What Does Managed IT Support Include?
As a managed service provider offering managed IT support and cyber security to Seattle area businesses, we get this question a lot. The fact is that there is not one set of services used across all MSPs. Each managed service provider creates its own packages. Some offer the same fixed services for everyone, while others, like SWAT Systems, customize services to meet your needs.
So instead of listing all the possible variations of services, let’s focus on what you can expect from a top managed IT service provider.
Proactive, Scalable IT Support for a Monthly, All-Inclusive Fee
The managed in managed service provider means that an MSP doesn’t just fix things when they break. They prevent issues from happening in the first place by proactively managing your network and endpoints.
MSPs have an incentive to keep you up and running. Service contracts are designed so the managed service provider is paid a set monthly fee whether the team spends 40 hours a week on maintenance and prevention or 400 hours fixing an outage or other problems.
Monthly fees are also based on the number of computer users you have, so services can easily be scaled to meet your changing needs. Do you have seasonal increases or decreases in demand? Need to ramp up new staff quickly to fulfill a large order? Your managed IT support coverage can grow or shrink for those needs.
Of course, not every technology expense can be covered in this monthly fee. You’ll still need to buy computers, software, printers, servers and other assets. But your MSP can create a technology roadmap to help you know farther in advance what you’ll need to budget for those expenses. Many MSPs will also purchase items on your behalf if you want the headache of comparing prices and finding the right systems taken off your plate.
24/7/365 Support, Prioritized Based on Your Budget Needs
Top managed service providers offer round the clock support in a way that doesn’t break your bank. Sure, your company may need every little issue dealt with fast and can afford the cost of that service. But most businesses choose to prioritize the types of IT issues that are eligible for after-hours support and those that can wait for the next business day.
That’s how even the smallest business can afford round the clock IT support. For example, an outage, where part or all of your network is down and it’s impacting the bulk of your team is a no-brainer. That’s a legitimate after-hours expense. But one employee having trouble logging onto a VPN for a non-critical task? That ticket can be logged and resolved the next business day.
When you create your service contract, your MSP team will help you decide what thresholds will best serve your business. So even after-hours support will be a predictable expense.
Specialized Expertise and a Deep Bench
As a small to medium-size business, you could never afford to have a network expert, integration expert, database expert and cyber security expert on staff. But that’s what you get with a managed service provider. Plus, your MSP team will be large enough to allow each member to continually train and enhance their skills — so they’re always on top of the latest technology innovations and cyber security threats.
You can leverage this expertise to help solve problems and grow your business.
Cyber Security Drills and Training
Your managed IT support contract with a top MSP will cover all aspects of cyber security, from shoring up your system’s protections to training your team to spot attacks. One of the most effective tactics is using drills and simulations. These highlight weak spots that need additional security or staff training. The end result? Your whole team is empowered to follow best practices and keep your business data secure. It’s just another way that your MSP works proactively to keep your business running smoothly.
Data Backup and Recovery
All businesses need a data backup and recovery plan (DBR), whether that disaster is a cyber attack, failed equipment, natural disaster or simply losing access to your offices for a period of time. DBR planning enables your business to quickly bounce back, minimizing downtime and lost revenue.
Exceptional Customer Service
With the best managed IT support providers, client satisfaction is at the center of everything they do. You’ll know it because they will measure it constantly and even publish their scores online.
This is not just related to responsiveness, although that is critical. It also has to do with the quality of your interactions with your MSP. You’ll look forward to conversations, not dread them. If you have an internal IT team as well, those team members will welcome the extra resources and expertise. A great managed service provider feels like part of your company; as invested in your success as you are.
Plus, All the IT Support You’d Expect
- 24/7/365 IT support helpdesk
- Server and network operations center monitoring and security
- Network, servers and PCs software updates and patches
- Cloud services (migration, management)
- Email and database server management
- Hardware procurement (purchase or lease)
- Voice system management
Leveraging Managed IT Support to Grow Your Business
Now that you know what services are included with a top managed service provider, here are four steps to leverage those services to meet your goals:
- Create or update your technology roadmap.
- Create or update your cyber security plan, including adding services and protections.
- Create a team training calendar, including mock attacks and drills.
- Include IT and cyber security training when onboarding new employees to get them started more quickly and safely.
You are Going to Get Hacked
Know What to Do with our Checklist
Whether you've been hit by ransomware or are just worried about a ransomware attack, this checklist can help. This one page checklist has simple instructions to help your team act fast and feel confident in how to respond. Print, post and prepare your team wo know what to do in a ransomware attack.