Comprehending Managed Services

The Managed IT Services market was valued at around $186 billion in 2019 and is forecasted to reach $356 billion by 2025. But just what does Managed Services actually mean and what type of businesses need it? What should a company look for in a Managed Services provider (MSP)?

What Are Managed Services?

Managed Services encompass the outsourcing of certain computing and IT-related processes — cloud computing, infrastructure, security — so businesses can avoid downtime and cyberthreats and ensure a proactive approach to computer system patches, updates, maintenance and more.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often don’t have an extensive in-house IT department and micro startups sometimes have none at all. The break/fix approach — reactively dealing with IT issues when they arise — just doesn’t cut it in today’s computer-dependent business environment. Most companies, regardless of size, can’t afford the costly downtime when their computers or network goes down.

The Rise of Managed Services Over Time

The rapid acceleration of technology has been a game-changer for most companies in business today. During the 1990s, the break/fix approach to IT services was common and businesses all but expected lost data and downtime.

By the end of the 90s, however, things changed as offices began using multiple unique devices that needed servicing and repair — printers, fax machines, specialized hardware. New computer systems were faster and easier to use but the complexity led to more time and money for repairs. Random downtime, errors throughout the day and security breaches prompted the need for something beyond break/fix.

By the dawn of the 21st century, the entire IT industry changed from being reactive to broken devices to being proactive to those that needed maintenance. IT services started being offered at flat rate fees with service-level agreements (SLA), which was the start of Managed Services. MSPs saw the benefits of maintaining a healthy network and prevention became the focus.

Managed Services Today

Technology powers most businesses today and it’s not unusual for companies to exist virtually or have part or all of its workforce remote. Some 44% of SMBs increased technology spend in 2020, up from 38% in 2019. The adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace is expected to triple by 2021.

Cyberattacks are the fastest growing crime in the U.S. and attacks are becoming more sophisticated and expensive. Some 43% of all data breaches target SMBs and damages associated with cybercrime are expected to hit $6 trillion by 2021.

Today’s MSPs deliver diverse and cost-effective services, ensuring that SMBs have the latest security and backup systems in place. MSPs always take a proactive approach to network maintenance and monitoring, resolving most problems and security flaws before a business even notices anything was amiss. In contrast to the reactive break/fix model, issues are found and fixed before becoming operational catastrophes.