You might think that most IT companies are pretty similar. Sure, they might have varying levels of customer support and professionalism that makes some stand out over others, but the general consensus is that all IT companies generally offer the same type of services. Many of our clients have experienced quite the opposite.
Barring the obvious—good/bad customer service, punctuality, professionalism, and price, it otherwise comes down to how they model their business. Let’s step away from IT companies and look at something we’re all very familiar with: car mechanics.
When does your mechanic make the most money? When your car is broken. Sure, you’ll send your car in for routine maintenance every so often—oil changes, tire rotations, and that sort of thing. These services don’t lighten your wallet as much as the big problems such as the day your engine goes ‘ka-thunk’ or your brake pedal goes to the floor and hardly slows your car down. Those are the days that your mechanic has an extra spring in his step!
Now, it’s not their fault that something happened to your car, but it’s definitely going to benefit the mechanic because you almost have no choice but to pay to get your car repaired.
For many IT firms, this business model works the same way. When your computers are crashing, or your network is down, or you are suffering with an emergency problem, they are the ones to benefit. Again, it’s not their fault, but doesn’t it feel a little… wrong? This method, by the way, is known as Break/Fix. Something breaks, and then it gets fixed. There is a better way; managed IT services.
The break/fix model is one in which the solution offered consists of putting out fires when they flare-up. The problem with this method is that you’re only fighting the symptoms and not the cause. The goal of any solution is to find the answer to the problem. When it comes to the technology your business relies on, the solution requires a holistic approach, as your components are connected and interact with each other.
Just with a breaker which keeps tripping when you turn on the microwave, the solution isn’t to turn off the lights when you use the microwave, but updating your breaker-box to accommodate the load you’re putting on it. Moreover, while it’s the microwave this week, next week, it may be the vacuum cleaner or air conditioner that trips the breaker. Half-measures, especially those which can affect your productive ability, aren’t a solution; they are just Band-Aids; meant to be temporary. A truly effective IT solution solves not only the immediate problem but also the source of it.
There are a lot of IT companies who claim they provide managed IT services, where they charge you a monthly fee. Sure enough, when something bad happens on your network, they are there to take care of the issue. That’s good, but it’s not preventative. That downtime you had to face still hurts your business. Many (I’m talking 90 percent) types of issues can be either detected early or prevented.
A first glance IT Outsourcing, Managed IT, and Co-sourced IT seem to be describing the same services, but in actuality they each provide different IT solutions. Unfortunately, many businesses which provide IT support treat each option as being interchangeable, as opposed to treating each business in need of a personalized IT solution.
Outsourcing Your IT
When you outsource your IT, you are handing over specific IT needs to an outside technology specialist or company. An example of outsourced IT would be a vCIO and its team, whose goal is to focus on a specific task or business need.
Is your in-house IT team great at their jobs, but are spending too much time answering requests for password resets or other first-level support? Co-Managed IT may be the right solution for your organization. A co-sourced IT partner will take on many functions such as help-desk duties, 24/7 monitoring, and other mundane tasks, freeing up your internal IT resources for more strategic roles. Co-Managed IT can fill in the gaps or help work on complicated projects that your existing staff needs extra hands with.
When you invest with a managed IT specialist, you gain access to a comprehensive range of technology services that can encompass a wide range of disciplines. Managed IT is a valuable addition to your business because of its ability to leverage an experienced team of IT professionals to ensure your business the operational support for a wide range of IT applications, services, and procedures.
While the best IT solution is one specifically developed to address your unique concerns, you can consider some general things before you decide which direction to go. If you have 100 or more staff members and in-house IT tech support, Co-Managed IT may be a better fit for your business. As noted, Co-Managed IT is an effective IT solution because it allows your in-house team to delegate routine (but still essential) IT tasks to your tech partner, while your team focuses on the tasks to grow your business such as line-of-business application expertise.
If you're a small business with a less pronounced staffing footprint, the choice between outsourcing your IT or investing in managed IT depends on your business' unique goals and industry. For example, if you are a medical organization, you may want to outsource your document scanning for medical records (EMR/EHR), freeing up your team to service your more essential, direct-to-patient technologies.
You may find that you're spending too much time focusing on maintaining your technology and not your business in a different scenario. In this case, your MSP would take over maintaining your technology. They would set up your BDR (data back-up and recovery) and develop a 24/7 monitoring and maintenance program to ensure your hardware and software are kept up-to-date and running smoothly. Most importantly, your managed IT professional would ensure your data is safe and secure by implementing various cybersecurity protocols. South Dakota has one of the strictest data protection laws in the country, so your business must be compliant and able to protect your client's data confidently.
While many organizations may call themselves managed service providers, few have the depth of experience to develop the type of personalized IT service plan your business needs. KT Connections has the expertise to understand which IT solutions: Managed, Co-managed, or Outsourced, will bring the best value to your business.
If you’re not sure how to choose the best managed service provider in the South Dakota area, take a moment to look at our testimonials or case studies, which indicates our familiarity with various industries, technologies and local businesses.
Finally, choose an MSP that has a history of being a partner and not a soloist. When your MSP is your partner, they offer the flexibility and expertise your business needs. This is reflected in the wide range of technologies, skill sets, various onsite, near-site, and offsite support they can provide your business.
If you’re ready for a technology partner that will allow you the ability to focus on managing your business, not your IT, then schedule a consultation with KT Connections today by calling 605-341-3873.