IT is one of the most critical parts of any company’s infrastructure. There is no way to overstate the importance of IT to modern business, as so much of it is conducted over the internet. Even when the internet is not involved, a computer of some kind will almost certainly be involved in every transaction. After all, a cash register is just a single-purpose computer, and the same can be said of credit card machines, customer terminals, and things like that.
However, some companies have a very hard time managing the complex IT demands of a modern business. That is why some people choose to hire an outside company to help with IT matters. Let’s talk about the ins and outs of managed IT for Florida businesses, in the hope that this information will help you to make a better decision about your company’s IT management.
Co-Managed Or Not?
When you have determined that you need outside IT help, you need to decide how much help you really need. Some companies choose to go with a 100% outsourced approach, putting all their IT responsibilities in the hands of a handpicked third-party company. If your company has little or no existing IT structure, this is probably your best option.
However, many companies opt for a “co-managed” approach. This means that your outsourced IT team will share responsibilities with an in-house team hired by your company. This kind of setup is much more versatile, allowing you to put your people in positions where they can do the most good. If you divide the responsibilities wisely, it can allow all of your IT employees to be more effective.
Types Of Services Offered By Managed Service Providers
a managed service provider (MSP) will generally offer a wide range of services. Obviously, the needs of every business are different, and that is why any good MSP should help you to create a customized service plan. This means that you will select the services that you need and discard the other options. This versatility is one of the reasons for the fact that the MSP market keeps growing. Here are some of the many services that your MSP might offer:
- Network Monitoring
- File monitoring
- Remote secure file backup
- a VPN network for better privacy
- A cloud network and/or cloud-related services
- General IT consultation
- Penetration testing/security assessment
- Disaster recovery services
- Employee education and training
- General tech support services
- Compliance monitoring/auditing
- Hardware/software updates and upgrades
Common Pricing Options
As we said earlier, a good MSP company should work with your company to create a customized plan for you. This should include some pricing options so that you can choose the method that is the most cost-effective for you. Here are some of the more common options:
- Flat-Rate Pricing: This means that you will pay one set amount which will not change unless you opt to change your service plan. Billing can be done monthly, quarterly, or annually.
- Per-Device Pricing: This means that you will pay a monthly rate based on the number of devices that utilize third-party services.
- Per-User Pricing: This means that you will be charged according to the number of people using the IT services. This is very common for cloud network services and other simple access services.
- Remote-Only Pricing: If you are on a tight budget, you can get a plan that only allows for remote support. While this is limited, it is also quite cheap.
- Hourly Pricing: With this model, you are charged according to the time spent working on those services. This is especially common for repair services.
Why Companies Outsource Their IT Needs
A very large number of companies are choosing to outsource their IT needs, and there are several reasons why. For one thing, there are only so many people in the world who have those skills. IT skills tend to be highly complex and technical, meaning that not everyone is willing or able to learn these skills.
However, all companies need IT people, and all companies want to employ top-level people. This creates a problem, as there just aren’t enough of those top-level experts to go around. An outsourced IT company allows you to get top-tier service without having to permanently hire top-tier people. Hiring an in-house IT expert will cost an average of $54,495 per year, according to these numbers. This is the primary reason to choose an MSP service: The opportunity to save a significant amount of money.
A purely in-house team can also cause problems in regard to the division of labor. There are certain IT tasks that involve boring and repetitive tasks, such as network and file monitoring. These tasks require constant supervision, meaning that at least one technician will be tied up with that job at all times. Outsourcing those routine tasks will free up your in-house team for problem-solving and optimization.
Florida’s Cybersecurity Situation
Florida is one of the most prosperous states in the nation, and this has given it a greater degree of notoriety than most states. Whenever there is more wealth to be taken, criminals will try to step in and do so. However, Florida was recently hit with a cyber-attack that had a totally different motive. According to US Government sources, Russian hackers recently took control of a water treatment plant in Florida. They then proceeded to fill the local water supply with toxic chemicals. Thankfully, this attack was detected before anyone consumed the poisoned water, but this incident shows the importance of being prepared at all times.
We hope that this article has given you a good overview of this subject. You should now understand what managed IT is, how it works, and which options you are likely to be offered. With a little planning and care, you can create an IT service plan that increases the efficiency of your business and helps you to grow faster. If you are looking for competent MSP services of any kind, you can call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.