Almost every modern-day enterprise regularly manages ongoing IT activities; there is always equipment that needs to be maintained, cybersecurity measures that must be taken, and applications that should be monitored. With that said, not every business is equipped to handle these tasks on their own. Fortunately, there are plenty of options when it comes to outsourcing your firm’s IT to a trusted third-party provider, which just happens to a be a popular alternative for organizations that simply cannot afford to fully staff an in-house IT department. When selecting a managed service provider (MSP), businesses must choose an IT provider whose offerings suit their needs and whose goals align with their own. Understanding a provider’s motives can help you determine whether your partnership will be one worth the investment, so it is crucial that you understand where MSP services came from – and where they are going. Read on as we dive into a brief history on managed services, where these services are headed, and why utilizing outsourced IT solutions matters for your organization.
Networks in the 1990s were relatively simple systems, meaning that there were not many staff members that worked solely within a company’s IT department. Back in the day, best IT practices were far from defined, resulting in little work done regarding general maintenance. In fact, firms oftentimes would avoid fixing issues as they occurred and would only address tech problems if machines stopped working entirely. From this, the break/fix model was born. However, this mentality ended up costing businesses a lot of money, as downtime and a loss of data and productivity was essentially inevitable.
After some time, many large corporations saw the negative impact that the break/fix model had on their bottom line. This realization sparked big changes in the world of information technology; focus shifted from temporary remedies to proactive prevention, which called for a more hands-on approach. Businesses began working with third-party providers to implement this new IT strategy, but because the earlier forms of IT management involved expensive, complex software, MSP services were just out of reach for smaller organizations.
As the 90s came to a close, computers and other network devices (such as printers or fax machines) were significantly more commonplace at work, and smaller companies began to recognize the value in taking a more proactive approach in terms of safeguarding their technology. That said, this extra vigilance put a serious strain on these firms’ limited IT resources (including their internal staff), forcing these small businesses to turn to – you guessed it – managed services. As demand for third-party providers grew, the cost of utilizing their services decreased, making them more accessible to enterprises of all sizes. Today, 64 percent of businesses say that they use some form of managed IT services.
With technology constantly evolving and becoming more widespread by the minute, it is becoming increasingly apparent that businesses can no longer afford to ignore their IT needs. In fact, the IT industry is expected to grow 6.2 percent in 2021, making it a $5 trillion industry. Below are a few technology trends that your enterprise should focus on this year:
While knowing the origin of managed services might show you why companies made the shift from the break/fix model, there’s a lot more to IT solutions than just keeping your network healthy. Outlined below are two additional reasons that you should utilize third-party IT services.
Technology in the workplace changes rapidly and is only becoming more complex. For instance, the number of devices that an employee uses at work has increased significantly (such as in-office desktops, work laptops, tablets, and even smartphones). This growing number of devices must be managed by IT experts so that every device is consistently supported and protected – a job that is not designed for a modest in-house IT department. Managed services help businesses keep pace with the way modern-day workplaces use technology without overwhelming your internal employees.
Using an MSP allows your IT team to focus on strategic initiatives that directly support your company. This both benefits your bottom line and solidifies the value of your partnership with your IT provider.
There you have it, folks: the history, the future, and the significance of managed services. Knowing about the history of these services helps you learn from past mistakes (read: the break/fix model), while being aware of future trends can help you better gauge which services make the most sense for your firm from a growth perspective. When it comes down to it, IT providers should be able to help you keep up with your competitors in terms of advancing technology, while still giving you enough breathing room to achieve your core business objectives. Contact us at TXSG today to see how we can help you better manage, maintain, and protect your company’s technology.