2022 Complete Guide to Managed IT Services in South Florida
Fast, reliable IT support is the backbone of any digitally connected business. When a computer breaks down, and you have to spend hours fixing it, the irreplaceable time translates to more money lost for your business. Other times we’re forced to call someone from outside because our internal IT department is incapable of solving your computing problems, and then it takes days or even weeks for them to show up.
Such models of fixing things when broken down are part of the reason why many businesses struggle to survive rapid technological changes. Managed IT services provide opportunities for South Florida businesses to exploit the full potential of computing talent without the additional payroll burden.
What Are Managed IT Services?
A business may outsource all its IT-related functions to an external service provider. Managed service providers (MSPs) work onsite or offsite to set up, maintain, or repair your computing resources. Many businesses opt for external contracting because it frees them to focus on revenue generation rather than mundane operational requirements. MSPs can help you stay ahead of the competition with better technological tools, since they have better insights into industry innovations.
Why Do We Need Them?
Managed IT services make it more convenient to use technologies you need for your business, yet you wouldn’t afford them if you had to keep everything in-house. Small and medium-sized businesses will benefit from technologies allowing them to compete at the same level as large corporations despite their limited budgets. Outsourcing cuts the number of teams we manage, freeing us to focus on profit-building.
Types of Managed IT Services
Managed IT services can be broken down in many ways, like specific functions like cybersecurity, or by type of software and hardware. Palindrome Consulting will describe some managed IT services offered in South Florida, such as:
Managed infrastructure covers all your physical computing equipment like network switches, workstations, servers, printers, and more. Large category MSPs usually offer all these services under one roof, but you can also find specialized providers in areas like networking and computer repair. If you’re looking for help with computing infrastructure in South Florida, Palindrome Consulting will point you to the right solutions.
Enterprise applications usually require specialized skills to configure and keep them running. It takes very rare skills to troubleshoot and resolve problems with the systems, and it’s hard to find and keep such talent in-house. The applications could be endless and include options like VoIP software, Office 365, Point of Sale systems, and many others.
Cloud services are third-party hardware and software, enabling us to enjoy the same computing power and storage as if we had them onsite. Instead of buying expensive equipment and struggling to maintain it, we will pay for subscriptions based on our usage. Cloud computing has experienced explosive growth in the past few years, and it’s one of the key enablers for remote working.
Many large organizations have a designated specialist to define technology strategies and align organizational goals with IT. The role is usually consultative and involves auditing your current technology situation and recommending improvements. As a small business, you may not have the budget for a CIO, but you can still enjoy similar benefits from an MSP.
Threats to computing systems can come from many sources, including within the trusted internal network or externally via the internet. The level of sophistication in attacks by hackers has also risen tremendously over the past few years. To protect your organization, you need to create a robust cybersecurity system that will prevent, detect, and neutralize these attacks.
IT support provides installation and maintenance services for your software and hardware. Some MSPs have an IT helpdesk to troubleshoot and resolve day-to-day user challenges. This type of support is best when you have critical business applications. Tech support is one of the go-to options when you need extra hands on a complex IT installation.
Managed IT Services in Your South Florida Business
Picking the right strategies for implementing managed IT can save you a lot of time from unnecessary tasks. Besides, lost money is recoverable, but there’s nothing more we can do about lost time other than regret. Even in the same industry, no two businesses have similar needs, and it’s why managed IT shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all solution.
A business can implement managed IT in different ways, like leaving all of its computing operations to a trusted MSP, using it as an extension of the IT department, or opting for remote support to save money on costs. Here’s a quick look at how the three options work:
Using your MSP as primary support is liberating but challenging, especially for those with little experience managing service-level agreements (SLAs). SLAs define the service expectations of the MSP. For example, if they’re managing an enterprise application, the contract needs to spell out the standard uptimes and provide the expected turnaround times when there is downtime.
The primary support engineers should be widely knowledgeable about hardware and software applications. It helps when you have an MSP with a broad selection of services under one roof, as they’re likely to have more specialists.
Unlike conventional managed IT services, remote MSPs usually have more flexibility with service locations. You can get help from anywhere in the world, giving you the freedom to pay for the best skills you can find. Remote support often offers the same benefits at a reduced price, since the engineer doesn’t have to come on-site.
The main drawback with the service is that some problems require constant on-site support, forcing you to pay another service provider if your current one doesn’t have the option.
Extending Your IT Department
When you’re short of skills within your IT department, you can contract an MPS to help your team with issues outside their scope. The support could be project-based or long-term, depending on your needs.
For example, your current IT support may be good at fixing device issues but struggle to support the newly installed enterprise application. When installing a new system or overhauling the existing one, you require people with more specialized skills to anticipate and resolve some challenges common to such projects.
What Are the Pros & Cons of Managed IT Services?
Here are five major benefits of switching to outsourced IT services:
- It puts you at the bleeding edge of technological changes: Because they’re more knowledgeable about the field, service providers can help with important updates and advise on the best technologies for business.
- Outsourcing is more cost-effective in the long term, as it lowers your payroll-related costs and saves you from paying for inflated emergency repairs.
- It gives you more room for growth: Managed IT relieves you from routine operational tasks and focuses on growing the business. With the right people handling the technology, it’s easy to expand into more locations.
- It helps with industry compliance. For example, a managed software provider can help you with PCI-DSS compliance and other data security standards.
- It improves your operational efficiency. There are fewer downtimes when the service provider monitors your systems and responds fast to issues.
One of the biggest challenges with outsourcing happens when your provider fails to acquaint themselves with your business goals because they only think of themselves as contractors and not business partners. It leads to half-baked solutions that may not solve your problems. Other challenges arise from within the business and include:
- A business that leaves everything to an MSP may become interested in investing in technology aside from what they’re currently getting.
- Managed IT may not be economical for very small businesses and huge corporations
Managed IT Services Pricing Models
Many MSPs usually charge by subscription or a one-off price, depending on the service request. One pricing is ideal for short-term projects, while subscription can be a great way to save on costs for long-term service agreements. Here are some of the factors considered when setting the prices:
- Flat-rate pricing: The MSP doesn’t provide any breakdowns and gives just one flat figure for the entire service. It could be a monthly, quarterly, or annual charge.
- Per-user pricing: The price will change based on the number of users. It is common in software and cloud services, and is also the easiest to manage for both parties.
- Per-device pricing: The service provider charges a fee for every new device.
- Remote-only pricing: Remote services are usually priced lower than those requiring on-site support.
- Hourly pricing: The MSP charges for the time spent on providing the service.
To find the best rates on managed IT services for South Florida businesses, talk to a customer service representative at Palindrome Consulting.
Find the Best Managed IT Solutions in South Florida
Managed IT could be your best remedy for aging infrastructure, insufficient talent, and poor technical know-how. It can deliver every tool you need to stay competitive in turbulent times, like the businesses that moved to the cloud and thrived during the pandemic. However, outsourcing is not for everyone. Before you make the switch, you need to audit your organization to find out whether you’d be a good candidate for managed IT.
Ready to outsource your IT needs to an IT company in South Florida? Contact our client services to schedule a no-obligation review of your business IT service needs.
Special thanks to the team at Pure IT for their help with this research.