?

All businesses want to minimize costs, but that is just one factor you need to think about. Therefore, you need to understand all the pricing aspects of IT services models before you make a decision. 

Managed IT services pricing is based on the following.

  • The number of users
  • Risks Involved
  • Your needs

The price of managed services depends on the monthly cost per user, the coverage, the number of specialists, and the extent of coverage. 

The level of support included and your levels of business that the support is designed for affects the pricing of managed services provided to you.  

The Real Benefits of Managed Services

The benefits of managed services are clear. The model provides IT services to every aspect of your business. As a result, your entity achieves higher standards of IT services. 

Implementing managed services in your business offers several benefits, including:

Enhanced Productivity

Outsourcing IT functions dedicate in-house IT experts to projects that promote innovation and enhance achievement of set objectives. 

Promotes Scalability

Most entities find it more useful to start small and expand according to the growing needs. Managed services make it easy for you to scale either up or down and increase capacity depending on the scope of changes in your business needs. 

Keeps Pace with Your IT Demands

When you outsource IT services or partner with skilled IT professionals, you alleviate the pressures associated with keeping pace with the dynamism of technology. 

Contact us for professional advice on the best IT model for your business.

What is Included in a Managed Services Agreement?

what is included in a managed services agreement

A managed services agreement is a contract between a provider of managed services and a client. It creates ties of the service level between the parties and records the primary understanding regarding different aspects of the deal. 

The agreement represents different aspects of your engagement, including:

  • Response times
  • Service-level agreement
  • Limitation of liability
  • Termination clause
  • Clarity of outline of support tiers
  • Service escalation process
  • Phases of setting priorities
  • Labor rates

Below are the things that need to be clearly outlined in your managed services agreement (MSA). 

Services

You need to identify the elements of the services covered, including supported IT services  and those not supported by your managed services provider (MSP). 

You need to ensure that there is clarity on your responsibilities and those of the service provider. 

By clearly outlining the services not covered in the agreement, it prevents any likelihood of holding your service provider liable for any incidents not outlined. A clear outline of the services allows your service provider to work for issues outside the agreement. 

Terms and Conditions

Identify the provider of managed services and their contact information during and after working hours. The agreement needs to stipulate the pricing, terms of payment, and the duration of the contract. Also, it clearly outlines the date when the contract starts, ends, and when it auto-renews. 

Termination of Agreement

The contract between you and your managed services provider outlines the rules of termination, the need for adhering to regulatory requirements, and the owner of the data once the contract ends. 

Length of Warranties

The agreement includes the specifications of the hardware used and the information regarding different types of hardware used in implementing a managed services model. 

Authorization of the Managed Services Provider

The MSA provides extensive information on the licensing of your provider and SaaS.  

Backups

The contract specifies the terms and the length of incremental copies and the total number of copies. 

Limit of Liability

The MSA outlines your confines on instituting legal proceedings for negligence against your provider. Also, it includes information on risk allocation by your provider. 

Insurance

Aspects of cybersecurity insurance are included in the MSA. It covers the level of coverage for your managed services provider. Also, it outlines aspects covered and not covered in the insurance policy. Your MSP needs to give extensive information on any potential liabilities. 

Definitions of Terms

The contract explores the meaning of different terms for all parties. It includes terms that are specific to the entity, providing managed services to your business. 

Discretion

The managed services agreement includes other agreements including the:

  • Licensing agreement
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Non-disclosure document
  • Non-complete document for your provider’s employees 

Assignment Clauses

The document considers the contractual obligations of both parties and specifies the responsibilities and rights that can be transferred. 

Illegal Behavior

The MSA includes a plan of action of prompt reporting to the authorities in case either party notices prohibited behavior. Also, it emphasizes that you are expected to follow a certain course in notifying the authorities. The list includes the major aspects included in a managed services agreement.

Contact us to help you develop an agreement that is satisfactory to both the parties and facilitates the growth of your business.  

Your Managed Service Provider Wants You To Know These 3 Things

your managed service provider wants you to know these 3 things
What To Know About Managed Services

Do you need an MSP? Or maybe you already have one. Regardless, to truly benefit from your relationship with an MSP, you need to work as a team to achieve the business goals you have in mind.   

Listen

IT providers, good ones, take their work seriously. When you hire a managed service provider they should treat your business as if it were their own. That is why it is key to listening to them, as well as trusting them when they discuss suggestions or changes. Also, an advantage of having an MSP is that they are there to help with third party vendor partnerships. Let them take the lead when dealing with technology providers in VoIP, cable, or internet. This will allow you to concentrate on other things and not have added stress.  

Be Available 

While it’s great that you may outsource your IT completely to your managed service provider, they still need to get together and talk. From changing business needs to updates and safety checks, your MSP doesn’t need to be caught off-guard. Being available to discuss your challenges and needs is important and requires communication every month or at least every quarter. 

Communicate

A managed service provider needs to know everything about your business so as to properly handle the technology side of it. Just as you would share everything with your doctor regarding your health, you need to do the same with your MSP. Below is an overview of topics that need to be discussed in order to help with your businesses IT needs. 

  • What does your business so?
  • Who are key clients to your business?
  • Which industry verticals does your business serve?
  • Does your business experience busy seasons?
  • Any core regulatory codes applying to your business based on industries you work for?
  • Will your business expand, and if so what are those plans?
  • What are your future goals for your business?

Most often clients do not want to delve into discussing all these things. This is generally because there is a lack of trust between the MSP and the business owner. From fear of sharing business plans to passing along confidential information to competitors, most do not have a solid relationship with their MSP. It is imperative the managed service provider you choose is not only knowledgeable but trustworthy.

For 17 years 4 Corner IT has been Long Island and NYC’s premier IT services company. With over 60 employees, let us help you with your technology needs. Contact us today or fill out a contact form to speak to a technical adviser.