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Karen Cohen

By: Karen Cohen on August 02, 2022

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Do I Need Managed IT Support If I Have On-Site IT Staff? 5 Signs

Managed Services | IT Support

Your business is going well. Everything is operating smoothly from an IT standpoint. At least as far as you know. But do you really know?

The last thing any organization needs is an IT issue that disrupts business. But, unless you work for a huge corporation with unlimited resources, you probably don’t have a full complement of IT experts to care for the daily and long-term care and feeding of your IT environment. 

If you have an IT staff at all, it is likely either dedicated to the daily care and maintenance or to strategic long-term IT planning. And, honestly, many businesses your size have no dedicated IT staff.  

So, how do you know that your IT environment has what it needs? 

At Kelser, we provide comprehensive managed IT support services to care for every aspect of customer infrastructure. I say that not to tout our services (although, they are impressive).

I just want you to know that we understand what complete IT care looks like: which elements are important and the signs that an IT infrastructure might be struggling. 

In this article, I’ll point out five signs that you may need additional IT support, even if you have an on-site IT staff. 

After reading this article, you’ll know what to look for and will be able to decide if your organization could benefit from extra IT support

Before we start though, let me issue one quick disclaimer. This article is not a ploy to get you to work with Kelser. We know that managed IT support isn’t right for everyone. Instead, we are providing the information you need to decide the best way to keep your infrastructure secure, available, and efficient. 

Let’s get to it!

What Is Managed IT Support? 

Managed IT support is a subscription-based, ongoing, proactive IT support model

Rather than pay to fix things as they break, some organizations opt for managed IT support because it provides forward-looking, comprehensive support at a predictable monthly cost, no matter what services you need. And, it costs less than hiring all the IT professionals you need to fully care for your infrastructure. 

Let me be clear: both solutions have their place

This article provides a more detailed look at what managed IT support typically includes

How Does Managed IT Differ From Other Support Models? 

One of the ways managed IT differs from the traditional break/fix model is that the provider and customer form a collaborative partnership in which the provider develops a complete understanding of the customer’s unique IT environment and business goals.

This results in faster, more efficient resolution of issues and strategic planning for future IT needs.

Read this article for an in-depth analysis of the differences between traditional break/fix and managed IT support: Break/Fix vs. Managed IT: Cost, Reliability, Security, Productivity.

How Do I Know If I Need Managed IT Support? 5 Signs

I often equate IT support with medical care. There are times that you could have a serious medical condition without experiencing any symptoms. The same is true for your IT. 

Just as we go for regular medical checkups to keep an eye on our overall health and make sure to follow up on lingering symptoms, IT infrastructures need the same combination of care

Here are 5 signs that your IT infrastructure may need additional support: 

1. Lack Of Strategic IT Plan

To support your business, you need to ensure that your strategic plan includes IT. Your IT environment is the foundation of your business. If you are planning to add employees or locations, you need to be sure that your IT infrastructure (servers, switches, etc.) can support the extra traffic. 

Proactive planning that includes IT helps ensure that your business infrastructure is ready for what’s next, positioning you for success.

Want to know more about why this matters? Read this article: Align Your IT And Business Strategy: Why It Matters, How To Do It

2. Slow Connectivity

There are multiple reasons your devices may be running slow.

Maybe your older infrastructure doesn’t have enough bandwidth to support the amount of traffic flowing internally and externally today. (For example, if you’ve installed a voice over internet protocol (or VoIP) phone system and your workforce is now primarily remote, the demands on your infrastructure have increased significantly.)

Maybe your devices are older and unable to take advantage of improvements available on newer models.

Or, maybe there is some kind of malware lurking in your environment that you don’t even know is there. Often threats take effect immediately, but they can also lay dormant for extended periods of time before they are activated. 

Internal IT staff members are often stretched so thin responding to the daily service requests that they don’t have the time to dedicate to digging deep to determine the root cause. External support can help fill this gap. 

Learn more about the Top 3 Cybersecurity Threats For Small Businesses (& How To Stay Safe).

3. Inconsistent Backups

Does your organization routinely back up data? Where is the data stored? Could the data be accessed in the event of natural or other disasters? Is the process for accessing these backups tested regularly?

What good are backups if you can’t (or don’t know how to) access them when you need to? As effective as many internal IT organizations can be, they often don’t have the resources needed to fight the daily fires and perform regular backups along with testing the backup procedures.

4.No Employee Security Awareness Training

If you find yourself wondering why employee security awareness training is important, consider this statistic: up to 95 percent of cyber events are due to human error

Employees are your first line of defense against cyber threats. With the proper training, you can ensure that they provide a strong human firewall.

When they know how to recognize and report suspicious activity, they can be a positive force. But they have to know and understand what the latest threats look like. 

Read more about the value and cost of employee security awareness training in this article: Employee Security Awareness Training: An Honest Cost-Benefit Analysis.

5.Incomplete Infrastructure Monitoring

Effective infrastructure monitoring includes host, network, and system monitoring. These three types of monitoring work together to keep your network safe

By collecting and reviewing information about what is going on in your environment, you will have early notice of anything strange ranging from performance issues to odd behavior, slow processing to security-related issues. 

Read this article to find out more: What Is Infrastructure Monitoring? How Does It Prevent Cyber Attacks?

How Would A Managed IT Provider Work With My IT Staff?

The short answer to this question should be: it depends what you need

Most managed IT providers are flexible and can offer everything from fully managed IT support to service desk support. For example, if your internal staff has a solid relationship with your users and works efficiently to solve the daily issues, maybe your managed provider cares for your network. 

There are a number of ways the relationship can work. Check out this article for more details: What Is Co-Managed IT Support? How Does It Work?

Why Would I Pay For Two Different Kinds Of IT Support? 

Here’s the thing. No matter whether a network is big or small, it needs the same elements of care. And, with cyber threats becoming more complex each day, businesses need to evaluate their risk and take the necessary steps to ensure the security of customer and user data.

Think about this analogy: a child and an adult both need the same kinds of medical care. You go to a specialist for specific, complex treatment and a general practitioner for your physical. IT support is similar.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. At Kelser, we believe in providing the information business leaders need to make the best IT decisions for their organization. 

Many companies find that combining internal and managed IT support provides them with a cost-effective way to get the best of both worlds. They have an on-site team to fight the daily fires and the external support and expertise to provide strategic direction at a fraction of the cost of adding these experts to their staff.  

This unbiased article answers the important question: Are Managed IT Services Worth The Cost? 

How Much Does Managed IT Cost? 

The cost can vary depending on the services you need. In general terms, fully managed IT can cost $100-200 per user per month. 

So, Do I Need Managed IT Support If I Have On-Site IT Staff? 

After reading this article, you have a deeper understanding of managed IT support. You understand what is included and what it costs. You also know the signs that might indicate that your organization needs managed IT support. 

We’ve explored how a managed IT provider might work with your staff and whether or not it’s worth the cost. 

I’ll be honest. Managed IT support isn’t the right solution for everyone. It may be more than you need, but if you are still wondering, check out this article: Is Managed IT Support A Good Solution For Small & Medium Businesses? 

Or, if you are ready to find out more about managed IT, check out a few providers to find out what they offer and which one might be right. The Kelser Learning Center features a variety of informative, unbiased articles including competitor comparisons. Check out this one: IT Direct Vs. Kelser (Which IT Provider Is Right For Me?) 

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About Karen Cohen

Karen brings unending curiosity to her role as Kelser's Content Manager. If you have a question, she wants to know the answer.

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