Managed IT Services: What You Are Really Paying For

When it comes to managed IT services, whether a person is technically adept or not, people often struggle to understand what they’re paying for.

For some businesses, managed security feels like paying insurance. You pay for it every month just in case. Unless something bad happens, that monthly cost is sunk, right? But there is a big flaw in this type of thinking.

Insurance companies might reimburse you for an underutilized policy in some cases, but they’ll never proactively work to stop something bad from happening to you.

The Break-Fix Model Is History

When someone in IT tells us they can manage something themselves, it often means they’re approaching technical support from a reactive mindset.

A software or hardware update on its own isn’t a big deal to the average office worker, but when you’re dealing with a network of computers requiring regular wireless updates of sizable software packages, it becomes a lot more complex.

IT services used to follow a break-fix model. They’d set up your infrastructure and be on call when a computer or server stopped working.

Businesses can’t afford that type of downtime these days, especially since computers and internet access aren’t situational or luxury office items. They’re the necessary utilities for work—just like your electricity or cell service. If your employee loses access to their computer for four hours because someone botched a software update, there’s a cost to your business and it’s not negligible.

For a quick analysis, estimate the financial cost of lost productivity if your organization suffered a four-hour computer malfunction.

A Proactive Managed IT Partnership Provides Peace of Mind

One value that comes with managed IT is peace of mind.

Our relationship with technology in our personal lives bleeds over into our professional lives. When we get home, we expect the lights to turn on, Netflix to stream, and social media to connect. Professionals expect the same consistency from their work environments. They don’t think about the upkeep that occurs in the background for these services.

Why should their office be any different?

Managed IT providers deliver the processes and tools that ensure your computers are not only updated, but also protected from the many cyber threats targeting businesses of all sizes.

No computer is an island on an office network. Here are some scenarios that can be avoided through a proactive partnership with a managed IT service:

1. A Software Update Disrupts Your Operations

Most IT professionals overlook this scenario when evaluating service providers. A software update is a click of the button—that’s true. And that’s an acceptable risk to take on your personal computer or network. But Microsoft and other companies aren’t perfect, and their patches sometimes break things. That’s why it’s always a good idea to test debugging patches in a live environment before rolling them out to your entire team.

2. A Machine Is Not Up-To-Date With Security Patches

Imagine one of your servers is vulnerable to a newly discovered cyberattack, and you have no idea. This machine has been running on its own without updating for months. Then one day you arrive to work, and you’re told there’s been a breach. Now hackers are asking you for Bitcoin in exchange for all of your customer’s billing information. Managed IT can help you avoid cyber threats by detecting potential security problems before you have a mess on your hands.

3. You’re Not On Top Of Your Anti-Virus Updates

It’s not uncommon to take anti-virus software for granted. You assume there’s software running in the background, keeping malware and viruses at bay. But it’s very easy for an update to get missed or a file to be deleted if you aren’t proactively managing your IT.

When a virus gets in, you could have an infection on one computer that spreads to everything connect to your network. If it starts sending emails to all of your customers, and some of them have anti-virus software that isn’t updated, you’ll infect their computers with malware as well.

Consider Your Reasons for Managing Your Own IT

With IT security, it’s not if your organization will get hacked or compromised by a virus or malware, it’s when.

There are new vulnerabilities discovered every day. Every new line of code introduced to your technical ecosystem represents a potential threat. It’s important for businesses of all sizes to stop thinking of IT solutions as insurance and choose a proactive strategy over a reactive strategy. An insurance company might help you fix your fender, but a good managed IT services provider will make sure you never get into an accident.

In the age of Equifax and Facebook data leaks, your customers are likely more sensitive than ever to perceived threats to their personal information. Managed IT not only protects them from identity theft, it also helps ensure the long-term survival of your business. That’s something we take very seriously.

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