Having the proper IT managed service provider is crucial to keep your business’s technology infrastructure running smoothly. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 72% of white-collar workers currently work from home, and many workers desire to continue working remotely. Even if you don’t have a large remote staff, IT managed services professionals can save your business time and money by maintaining your IT systems.
What Is a Managed Services Provider?
A managed services provider is a type of business IT service that companies of all sizes use. Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often find IT services more economical than an in-house IT department. Managed service providers can upgrade existing network system infrastructures and help companies execute their IT goals. Some managed service providers will also oversee your IT projects, allowing you to devote more time to other crucial company projects. Some providers can help you in the planning and execution phases of IT projects.
Different Types of IT Support
Because your business is unique, it has distinct IT support needs. Seek out a company that offers the right level of IT support and the best services for your business.
Different Levels of IT Support
Like any industry, IT managed services companies offer various levels of services. The three IT managed service types include lower-level, mid-level and high-level service.
1. Lower-Level or Per-Play Managed Service
Lower-level service providers often work with your pre-existing IT company to monitor your network and install or upgrade your system’s existing architecture. Some will simply notify your pre-existing IT department of any security risks or potential problems with your network or systems, while others offer regular visits from a certified IT professional.
2. Mid-Level or Value-Added Managed Service
Mid-level IT services expand on lower-level services, so support companies are often more active in strengthening your company’s IT network and systems. While many lower-level services only notify companies about problems with their network systems or cybersecurity threats, mid-level managed services will actively work to resolve the issue.
3. High-Level Managed Service
High-level services to allow companies to outsource all of their IT operations, including support for all network infrastructure, operating systems, data analytics and communications. Companies who choose high-level managed services to work with their pre-existing IT departments can also receive more in-depth planning.
Common Types of IT Managed Services
Regardless of the level of IT support you choose, most companies typically offer a few common services. These include hardware and software services, cloud-based and communications services, network security services and technical support.
1. Hardware and Software Services
An IT managed service company can provide all the hardware and software needed to install and maintain a network. Hardware is the tangible, physical IT equipment such as computers, routers or printers, and software refers to operating systems, networks and data that allow your IT infrastructure to work.
Companies can choose either wired or wireless connections. While wireless connections are growing in popularity due to their cost-effectiveness, some companies still choose wired connections because of their potentially faster connectivity speed. However, these systems have higher maintenance costs and require more physical space.
2. Cloud-Based and Communications Services
Cloud-based services allow your IT system to operate anywhere with an internet connection. Companies prefer remote services because they require less hardware and software installation and maintenance, and employees enjoy working from anywhere. They also often are customizable, allowing the user to choose for either specific services or an entire platform.
Related to cloud-based services are communication services. Communication services include voice and video calls, data sharing and artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, which many companies use instead of live representatives to greet customers.
3. Network Security
Cybersecurity is crucial to protect your business’s data, networks and operating systems. Neglecting network security can leave your company’s data at risk, consequently disrupting daily business operations and possibly losing your customers’ trust.
Rely on a managed services provider to safeguard your company’s networks from data breaches and cybersecurity threats such as extortion or stealing sensitive company information. Service providers will monitor any potential security issues that arise. Managed service providers can also monitor your network’s cybersecurity and install anti-malware software to mitigate any suspicious activity.
4. Technical Support
Although the major goal of IT managed services companies is to prevent problems before they happen, issues still can arise. IT technical support is instrumental in helping customers resolve problems and understand their hardware, software and other IT programs.
Choose the Right IT Managed Services for Your Business
Once you understand the different types of business IT support, you’ll want to ensure you choose the right type for your business. You’ll need to consider the size and nature of your business, your business’s specific IT needs and the service company’s reputation.
Determine the Size of Your Business
The first step in considering the right IT service for your business is determining your company’s size. For example, larger companies may opt for high-level managed services, while SMBs typically choose lower- or mid-level services. However, each particular IT service has different offerings, so companies of various sizes may benefit from each.
Consider Your Business’s Specific IT Needs
When choosing the best IT service for your business, you’ll have to consider your unique IT services needs, as different IT companies offer different services. If your business already has an IT department, consider where there might be gaps in its services. Many companies have chosen to downsize their IT departments since relegating these duties to a third-party managed service provider can help your business save money.
Research a Service Provider’s Credibility
Properly protecting your company’s network systems requires doing your research on a managed services company’s credibility. Consider any specific certifications and specializations an IT service provider has listed on its website. General certifications to watch for include Cisco, CISSP, CompTIA or Microsoft. However, different certifications can cover different IT needs, so be sure the certification you select is right for your business’s IT needs. Often, a company will also list its IT partners, which can help confirm its credibility.
Considering a company’s customer testimonials and exploring headlines on the best IT services can also help you make an informed decision based on other customers’ experiences. Guides ranking the best business IT services can help you evaluate which companies are most highly acclaimed.
Contact Ascendant for Professional IT Support in New Jersey Today
If you’re looking to supplement or enhance your New Jersey company’s IT department, Ascendant Technologies, Inc. is there to help. Our IT professionals can meet your specific IT business needs. Our services include:
- Network security
- Cloud services, including desktop visualization and business email services
- Upgrading infrastructure
- Backup data and recovery
- IT project management
Contact us today for more information and a free network assessment!