Managed IT Services: Improving Efficiency & Productivity for Small Businesses

April 27, 2023
Industry Commentary

IT services are the backbone of companies worldwide. Most organizations today delegate the upkeep of their IT-related services to outsourced entities; this is referred to as 'managed IT services.’ With the advent of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown, the world experienced a paradigm shift in IT service outsourcing that is leading to accelerated growth. In FY2022 the global market for managed IT and IT-related services was valued at $313 billion and is anticipated to hit the $750+ billion mark by 2030.

Tasks managed by a third party are commonly included in the context of corporate information technology services. The managed services model is used to delegate routine activities to a professional to cut expenses, enhance service quality, and/or free up internal teams to focus on other projects. A business that offers these services is generally referred to as a managed service provider (MSP).

Managed IT services are used across a spectrum of organizations from startups to small and medium size enterprises. Managed IT services for small businesses vary and are broadly classified across three categories: business process service, application service and infrastructure service. Business process services include support operations such as auditing and compliance, analytics and reporting, logistics, etc. Application services consist of integration, aggregation, process flow streamlining, B2B collaboration, etc. The base of any IT service is the infrastructure deployed to facilitate fast information flows with consistent performance. Infrastructure services involve setting up communication services, networking, data processing and storage decks, among others. 

For any solution driven service, identifying and understanding the potential challenges are crucial to providing better and more efficient offerings. Technology related services are no exception. Here are three key challenges faced by small businesses with regard to IT support.

A. Lack of in-house IT expertise:

The in-house IT support team plays a vital role in tending to recurrent and acute issues faced by an organization. With in-house IT support, issues can be dealt with on the spot; thus, saving time and loss of productivity. A lack of in-house IT expertise creates creates difficulty for small businesses.

B. Limited resources:

Small businesses have limited resources at their disposal which makes it difficult for them to keep up with changing IT related problems. In small businesses, both monetary resources and IT workforce are limited. 

C. Rapidly changing technology:

The IT industry today is no stranger to the effect of the COVID pandemic. This world-changing event brought many sudden changes to the sector. Back in 2020, a survey by Gartner found that 70% of organizations worldwide using cloud services plan to ramp up spending due to changes brought by the pandemic. Companies were also forced to change operational approaches post pandemic. 

Managed IT solutions deal with day-to-day tasks for time consuming and complex projects like data center solutions, cloud computing, end user support, etc. The key advantages of managed IT solutions for small businesses are:

A. Proactive IT support and maintenance:

When a managed IT services team is onboarded, they are proactive and well equipped to deal with the recurrent IT issues in a small business or for that matter any business. This is because they have a dedicated team assigned at the beginning of a contract whose main purpose is to handle a specific client. This proactive approach helps to quickly solve issues and increases the productivity for the organization.

B. Cost-effective solutions:

It is cost effective for small businesses to opt for managed IT services as they can choose the specific terms of service. Many managed IT solution providers such as Uplevel systems create bespoke support packages in accordance with the requirements of each business.

C. Improved efficiency and productivity:

Managed IT services offer expert IT support with guided assistance to help businesses narrow their focus, minimize workplace downtime, and provide routine maintenance checkups on hardware. By doing so, they contribute significantly to increasing the efficiency and productivity of an organization. This approach not only ensures that IT systems operate at peak performance but also frees up valuable time and resources for businesses to concentrate on their core competencies and achieve their goals.

When it comes to selecting outsourced IT services, an organization has to identify their key gaps, existing inefficiencies and areas of improvement. This exercise helps to find the best match for their IT requirements. Some prerequisites to check for when onboarding managed IT services include industry experience, operational efficacy, solution driven approaches, friendliness and adaptability. 

Small and medium-sized enterprises can boost their competitiveness by using managed IT services. They provide businesses with access to the same high-quality equipment, expertise, and support found in much larger organizations. Overall, managed services make it easier for an organization to expand, upgrade, and implement cutting-edge technology. 

About Uplevel Systems

Uplevel Systems, as a small business IT infrastructure managed service provider, enables any of these options. Uplevel’s subscription offering is the most popular with SMBs, but some prefer Uplevel’s new equipment purchase program and use a CapEx model.