Hello and welcome! This is the first ever edition of “What Is:_____” – a segment on our blog from the experts here are Fantastic IT, where we shine a spotlight on some of the most essential elements of IT – all explained in plain language.

The concept of this blog is to take some of the most important concepts in IT when it comes to business applications and give you the highest-level overview of some of these concepts – so you can get a basic understanding of critical IT concepts.

With that in mind, we’ll start with the most elemental of building blocks when it comes to business IT: managed IT services – our bread and butter!

So what is a managed IT service? How can it help your business? And do you need managed IT services for your business? Let’s have a look.

Unraveling Managed IT Services

“Managed IT services” is the practice of outsourcing a range of IT functions to a third-party provider (like Fantastic IT).

Managed IT services can be as small as hiring a cloud provider to store your data, or it can be as huge as hiring someone to oversee your your entire operation. Managed IT can encompass everything from network management and data backup to cloud services and cybersecurity – but it always involves a team of IT experts handling your systems.

The goal of an outsourced or managed IT provider is simple: amplify business operations through IT. Managed IT services help businesses reach their best by improving efficiency throughout all systems and removing the weight of IT from business’ operational shoulders, so they can focus on their core business rather than getting stuck in the IT mud.

Managed IT services can be that one big leap for businesses – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises that may not have the resources to maintain a full-fledged IT department. A managed It partner can free up so much energy, time and money that can then be deployed elsewhere to support the more critical functions of a business.

In addition to the time and energy savings, managed IT providers ensure are maintenance experts. Managed IT service providers ensure their clients’ technology infrastructure is up-to-date, secure, and efficient – without the gigantic overhead costs of hiring an internal team.

What Are The Key Areas of Managed IT?

Managed IT can cover broad swaths of your IT – or it can just pick up some of the digital slack here and there.

Here’s some of the key areas managed IT services can help improve.

Network Management: The administration, operation, and maintenance of a company’s network infrastructure to ensure smooth and reliable connectivity. Network management involves setting up and managing networks, ensuring network security, and troubleshooting network issues.

Data Backup and Recovery: There’s nothing worse than losing work. Managed IT service providers implement robust data backup solutions and disaster recovery plans to protect your data. This includes regular data backups, secure data storage, and quick data recovery in case of data loss.

Cloud Services: Providers can help businesses migrate to the cloud, manage their cloud infrastructure, and optimize their cloud strategy for better performance and cost-efficiency. A large part of this is cost savings – as they can help you figure out exactly how much bandwidth and data you need.

Cybersecurity: Managed IT services often include comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to protect businesses from data breaches and other security incidents. See our post on MSSPs for more information.

IT Consulting: Even if you don’t need a drastic overhaul of any of these areas, most businesses can benefit from some expert IT advice. Managed IT providers can help you strategize and plan IT initiatives to align with their business objectives. IT is the spine of almost everything in today’s business world, so getting an expert on call can be super useful.

The Value Proposition of Managed IT Services

So now that we know what areas managed IT service providers cover, what are the benefits of hiring your IT out?

Here’s some big ways they can help.

Cost Savings: Outsourcing IT management can be more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house IT team, as it eliminates the need for the gigantic investment in both salaries and hardware. It also converts fixed IT costs into variable costs, allowing businesses to budget effectively from quarter to quarter without sinking the whole ship with a single IT overhaul.

Expertise For Less: Managed IT service providers are specialists in their respective fields. Not only do you gain deeper, more expert knowledge than without a managed IT team, but you also get a broader knowledge base as you can leverage their entire team’s knowledge.

Efficient Scalability: One of the biggest benefits of managed IT services is the ability to scale your business without spending too much on IT – both in terms of personnel and infrastructure. As your business grows, you can scale your IT spending to match your revenue growth – so you don’t overreach your budget.

Improved Resource Availability: By outsourcing IT management, you can focus on actually running your business, leaving the labyrinth of IT to the experts. This allows businesses to focus on what they do best, while the managed IT service provider takes care of their IT needs.

What Can Managed IT Services Do For Your Business?

Managed IT services can have a profound impact on a business – especially small and medium sized businesses, where budgets are tight – and we’re seeing that businesses around the world are seeing that as well.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global managed services market is expected to grow from $223.0 billion in 2020 to $329.1 billion by 2025 – an increase of 8.1%!

This growth is driven by the reality that our world is going increasingly digital. No matter what we do in the year 2023, there is usually some IT component to it. In other words, companies of all sizes are starting to realize they can’t just neglect their IT – it is an elemental building block of any successful business.

Considering the exorbitant cost of hiring an internal team of IT experts and buying servers and drives and whatnot, many companies are turning to managed IT services.

Consulting firm Deloitte, for example, found that 31% of IT services are outsourced, while 57% of businesses cite the cost savings of managed IT as the primary reason for outsourcing, followed by relieving the operational strain of IT to focus on core businesses (56%) and IT capacity issues (41%).

Should You Outsource Your IT?

The answer is: it depends.

If you’re a large, multinational business, chances are you can afford the heavy costs of an internal IT department.

If you’re a small or medium business, it’s highly possible that it makes more sense to outsource your IT than shoulder the enormous burden of salaries, infrastructure investments, taxes, insurance and all the other weight that comes along with hiring an internal IT team.

By partnering with a managed IT service provider, businesses can become more agile, more cost-efficient, and capable of achieving much more now that they’ve got the complex and confusing world of IT off their plate.

Whether it’s network management, data backup, cloud services, cybersecurity, or IT consulting, managed IT services can be a massive help when it comes to growing your business – without sinking under the cost of actually investing in internal IT.