Managed IT Services Explained
What better way to define the concept of managed IT services than looking at the history behind them. Essentially, it all started when the internet and computers entered the picture. Businesses started embracing the internet and computers in the early 1990s, but along with embracing technology came maintenance and troubleshooting challenges. When things broke, businesses would reach out to a local technology provider to fix them. This was known as break/fix support, which was incredibly popular because businesses didn’t have enough technology, or better yet, enough reliance on technology to hire people to service their machines.
As the 1990s came to an end, technology began to evolve even more – with printers, fax machines, and all sorts of hardware entering the workplace. In a few short years, the break/fix model no longer made sense. Businesses couldn’t withstand downtime any longer, and as a result, they needed a more proactive approach that kept problems from happening in the first place.
This is when managed IT services came to light as application service providers started offering remote support as an option. Initially, businesses would pay for remote monitoring and maintenance of the network and servers. But as technology continued to evolve, the services available through a managed IT services model grew:
- Remote firewall administration
- Managed security services
- Mobile device management
- Managed print services
- And much more
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services refers to the proactive prevention of technology issues through a range of services, such as remote monitoring, regular maintenance, cybersecurity solutions, and more. An MSP (managed services provider) takes over the information technology infrastructure – becoming responsible for all functions outlined in the service level agreement. The business maintains ownership of the equipment, in most cases, while the MSP delivers the services necessary to keep that equipment running at peak performance. They manage:
- Mobile devices
- Other hardware
- Networking equipment (routers, switches, etc.)
- And more
There are various types of managed IT service offerings – starting from basic plans covering remote monitoring and maintenance to more complex plans covering cybersecurity and industry-specific compliance. But behind every managed IT service offering is the basic idea of transferring the burden of technology from the business to the MSP – all at an affordable flat-rate monthly fee.