9 Benefits of Managed IT Services: Grow Your Business the Smart Way
Whether you’re an IT manager, line-of-business manager, or business leader, chances are you’ve been tasked with finding new ways to leverage technology for your small or medium sized business (SMB). It’s been widely recognised that the right technology can improve productivity, enhance security, and reduce costs. And because of that, IT spending is up.
In fact, despite predictions for a shaky global economy ahead, IT spending is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. Gartner predicts it will increase by 8.6% in 2024, compared to the previous year, reaching over US$5 trillion worldwide.
With IT squarely in the spotlight – and pressures mounting to improve productivity while reducing costs – more SMBs are turning to managed IT services as an ideal path forward. In this article, we explain what managed IT services are, how to take advantage of them for your SMB, and what steps to take next.
Let’s dive in.
What are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services are defined by TechTarget as “information technology (IT) task[s] provided by a third-party contractor and delivered to a customer.”
Essentially, IT management services shift the responsibility for daily IT activities (and sometimes strategic activities too) to an external vendor. So, rather than hire your own IT team, you hire a vendor partner to take care of your IT needs for you.
Examples of popular IT services that can be handled for you by a managed IT services provider include:
● Business continuity and data protection
● Management of cloud and data centre infrastructure
● Cybersecurity services
● Network services
● Business phone system management
● Device management
● Hardware procurement and installation
● Software procurement and license management
● Helpdesk and end user support services
● Temporary and ad hoc IT support
According to Market.Us, the global managed services market is on the rise and has seen a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.9% from 2022 to 2023. More companies are choosing managed services as an alternative to doing everything in-house, helping them grow faster, smarter and more efficiently.
Now, let’s shift our focus and discuss how SMBs can take advantage of managed IT services for their benefit.
9 Ways Managed IT Services Can Benefit Your Business
There are many ways managed IT services, such as those provided by KirkISS, can benefit your SMB. Here are 9 of the most important ways you’ll gain an advantage.
1. Gain Access to Experts Without Hiring a Full Team
Daily IT tasks can be widely varied and involve a large range of skill sets. From cloud deployments, to cyber security, to device management, and more, you usually need more than a few IT resources to handle it all. As a result, it often makes more sense to outsource these tasks to a managed services provider so their team can handle it.
Bringing in an external partner avoids the need to invest time and money to recruit, hire, train, and retain an internal IT team. Plus, you can get up and running much quicker, and it means you can access experts on an as-needed basis – people you may not otherwise be able to afford.
In today’s economy, where there’s a general shortage of IT professionals, a managed IT service provider offers a turnkey solution, and full IT coverage, at a fraction of the cost and hassle.
2. Enjoy Flexible Support That Scales with Your Business
Perhaps you have an IT project coming up that will require more hands on deck. Maybe you need to scale up resources for a busy period, like the holidays or year end period. Or maybe you need to shift resources while you realign your priorities.
Traditionally, you would have had to hire internal resources on a temporary basis or ask your existing team to work long hours. But with a managed IT services provider, you can scale up and down resources flexibly, and as you need them.
This avoids the headache and expenditure of training-up contractors, bringing in new people who know nothing about your IT environment, or putting your existing team at risk of burnout.
3. Help Your Team Stay Focused on Core Priorities
When you outsource daily IT tasks to a managed services partner, you free up time for your internal team to focus on important business priorities. This could mean more time for strategic planning, more time to focus on digital transformation projects, or even greater bandwidth for advancing non-IT related priorities.
Additionally, by eliminating routine tasks, your employees can work on more interesting projects, which can bring them greater employee satisfaction and boost your retention rates. And, by relying on a managed IT services provider to handle items that require highly specialised knowledge, such as cyber security, IoT management or cloud deployments, you can reduce your risk of internal errors.
4. Keep Your IT Costs Down
As mentioned briefly above, many SMBs choose to work with a managed IT services provider to realise significant cost savings.
Working with a managed IT services vendor can result in more predictable costs, especially if you engage them on an ongoing, monthly basis. Plus, having a long-term partner that provides proactive monitoring and resolution can save thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars, compared to calling in ad hoc support on an urgent ‘break/fix’ model.
Moreover, outsourcing to a trusted partner is often significantly cheaper than hiring an internal team with the same skill sets. In fact, sometimes the cost of one person’s salary is more than the cost of gaining access to a diversity of skill sets through a managed IT services provider.
You also don’t have to worry about key people on your team going on sick leave, taking vacation, or changing jobs – and leaving you in a bind. You gain 24/7/365 support and ongoing continuity, which would require significant investments to accomplish internally.
5. Stay Current with Changing Technology
Technology changes at the speed of light. Take the past few years, for example, and think of how cloud, IoT, and now generative AI, have all altered the landscape.
Does your team have time to stay abreast of all of these changes? Do they have the bandwidth to pursue certifications? Does your SMB have the budget to maintain their skills training? If the answer is no, you have a clear indication that working with a managed IT services provider is a good fit for you.
For an IT partner, their sole focus is to provide the latest technology, backed by up-to-date expertise. This means they’ve made investments in technology platforms, certifications, and specialised training, and they’re ready to pass along these benefits to you and their end users.
For an SMB, it’s hard (if not impossible) to match this, making it easy to see why hiring a managed IT service provider offers a win-win solution.
6. Be Prepared for the Unthinkable
IBM found that the global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was US$4.4 million. Even more concerning is Accenture’s report that 43% of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses, yet only 14% of these businesses are prepared to defend against an attack.
Cyber attacks, environmental disasters, political unrest, global pandemics – all of these present a risk to businesses and, in today’s world, all of these are possible. While no one wants to imagine the worst, being prepared is the best course of action.
Working with a managed IT services provider transfers the responsibility for many of these risks to their team, enhances your cyber security posture, and can even mitigate the impact should the unthinkable happen. This could mean the difference between your business going down for hours… or weeks.
7. Stay Competitive in Increasingly Crowded Markets
As mentioned earlier, many managers are under pressure to find new ways of leveraging technology to stay competitive. Technology can improve productivity, enhance security, and maintain (or even advance) your position in the market.
The right managed IT services provider can help you uncover modern technologies you may not have thought of to solve your biggest business problem and gain a competitive edge. More than simply a day-to-day executor of IT tasks, many providers also act as long term, strategic partners. They’re entrenched in the latest technology, see what other SMBs are doing, and can help you get ahead.
8. Create a Better Experience for Your Team, From Anywhere
The global pandemic changed how businesses operate, and spurred the development of a plethora of remote work and cloud-based platforms that enable employees to access company networks and assets from anywhere. But, setting these up can be complex.
Rather than take this on yourself, many companies look to IT management partners to plan, build, configure, and deploy workplace solutions. In some cases, these partners also offer preferential pricing options due to their relationships with cloud providers and other channel partners.
A trusted managed IT services provider can help you navigate the complex world of remote access and cloud, so your employees can work seamlessly from anywhere. A modern experience at work means less friction, a better employee experience, and ultimately increased retention rates.
9. Reduce Your Business Risks
Did you know Stanford found that 88% of data breaches are due to human error? Too often, breaches are preventable.
When you hire experts for the job, you mitigate the risk of human errors and mistakes. Although security is a shared responsibility, a managed IT service provider will often bring with them specialised cyber security and business continuity experts who can uncover issues before they occur, and put data backups and security protection in place should an incident occur.
They say prevention is the best medicine, and this applies to IT as well.
Cayman Islands’ Leading Choice for Managed IT Services: KirkISS
Since 2005, KirkISS has been a leading choice for customised Managed IT Services across the Cayman Islands and Caribbean.
Organisations of all sizes choose us because we offer comprehensive, flexible, and world-class services, while still being locally-based and attuned to the unique demands of operating in the region.
With more than 100 certifications from dozens of global technology leaders, our Cayman Island IT experts have the skillset, expertise, and commitment to customer service to help your business grow.
Our popular Managed IT Services include:
● Managed Backup – Gain peace of mind knowing your data is backed up using today’s modern technology and tools. In case of a disaster, get back up and running in a matter of hours, rather than weeks.
● Managed Security – Get 24/7 threat monitoring across your environment, along with prioritised alerts that are investigated and remediated quickly by our cyber security experts.
● Managed Network – Implement remote work and IoT seamlessly, and achieve a secure, reliable, and scalable network designed for the performance you need.
● Managed Voice – Whether you need 3 lines or 30, benefit from feature-rich office phone systems, while paying for only what you need.
See how customised Managed IT Services from KirkISS can help your business grow. Book a free call with us today.