Understanding Managed IT Services

By Jason Wendt on December 18th, 2019 | Tags:

Many of the services and products that we offer here at CREG Systems can be described as Managed IT Services. But for many, that term is pretty new and unfamiliar.

So what are Managed IT Services? How did the first Managed IT Services companies develop? Why do we think that your business may benefit from using Managed IT Services?

Read on to find answers to all your questions about Managed IT Services, the history of their development, and their benefits.

What are Managed IT Services?

By definition, “Managed IT Services” means the practice of outsourcing the management of IT functions and operations to a third-party contractor. The managed IT service provider takes on the responsibility for the monitoring, managing and any troubleshooting, as needed, of the IT systems within that business. That often includes maintenance of the core network, telephony and data, and other basic IT maintenance responsibilities like fixing outages and patch management.

As your local Northern New York Managed IT Services provider, CREG Systems wants to help you learn more about outsourcing your IT maintenance.

A quick history lesson: it all started with break-fixes

In the last decade, managed services, especially in the IT industry, have grown exponentially. It all started with companies who helped service small- to medium-sized networks. Smaller businesses, unlike their large counterparts, could not afford and support an internal full-service IT department.

Around the early 90’s, with the ramp up of new technology, even small business networks started becoming more complex. Many of those businesses started out with quite simple systems built by an amateur, and network service companies operated on a break-fix basis. That means that professional help was called only when necessary, like when something was broken and needed a fix.

Over time, network maintenance providers developed some procedures to send technicians on site periodically to perform a system review. That often included an overwhelming checklist to log usage, user information, disk and processor usage, and more.

The goal was to possibly find hints of issues that can be fixed before they occur. However, that was not that effective because the technician could only see the information for only that day and only knew of failures when alerted by the customer.

Also, the backup system was usually tested only during the tech visit, which often meant a week or more of missed backups. The systems would often have human-related errors because the technician would try to accommodate the end-user customer concern quickly during his visit, and have no time to inspect the root cause of the problem.

From reactive fixes to proactive maintenance

At that time, the hardware and software providers were developing new and better ways for the networks to indicate problems as early as possible. For example, the common Simple Network Management Protocol had been developing since the early 90’s and is still used for monitoring and maintenance.

But the very first systems that could monitor the networks and provide some useful data were very complex and expensive. Only large corporations with their huge networks could afford that. Smaller businesses needed a solution that would keep things in good shape and provide a predictable cost that they could count on.

So around the early 2000-s, network service companies started to come up with flat-rate service agreements and remote maintenance software. That allowed smaller companies to take advantage of the same benefits as the IT department at a large company would provide.

The IT industry changed from being reactive to broken devices to being proactive in providing continuous monitoring and maintenance. That started the Managed IT Services movement.

Why the break-fix approach is not good enough for your business

Your small or medium-sized business needs well-maintained technology to compete in today’s saturated market. But in many small businesses, both the budget and the IT resources are quite limited. If you don’t timely manage backups, security and patches, you are more likely to have to deal with an IT failure sooner or later. But if your business operates with a Managed IT Service, you are able to prevent any problems before they disrupt and harm your business, employees and customers.

A break-fix approach fixes problems as they come up. In other words, something needs to go wrong before you get professional service. That results in various delays, problems with performance, network security and frustrated customers, while you wait for the issue to be fixed.

Read our blog post on cybersecurity to learn more about avoiding the biggest security risks for your network.

We believe that a major part of the success of your business depends on a reliable network and well-managed IT system. Today, no organization can afford the risk of a break-fix approach, putting their productivity and network security on the line. Besides, deciding between different providers for each part of your system may delay finding the solution to your problem. You just don’t have time for that!

Here at CREG Systems, we provide comprehensive managed services for your peace of mind. Ask us about how we can help manage your company’s IT system.

Are Managed IT Services more expensive than Break-Fix Services?

No! Monitoring and managing your IT services will cost less than traditional break-fixes. Additionally, with a flat maintenance rate, you will know what to expect each step of the way.

Give us a call today to learn more about our maintenance rates. We can work with you and your specific needs to help you easily budget your IT services.

CREG Systems seeks to educate its customers about the telecom industry and the services we offer. We do so by giving you tools and information to help you learn more to empower and protect your business. Located in Watertown, NY, we serve our Northern New York customers in many areas of IT and telecommunications, including managed IT services. Click the button below to get in touch!