What are Managed IT Services?
Historically, IT support was provided on a break-fix model. If something went wrong, you’d call someone out and they’d charge you for that work – a bit like a plumber. But that had a number of disadvantages:
- The IT provider never really got to know your setup or your business very well.
- The costs were very lumpy, making it difficult for clients to budget.
- There was no provision for the IT provider to make sure that system monitoring and preventative tasks were carried out – almost guaranteeing a higher number of issues.
- Who enjoys calling (or being called) only when there is a problem??!!
Here at Flex, we believe that customers benefit most if we act as a managed service provider. That changes the relationship into one where we make sure that all of the equipment is of an adequate specification and we check all of the key components regularly, replacing or updating them if need be. We take the time to understand where the business is headed, so that we can plan change and make suggestions to support the client’s direction.
As a result of being a managed service provider, we act in the capacity of an outsourced IT capability.
Why use Managed IT Services?
Most businesses will go to professional services companies for accountancy, legal or HR advice. They are mostly (but not always) used to stop bad things happening – running out of cash, being sued, being taken to an employment tribunal. Although outsourced IT has that side to it (if your internet service goes down, the business grinds to a halt), the exciting thing is that using managed IT services, we can help help you raise productivity, sell more, enable flexible working … the possibilities are endless.
As well as ‘keeping the lights on’, you can come to us with a business problem and we can help you with the digital transformation.
In the background, our aim is to provide an IT environment that ‘just works’ with our managed IT support offerings. Not only will that lower everyone’s blood pressure, but, more importantly, it enables us to concentrate on helping you to meet your goals through the smart application of technology.
What are the benefits of using Managed IT?
Our clients tell us that they see us as part of their team, helping us help them to utilise technology to meet their goals. Managed IT services enables us to:
- Optimise business processes, using digital transformation
- Take care of all the time-consuming and repetitive tasks, enabling our clients to spend more time focusing on core business
- Invest in the technical skills in our staff, because we have economies of scale
- Save our clients money, by looking at ways to optimise IT investment
- Keep networks free from cyber threats
- Help you keep your systems compliant with best practice and legislation
How does IT Support work?
Some of our clients still have us available at the end of the phone on a retainer basis without us proactively working with them on their infrastructure and their business plans. But increasingly, companies see IT as an enabler and want us to partner with them to keep the number of IT issues to a minimum so that we can concentrate on moving the business forward together.
We ceased doing break-fix work some time ago, as we don’t think this is a an effective model long term for either us or the client.
Who should support IT Infrastructure?
Of course, there are organisations that want to invest in their own staff to look after their IT Infrastructure. To employ one person with sufficient skills, incentivise them and keep them skilled up, typically takes an investment of at least £50,000 a year. Of course, this doesn’t deal with issues such as holidays or handling technology areas that are not in the skillset of the employed individual.
So for most medium-sized companies, working with a great managed IT services provider, like Flex, is that way to go.
Frequently Asked IT Support Questions
How Much Does IT Support Cost?
Our proactive support packages start at around £3,000 per annum, but the costs will depend on the infrastructure, the support window and the level of involvement that you’d like us to have in your plans.
What Are The Most Common IT Problems?
We’ve actually written a blog post on the most common IT support problems we come across, find out some of the most common problems and how to fix them there, including ‘my printer won’t work’ and ‘the blue screen of death!’