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We'll be honest, we didn't know exactly what managed IT services meant either. It seems to offer a broad definition of what kind of services are managed and how. What’s the difference between managed IT services and IT services? 

Well, it turns out, the difference is actually very distinct, and knowing what you need will be vital in deciding what kind of IT services and monitoring your business needs to find the right solutions.

The importance of having managed IT service providers on hand is crucial, and the demand is high because the services are so thorough.

You’re also asking the wrong question. It’s not the difference between IT services and managed, but the difference between managed IT services and outsourcing.

Whether you just want to be sure your software is secure and up-to-date, you’re concerned about cloud security or you wind up the victim of hacking, the importance of having managed IT service providers on hand is crucial, and the demand is high because the services are so thorough.

What Does Managed IT Services Mean?

Managed IT services mean handing the IT infrastructure of your business over to a third party. If you have a technology problem in your infrastructure, rather than hire someone, your third party Managed Service Provider (MSP) finds solutions. It’s like an extended help desk with technology experts working to find solutions. Managed services include a wide range of IT services. 

That may sound like outsourcing, a word in business no one is fond of. When you’re outsourcing, your business hands that could be done within your organization. Managed IT services, on the other hand, is not farming out work, it’s getting support and solutions that experts more qualified than your people can deliver. 

Instead of hiring IT providers who will charge you an hourly rate to deal with the issue, an MSP charges a flat rate and will continue to monitor your IT infrastructure to oversee further problems.

But simply, managed services puts the focus of the work entirely on the IT firm handling it, not your business or employees. So if your business has a number of IT problems, that means the MSP is going to have to devote more hours to find solutions. 

This results in them losing money. With the onus on them to watch their services carefully, they're induced to take a proactive approach in monitoring your business, ensuring your infrastructure runs smoothly.

What is Included in Managed IT Services?

At this point, you’re likely asking, “What services are managed?!?” It does sound vague. Managed IT providers cover a wide range of managed services, including cloud services, software updates, data storage, security, and seeing where your operations are vulnerable. But it’s important you find the right one. Here are some ways to ensure you’re getting what you need from your MSP:

Holding Providers Accountable

Managed services are there to improve the operations of your IT infrastructure, making that infrastructure run more efficiently. MSPs remove the burden of IT problems, but it's up to your to hold those MSPs accountable, to be sure they're giving you the managed services up to a certain standard. 

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Most providers will offer reports to ensure they're handling your IT infrastructure appropriately. This helps ensure the work they do on cloud based and other parts of your infrastructure will be transparent. 

Get Strategic IT Planning

Part of an MSP's contract is strategic technology planning and solutions. This helps to ensure your managed services are built to last and their monitoring of the infrastructure of your business is up to standard.

Find a Provider with a Good Track Record

The demand for managed service is high, but how do you know you’re getting quality technology consulting? There are a lot of firms out there who make claims about their technology consulting without backing it up.

This is why it’s important to make sure your providers have a good track record with technical consulting, cybersecurity, and fixing any potential problems before hiring them. It’s also vital that your MSP provides you with regular reports, so you can see how well they deliver their services and find solutions. 

What Are the Benefits of Managed IT Services?

As we've mentioned, using managed IT services means giving over your IT infrastructure to a third party. It sounds like a risk, but an MSP is inclined to be as useful and productive as possible, otherwise they stand to lose money due to their flat rate.

But there are equally important benefits to getting managed services. Here are some other benefits of a firm’s service offerings. 

Technical experts deliver careful monitoring of your business infrastructure, management and data security under the control of managed IT services, you're sure to be able to focus on your business' priorities. 

You already know you're going to get your best work out of your employees when they're doing what they’re hired for and not technical problems. Leaving it to a managed IT services firm ensures they won't be bothered by technical issues.

Another benefit of managed services is that they deliver round-the-clock monitoring of your business infrastructure and operations, ensuring cybersecurity is always functioning while finding solutions to any trouble your operations encounter. A managed services firm isn’t likely to be hired again if they get a reputation. 

The security issues facing technology today are legion, and constant monitoring by a managed IT services firm is the only way to stay protected. 

In today's busy world, a lot of business infrastructure runs on the cloud. A managed IT service will make sure that your cloud service is future-proof, preventing potential catastrophe such as lost or stolen data.

Cloud computing is important, but the technology can make a business concerned for good reason. Things get lost or stolen on the cloud. A managed IT service will help minimize those risks and make the cloud secure for your infrastructure to work off. 

How Much Do Managed IT Services Cost?

Managed IT services monitor your IT on a monthly flat rate, which is beneficial because the MSP has to make every second of work worth something, whether it be monitoring your infrastructure or strategically setting up protections for the future. They usually run anywhere from $100 to $250.

Nathalie Nicole Smith states that working hard and staying true to yourself are sure ways to win in life.

But that begs two questions: is it worth it to hand your technical infrastructure to a managed IT services firm on the cheap end of the spectrum just as good as a pricier one? The only way to know is to go through what services they provide, then compare. It's also vital that you get regular reports from your MSP, so you can judge their solutions on your own.