Keeping the modern business connected is a lot to manage; tasks like installing software updates and security patches are essential to ensure network reliability and security, while customer support, web hosting, and data entry are crucial to keeping your business humming. The challenge is that getting all this done – and getting it done right – requires time and resources your business just doesn’t have. That’s why savvy business owners are turning to third-party organizations for help.
When considering an external partnership for your IT needs, it’s important to understand the difference between “outsourced” IT and “managed” IT, so that you choose the right approach for your business.
“Outsourced IT” refers to delegating specific IT-related activities to a third-party organization. That organization then bills you for the services it provides. These tasks would normally be performed by your in-house IT department, but many businesses find that outsourcing to a third party can help reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and free up their internal team to focus on more important business needs.
Outsourced IT services are a set of narrowly defined activities with specific objectives. They include activities like:
- Helpdesk support
- Data entry
- File scanning
- Data storage
- Web development or web hosting
- Malware detection and removal
- Imaging and hard drive replacements
- Network design and configuration
- Software upgrades
- Office relocations
- Emergency data recovery
In contrast, “Managed IT Services” is a type of outsourcing that allows you to expand your existing IT capabilities via an external company or replace it altogether. A managed service provider (MSP) is made up of a team of IT professionals who specialize in different areas to provide support for the day-to-day operations of your business. Its approach is not limited to a certain set of activities, but rather more holistic in nature. An effective MSP not only manages the IT infrastructure but also ensures the technology strategy aligns with the overall objectives of the organization.
Managed IT services are typically provided at a fixed rate on a contractual basis and cover a range of responsibilities for a broader, more comprehensive approach to IT management. They may include, but are certainly not limited to:
- Performance monitoring and reporting
- Managing installations and upgrades
- Oversight of network security and risk mitigation
- Network testing and monitoring
- Help desk technical support
- Managed backup/disaster recovery
In addition, managed IT service providers offer an “outside perspective” on how to leverage your technology and can help you with:
- Access management, for secure on-site or remote network access to your business network, applications, and data
- Server and network management, for the planning, design, implementation, and daily operation of your managed desktop infrastructure
- Protecting and securing your company’s valuable data from malware, file or system failures, and employee errors
- TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) assessment services, to provide a baseline for analyzing the indirect and direct costs of your IT assets and identify possible cost reductions
- IT asset management, for the planning, procurement, deployment, management, retirement, and license management and tracking of all your hardware and software assets throughout their entire lifecycle
- Software management, for controlled software and workstation standards management
- Financing support, to help you navigate the IT financial lifecycle management process—from planning and procurement through support and disposal—in a way that maximizes asset value, including flexible acquisition alternatives to end-of-life solutions
Take Your Business Further with Outsourced and Managed IT Services
Whether outsourced or managed, IT services provide more than just troubleshooting for your hardware and software. These experts understand how critical IT assets are and they know how to optimize them.
Here’s how your business benefits from outsourced or managed IT services:
- Support for end-users via remote desktop support and an end-user support portal
- Insight into your network environment’s overall health
- Simplified, streamlined management and support
- Continuous monitoring of application metrics, security events, and service levels to ensure secure and optimal performance
- Reduced security and compliance risks, timely upgrades and software rollouts, and accurate cost control for improved hardware and software inventory management
- Proactive protection from emerging cyber threats with prompt security patching and software updates
- Customized solutions that are flexible enough to scale with your business, with selective outsourcing for as much or as little support as your business needs demand
- Single points of contact and accountability with a dedicated account manager
Managed IT Services from Xcel Office Solutions
As the business landscape evolves, so do your business requirements; how you meet them can make all the difference. With Xcel Office Solutions, you’ll be leveraging the experience of our highly trained IT professionals, processes, and platforms to meet the demands of a dynamic workplace environment. We’ve invested in the most innovative tools from the industry’s leading vendors, so you can be confident we’ll exceed expectations at affordable and predictable monthly costs.
Call Xcel Office Solutions at 405-748-4222 to schedule a technology assessment. We’ll evaluate your current infrastructure and identify real, actionable ways that you can cut costs, improve efficiency, and maximize productivity, all with the honesty and professionalism you deserve from a leading service provider.