If you run a business in New Orleans, you’ve almost certainly come across the phrase “managed IT.” It’s something that companies are increasingly relying on to operate their networks, keep them safe, and provide the functionality that they need. But to the casual observer, managed IT might seem a little – how to put it? – esoteric.
What Is Managed IT?
Managed IT is a third-party service to manage aspects of your business’s computer network. The extent of that management varies from provider to provider. Some just provide your team with cloud portals, enabling them to sign into various services that they need for work. Others, however, take a more comprehensive approach, offering things like real-time network monitoring (to detect threats), storage and bandwidth options, security services, real-time updates, and assistance with choosing specific software vendors.
It’s important to note that managed IT services aren’t just groups of people who travel to your business premises to maintain your existing legacy networks. That’s not how it works. Modern managed IT services use cloud computing resource to render company network services. All of your software, tools, email accounts and the rest of your network are held on servers in a data center somewhere which you access from your office through an internet connection. You then entrust the managed IT provider with all of the administrative tools it needs to make changes to network settings and protocols, depending on the situation. So, in essence, you hand over responsibility for network services to another company and avoid the hassle of running a network yourself.
Why New Orleans Businesses Should Start Using Managed IT
Managed IT isn’t just a gimmick; there are all sorts of reasons why New Orleans companies should start using it.
Lower Costs And Higher Return On Investment
Constructing and managing a traditional IT network is a costly endeavor. You have to buy all the equipment upfront and hire people to look after it. The cost of running a basic network could easily run to five figures per year when you take wages into account, making it unacceptably pricey for many firms.
By contrast, managed IT firms eliminate the vast majority of the cost of running a network by lowering maintenance costs, cutting IT labor, reducing direct hardware costs, and pooling network software infrastructure. All you have to do is pay a low, predictable monthly fee and get, what is in essence, a better service than you would have, had you taken the whole process in-house.
The benefits of predictability cannot be overstated. Companies need to be able to plan their IT budgets into the future, but that can be difficult if you never quite know when you’ll need another server or member of staff to manage it all. IT department costs jump in fits and starts, while cloud-based managed IT scales smoothly with your firm, making it easier for IT managers to budget.
Frees Up Time For Internal IT Staff
Let’s face it; network management isn’t a high value-added task. Sure, it’s something that your company needs, but it should just hum away in the background, like your HVAC system. Many small companies, however, fail to achieve their IT objectives because all of their internal IT professionals’ time is taken up with performing routine network maintenance tasks on their networks rather than strategically important changes to their computing.
Ideally, you want to leverage the full skill and training of the people in your IT department: that’s how you get the best value for money out of them. If they’re spending all their time doing the basics – a lot of which you could probably do yourself – then you’re not getting the value you could.
More Reliable Operations
Updating a legacy business network with a new OS is a nightmare. It causes massive disruption because employees can’t use their computers, shutting down your firms’ productivity and ability to serve customers.
But when you use a cloud-based IT management service, updates no longer cause issues. Managed services can duplicate your network in a virtual server, test the update, and then switch you over to a new system rapidly without any prolonged delays.
There are other advantages too:
- Remote monitoring. Many managed IT companies will monitor your networks with a combination of software and humans in real time, looking for anything that seems suspicious. Firms often use smart software to find unusual patterns and alert you of potential problems.
Backup and recovery. Managed IT provide backup and recovery, periodically putting your important files, folders, and email correspondence into data archives.