Written by 
Ty

Managed IT Services – A Guide for Calgary Business

Published On 
July 24, 2023

Managed IT services might not be a new kid on the block, but their importance in the current business landscape is indisputable. Think of them as the insurance providers of technology. They aim to reduce and prevent support incidents because fewer incidents mean better operational efficiency and, by extension, higher profits.

It’s important to remember that when you bring a managed IT service provider on board, you’re not just hiring another service provider. You’re inviting a powerhouse of knowledge, expertise, and advanced tools into your business. A managed IT service provider is like a seasoned tour guide in the complex landscape of technology, armed with right fit solutions and years of experience to navigate the challenging terrains.

These IT support professionals have honed their skills over years, even decades, working with diverse industries and facing various tech-related challenges. As a result, they bring an expansive pool of knowledge and experience to the table, ready to be leveraged for your business’s benefit.

They’ve seen it all and have learned valuable lessons along the way, which helps them anticipate potential issues and address them proactively.

What are Managed IT Services

In essence, managed IT services are an outsourcing model that lets businesses pass the baton of their network and other tech-related needs to the experts. Irrespective of the size of a company, these services provide vital support, tackling tasks ranging from daily IT errands to advanced cyber defense strategies.

Take, for instance, the constant monitoring and upkeep of your network infrastructure. It’s like having a vigilant watchman for your systems, ensuring they’re always running at their best. Regular maintenance tasks like software patching, system upgrades, and hardware checks are done on time. Here’s a relatable scenario: If a virus threat pops up in one of your company computers, it’s resolved quickly, nipping a potential widespread infection in the bud and ensuring business continues as usual.

Approaches to Managed IT Services

When it comes to IT support, there are two dominant models – the ‘Break Fix Model’ and the ‘Preventative Approach.

The Break Fix Model is like calling an ambulance when there’s an accident – you react when things go wrong. However, this reactive approach can lead to high costs since preventive measures could have stopped the issues in the first place.

In contrast, the Preventative Approach is like having a strong fence at the top of a cliff – it aims to stop a fall before it happens. With this model, your managed IT services provider works continuously, not just offering support but also educating clients on system upkeep, sharing valuable insights, and quickly dealing with emerging issues. This proactive approach promotes sustainability and cost-efficiency by preventing serious problems that could require costly fixes.

The Benefits of Managed IT Services

One of the top benefits of managed IT services is the predictability they bring to a company’s IT spending. For many businesses, managing costs effectively is a perpetual challenge. Managed IT services solve this problem by offering a fixed monthly cost, making budgeting simpler and financial efficiency easier to achieve. Besides, with the inclusion of strong cybersecurity measures, these services greatly beef up a company’s defense against cyber threats.

With managed IT services, businesses can foresee tech-related expenses, strategically plan for upgrades, and tackle unexpected issues proactively. This level of foresight is precious in preventing potential financial shocks related to IT operations.

Cybersecurity: Your Protective Shield

In the increasingly digital business landscape, cybersecurity cannot be overlooked. A competent managed IT services provider should aid in constructing a cybersecurity roadmap for your business. This roadmap, tailored to your specific needs and vulnerabilities, outlines proactive strategies to counter potential threats.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Disaster recovery and business continuity are critical elements of a robust IT strategy. An adept provider can facilitate these through services such as data backup, server monitoring, and strategic planning. By doing so, businesses are better equipped to handle unforeseen disasters and maintain smooth operations, even amidst significant disruptions.

Vendor Management

When you partner with the right managed IT services provider, it’s akin to finding a trustworthy business ally. This partnership grants you access to a highly skilled team with deep industry knowledge and an understanding of your unique business needs.

A crucial facet of this alliance is vendor management. A proficient provider can handle the demanding task of negotiating with various vendors, allowing your team to focus on core operational tasks. Should a software vendor fail to meet expectations, your provider can mediate or seek alternative solutions, ensuring your business operations remain unimpeded.

Ease of Adopting New Tech

Managed IT services streamline the process of adopting new technologies, particularly for businesses with limited IT staff. Though new tech can be daunting, a managed IT services provider can help you comfortably navigate these challenges. They manage your network and systems, freeing you to concentrate on running your business. For instance, if your business seeks to implement a complex CRM software, your provider can help plan the integration, manage any arising issues, and ensure its seamless operation within your existing infrastructure.

Potential Challenges with Managed IT Services

Managed IT services’ focus on preventative measures and efficiency seems great in theory. But it’s important to acknowledge that not all service providers might deliver on their promises. Complacency, communication issues, or limited resources could pose serious risks. A provider might adopt a high-risk strategy, shirking their responsibilities and hoping that your IT infrastructure stays robust without their intervention. This approach could leave your business exposed to potentially damaging IT incidents.

While this “roll the dice” strategy might offer short-term gains to the provider, it’s a time bomb for your business. Unresolved issues could grow into major problems, leading to extended downtime, data loss, or even security breaches. So, it’s crucial to work with a provider who’s genuinely committed to your IT health, investing the necessary time and resources to ensure system reliability and security.

To safeguard your interests, it’s important to have a well-defined service level agreement (SLA) with your chosen provider. These agreements lay out clear expectations, response times, and performance metrics, offering a tangible measure of accountability. Regular reviews can further ensure the provider is meeting their SLA commitments and keeping your IT infrastructure healthy.

In the end, a provider’s success is inherently tied to the smooth operation of your IT systems, so it’s in their best interest to provide top-notch service.

The True Value of Managed IT Services

In the managed IT services sector, many elements are seen as universal, leading to a misconception that these are just standardized offerings. With many providers in the market offering round-the-clock monitoring and highlighting the benefits of proactive over reactive support models, it might seem like every provider is offering a standard package, just with a different brand name and team.

But it’s crucial to recognize that the real value of managed IT services lies much deeper than these baseline tools. These services are comprehensive, bespoke solutions designed and tailored to tackle your business’s specific needs and challenges. Their true value shines when they integrate seamlessly with your operations, boosting efficiency, protecting data, and enabling growth. They should evolve with your business, skillfully navigating changes and proactively identifying potential threats or opportunities.

In the end, the real impact of managed IT services is their ability to transform your business’s tech landscape, turning it into a powerful tool that drives progress, not just a mere functional necessity. Achieving this level of service requires more than a checklist of standard features; it needs a deep understanding of your business, a dedication to its success, and a vision for its digital future.

Choosing the Right Managed Service Provider

A truly exceptional MSP is not just a service provider; they are a strategic partner that takes the time to fully understand all areas of your business. They meticulously analyze your strengths and weaknesses, gain insight into your specific challenges, and craft innovative, tailor-made solutions to effectively address these areas. Such understanding empowers them to architect IT strategies that align seamlessly with your overarching business objectives.

However, it’s essential to remember that just like a key fitting a lock, not all MSPs are the perfect fit for every business. Our approach, for instance, places a strong emphasis on cybersecurity, which may not align with every organization’s wants or priorities. Our commitment to robust security measures, whilst invaluable to many, may not resonate with everyone. This focus on fit and alignment is why we continually emphasize the concept of ‘right fit solutions’ throughout everything we do.

Here are a few steps you can take when selecting the right managed service provider:

Clear Communication:

Look for a provider who can communicate technical terms and strategies in a language you understand. This ensures transparency and trust.

Cybersecurity Focus

Cybersecurity should be a top priority. Your provider should offer robust security measures and stay updated on the latest threats and defense strategies. These should be built into your monthly costs and never be an add on service.

Scalability

As your business grows, your IT needs will likely change. A suitable provider should be able to scale their services to match your growth and evolving needs.

Proactive Approach

The right provider will go beyond merely reacting to problems. They’ll take a proactive stance to prevent issues from occurring in the first place. A good sign your provider is actually proactive and not just using marking speak is they show a deep interest in how your business uses technology, not what it uses.

Service Level Agreement (SLA):

A clear SLA outlines what services you should expect, response times, and how performance will be measured. Be sure to read it carefully and make sure it aligns with your business continuity plans.

The perfect MSP for you will not just view your business as another account, but as a partner whose success they are genuinely invested in. They see their role transcending the boundaries of a conventional vendor, becoming a beacon of stability, a fountain of guidance, and a source of strategic advice, all rooted in a deep understanding of your business and its unique identity.

By concentrating on these facets, a committed MSP can deliver inestimable value to your business, acting as a crucial pillar supporting your growth and stability in an ever-evolving digital landscape. They don’t merely sell you a service or implement a piece of software; they pave the way for your business to thrive amidst digital innovation.

How Can We Help?
Our team thrives on new challenges. If you have a project in mind or simply want to ask a question, we’d love to hear from you.
Lumitiv is an experienced Calgary based IT Support and Cyber Security provider with over 14 years on the job. We help simplify and guide businesses through the technical landscape.
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