The Managed IT Support Team
Managed IT Support providers employ technical engineers who have extensive experience with computer support, networking, security, and other business IT needs. Ideally, the Managed IT Support provider is only employing full-time employees, not independent contractors. This allows for much more control and security. As full-time employees, the Managed IT Support company can require background checks and signed confidentiality agreements. The Managed IT Support provider must have a comprehensive general liability insurance policy and Errors and Omissions policy in place to cover their employees and protect the client.
It generally does not make sense for a company with 15 – 200 employees to have their own IT department or staff for the following reasons:
- management and performance review responsibilities
- payroll and benefits expenses
- absences for illness and vacation
- skills and experience limitations
- the investment in the tools and systems that are required
Pricing Managed IT Support
Managed IT Support companies provide affordable solutions to the complex technology needs and problems of business for a fixed monthly fee, often based on a per-device (per server, per computer) model and/or based on the complexity of the network. Security, work-flow needs, wireless accessibility, and employee remote access requirements are aspects that are taken into account when determining price.
Pricing should include remote support, 24/7/365 monitoring, account management, and onsite visits. (Some Managed IT Support providers charge extra for this, which is controversial. By definition, a Managed IT Support provider should be motivated to work proactively for the client.) Emergency after-hours and 24/7 support is usually priced separately, as some clients simply don’t need IT support outside of business hours. The tools, systems, and products used by Managed IT Support providers should be included with the monthly flat-rate pricing. IT projects are also priced separately, either by the hour, or for a flat-rate. It is wise to request a flat-rate as you don’t want to be stuck with a higher than expected invoice if the project takes more time.
Managed IT Support or Managed IT Services is the term used for outsourcing the daily management responsibilities required for a technology environment. The infrastructure generally includes computers, networking equipment, and servers. Managed IT Support functions as a strategic method for improving operations and reducing expenses for a business. The Managed IT Support provider remains fully accountable for the entire network. This includes proactive maintenance in an effort to minimize downtime. Responsive support when a problem occurs is imperative.
Managed IT Support – Included Services
Services range from basic monitoring to comprehensive IT support and IT consulting. This includes backup solutions, business continuity planning, workflow improvement, network optimization, and IT security. When partnering with a Managed IT Support firm, it is important to understand what services are usually included. The variety of services that are provided varies greatly depending on the provider.
Broad categories include:
- Computer setups, support, optimization, and maintenance
- Server setup, support, optimization, and maintenance
- Network support, optimization, 24/7 monitoring, and maintenance
- Data backup checks and solutions
- IT consulting
- IT project assessments and management
- Virus/malware protection
- Basic procurement services and new equipment setup
- Email services and support
Managed IT Support providers that offer a more comprehensive approach also include:
- - cloud solutions and data warehousing
- - businesses that are scaling quickly
- - businesses that are expanding into new locations
- - IT standardization
- - businesses that must comply with industry regulations
- - compliance and audit planning for HIPAA or the SEC
- - high security and confidentiality requirements