The Complete 2020 Guide to Outsourced IT Support

What is IT support? Simply put, it’s a technical service designed to help with computer technology. It includes the day-to-day support needs any business faces—systems administration requests, tech support and troubleshooting, installing and configuring computer hardware, software, systems, networks, printers and scanners, etc.

It’s also a critical function of every business.

Any time you have IT problems, your business can suffer. Issues that go unresolved are all but guaranteed to slow productivity, frustrate staff and cost your organization time and money, both precious commodities for any business. Working with a managed IT service provider, however, can eliminate the everyday stresses of IT support, allowing you and your teams to keep your focus where it’s needed. Having a managed IT service provider with a dedicated IT help desk will ensure you receive the efficient and effective support needed to keep your daily work on track, improve your bottom line and take your business to the next level.

Did you know?

So, what benefits come with using a managed IT service provider like Electric? Here’s what an effective MSP can help you do:

  • Keep your focus on your business: When you have a managed service provider, you can focus your time and attention where it’s needed instead of trying to handle IT situations. There’s no need to occupy someone’s precious time with trying to keep your networks functioning. An MSP handles that so you can handle your business.
  • Keep the pros on your side: An MSP provides access to knowledgeable IT pros who are ready and able to answer questions and provide solutions when needed.
  • Keep things moving fast: Experts provide real-time remote support in short order. No delay, no problem.
  • Keep risks low: MSPs know compliance standards and regulations, and can implement security strategies to minimize risks associated with data and sensitive information.
  • Keep performance high: Using a managed service provider and dedicated IT help desk services equates to less downtime and fewer errors. An MSP can keep an eye on issues, prevent them from getting worse and resolve them quickly. That leads to better overall performance.
  • Keep technology up-to-date: Things change quickly with IT. An MSP can keep on top of things, saving you money and time.
  • Keep your money in your pockets: One of the most attractive benefits of working with a managed IT help desk is the savings it provides. MSPs help minimize the chance of costly network problems and IT-related downtime. You also know exactly what services you’re receiving and what you’ll be spending per user/per month.
  • Keep your competitive edge: Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you can’t compete with the big guys. A larger company may have access to in-house resources small-to medium-sized business may not enjoy. However, a managed IT service can provide the same level of expertise a larger company benefits from at a more digestible price-point.

What do MSPs deliver?

There are a number of services that various MSPs can provide. And while not all companies will cover all of these elements, here’s a sampling of what kind of IT support you can expect when you work with an MSP.

Device and Inventory Management

A business is only as healthy and secure as the devices it relies on. And since only 14% of SMBs consider their security as highly effective, working with an MSP can really make a difference. An MSP can manage detailed software and hardware information to help with determining purchases and how devices are/will be used, which can lower costs. This way, you’re not over-purchasing or losing track of assets.

How an MSP can help:

  • Hardware procurement
  • Device provisioning
  • Custom security configurations
  • Real-time visibility into device health
  • Access to world-class Mobile device management (MDM) software, which allows for mass remote management of users and devices as well as there their configurations and settings

Security and Compliance

Security is always at the forefront of any good approach to IT management. Both are essential to reducing risks and mitigating threats.

How an MSP can help:

  • Enforce organization-wide security policies, including routine password resets and BYOD management, which is hugely important considering 90% of companies allow BYOD
  • Improve auditing practices
  • Establish and manage multi-factor authentication (MFA) and firewalls
  • Roll out configurations that follow cybersecurity best practices

Network Management and Server Management

There are any number of problems and threats you may face—system failures and viruses spring to mind—so it’s important to monitor hardware and software in order to stay up-to-date and protected. For that you need a reliable and secure network.

How an MSP can help:

  • Manage entire networks remotely
  • Mitigate outage-related downtime, which can cost your business about $5600 per minute
  • Provide proactive network monitoring
  • Offer hardware recommendations and implementation support
  • Keep business operations running smoothly
  • Reduce the complexity and costs an on-site network failure may cause

Applications and Cloud Management

Organizations need ways to keep their Cloud environments and applications under control so they can move forward without compromising security. Fun fact! Cloud computing can have financial benefits: shifting from onsite to cloud can help lower up-front costs.

How an MSP can help:

  • Automate and orchestrate software deployments
  • Secure your SaaS apps
  • Set up and manage file-sharing privileges
  • Manage single sign-on (SSO) so you and your team can use one ID and password to access related systems

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Whether it’s from a security breach or ransomware attack, human error or natural disaster, lost data can have massive impacts on your business. It can take hours to recover lost data and that can cause permanent damage to your reputation and your business/bottom line. Your company can’t afford the downtime—on average, an employee’s cognition will decrease 20% after a work stoppage—that comes from neglecting backup or disaster recovery.

How an MSP can help:

  • Take care of backups (copying data for the purpose of protecting it in case of accidental deletion, corruption, etc.)
  • Manage disaster recovery, making plans for quickly reconnecting/reestablishing access to IT resources, data and applications after an outage
  • Develop effective strategies for a solid recovery plan

Storage

Consider this: 20% of SMBs will suffer a failure of some sort every five years that will cause them to lose critical data. Strong storage technologies can make a big difference on how successfully you manage your business, drive productivity, reduce costs and enhance security. This is important whether you’re using the Cloud, onsite servers or a combination of both.

How an MSP can help:

  • Provide product expertise and integrated hardware and software services
  • Support infrastructure
  • Assess current storage setup to ensure that it is optimized for maximum efficiency

Virtualization

Virtualization—creating a virtual, i.e., software-based, computer system that simulates hardware functionality, like networks, servers, etc.—can help your business reduce expenses and boost efficiency. SMBs are on trend for a higher virtualization spend this year, which is helpful considering it can increase a company’s productivity, agility and scalability.

How an MSP can help:

  • Increased performance and availability of resources
  • Automated operations, which will reduce operating costs
  • Make it easier and more affordable to manage business

Data Monitoring and Insights

Get full visibility into the volume and types of support issues your team is facing. You can identify trends and vulnerabilities in your organization that will help you make proactive decisions to enhance your organization’s security and operational efficiency.

How an MSP can help:

  • Provide full access to reporting dashboard that highlights relevant information
  • Give real-time visibility into end-user requests
  • Identify trends and vulnerabilities within your organization

Telecommunication and Phone Systems

Telecommunication is hugely important for a business to thrive. Improving your systems, unifying and integrating communications — phone lines and computers, software, storage and internet, etc.— will assist your team in delivering the kind of service your customers need.

How an MSP can help:

  • Make sure you are compliant to regulations
  • Save you time and resources
  • Provide expertise with testing, certification, audits, etc.
  • Help select the most appropriate service provider
  • Keep all remote employees (a trend which has increased by over 100% since 2005) connected

Surveillance Systems

We all hope to never be the victim of theft or cyber attack. Unfortunately, it can happen. But an effective security system can help prevent theft (Note: Businesses that employ IT monitoring can see a 22% decrease in theft) and is important for any business that wants to protect its assets.

How an MSP can help:

  • Create a more efficient way of managing, recording and storage
  • Depending on your needs, can provide either a widespread system covering multiple locations, or just a few cameras

Employee On/Off Boarding

Onboarding a new employee should be an easy and pleasant experience for both you and your new hire. And, of course, offboarding one should be as stress-free as possible. Whether it’s getting hardware and all necessary credentials set up on day one, or updating security and access permissions upon departure, an MSP can change something complicated and time-consuming into a quick and easy process.

How an MSP can help:

Real-Time Support

Since it’s your go-to resource for IT service questions and needs, the help desk is an essential part of the technology system of any company and, therefore, a key element of any smart business plan.

How an MSP can help:

  • Provides a centralized resource to troubleshoot problems and facilitate solutions
  • Manages and monitors user requests and incidents, answering questions and handling communications for day-to-day activities
  • Handles service outages and planned service changes
  • Saves you trouble and time and keeps your business in good working order—using a help desk can save up to 600 working hours each year!

Electric Powers IT

Don’t wait until you already have an issue before engaging an MSP. Having the right IT support team on your side saves you time and resources and helps to keep things running smoothly. Electric is the new standard in IT, delivering world-class IT support. We are a fully integrated IT platform, which makes access to support effortless and lightning fast. IT powers business, and Electric powers IT.

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