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Karen Cohen

By: Karen Cohen on April 01, 2023

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Outsourced IT Services & Solutions For Small & Medium-Sized Businesses

Managed Services | IT Support


As the role of technology increases for businesses of all sizes, many leaders of small and medium-sized businesses struggle with the ability to build and maintain the robust technology infrastructure their organization needs

Even businesses that have traditionally relied on one dedicated IT person or a small staff are finding that they need a broader range of skills and expertise to provide the continuous upkeep and forward-looking technology strategy necessary to successfully support their business.  

When they find themselves in this situation, many business leaders consider turning to external IT support to either work beside their own staff or to handle the complete care of their network and infrastructure

At Kelser, a managed IT support services provider, we work with businesses of all sizes to support their technology needs. We offer comprehensive, proactive managed IT support solutions. But, don’t worry, I’m not going to push you to work with us or even to consider managed IT support. 

The point of this article is to provide business leaders like you with the information you need to make the right technology decision for your business.  

In this article, I’ll explain the services and solutions that outsourced IT support can provide. With that knowledge, you’ll be better prepared to confidently decide what solution will work best for your business. We are committed to providing honest information that you can use to decide the best approach for you. 

What Are Outsourced IT Services & Solutions? 

In the same way that businesses hire external organizations to handle a multitude of critical business functions and activities, outsourced IT services and solutions offer a way for businesses to partner with experts to get essential ongoing technology services and expertise

Outsourced IT services and solutions can be arranged to work alongside an internal team or provide full support for your business.  

What Are The Options For Outsourced IT Services & Solutions? 

Businesses have two options for outsourced IT: break/fix and the managed IT support model. 

1. Break/Fix

This is what most people think of as traditional “tech support.” When something breaks, an outside contractor comes in to fix the issue. Break/fix providers may also offer project work.

Also known as reactive IT support, this type of service is usually billed after the job is completed based on an hourly rate plus the cost of parts.  

Related article: What Is A Break/Fix IT Provider? The Pros & Cons

2. Managed IT 

As technology has evolved into the critical backbone of every business, many organizations looked for a new model that would provide proactive care to keep their business network operating safely and efficiently while minimizing downtime. 

Those desires led IT support providers to look for a different approach. Through proactive care and maintenance, as well as strategic planning, managed IT keeps business networks safe, available, and efficient

This type of support is billed as a recurring monthly fee or subscription, based on things like the complexity of the environment and number of devices being managed.

Managed IT covers everything from soup to nuts, including: 

    • security solutions (like firewalls, employee security awareness training, spam filtering, anti-malware, anti-virus and other email services, DNS or domain name service protection) 
    • strategic guidance (from industry experts that often include a virtual chief information officer and technical alignment manager)
    • hardware and software purchasing and procurement
    • service desk support
    • managed hardware (including automated patching, maintenance, disaster recovery services and notification, and remediation of incidents for servers, networks, and workstations) 
    • license management for devices and software

This approach minimizes surprises and unexpected budget hits

Related article: Managed IT Support: The Pros & Cons

Both solutions are valid and there are pros and cons to each. 

For example, some businesses can tolerate a certain amount of downtime, others can’t. That is just one of many considerations that come into play when deciding whether one option is a better fit for your organization. 

Related article: What Factors Affect IT Support Costs? (10 You Need To Know)

How Can Small & Medium-Sized Businesses Access Outsourced IT Services & Solutions? 

As with any business decision, selecting the right provider is the key to a successful relationship

Related article: How Do  I Choose The Right IT Provider? (Criteria You Can Use)

The first step is to honestly assess where your gaps are and the best way to fill them effectively. Then you’ll need to consider your budget. How much can you afford to pay?  What is the best use of your financial resources? 

Once you are ready to explore providers, we encourage you to explore several options. Why? Because if you get a provider that isn’t the right fit, all of your effort to identify your gaps and resources will be useless. 

If you get a provider who comes to an interview (yes an interview!) with a ready solution, be wary. How can they possibly know what your business needs without listening to your pain points and business goals? No ready-made solution will fit every organization

Related article: What Value Do Strategic Business/IT Partnerships Provide?

To build a partnership with you, your IT service and solution provider needs to understand your business, your industry, your customer base, your regulatory and compliance needs, your infrastructure, your business plan, and more before deciding on the right technology tools for your business. 

Related article: 10 Best Questions To Ask Any IT Service Provider

Are Outsourced IT Services & Solutions Expensive? 

The truth is that outsourced IT services and solutions can be expensive. But when you consider the cost of employing the full suite of technology experts that every network needs, the cost of outsourced IT services and solutions is usually much less than hiring internal staff. 

The reason is that when you work with an outside provider, they cover the cost of benefits, hiring, training, certifying, and retaining staff (among other costs). In addition, costs that are passed on to customers are shared among many different organizations. 

So you get the convenience of having the qualified resources you need when you need them without having to bear the full cost burden long-term. 

I’ll offer one other cost note: according to an IBM report the average cost of a U.S. data breach in 2022 was $9.44 million, more than double the global average! The cost of proactive IT that can help prevent cyber risks pales in comparison. 

Is Outsourcing IT The Right Solution For Your Organization? 

Only you can decide on the best technology solution for your organization. 

The good news is that after reading this article you have a better understanding of the options for outsourced IT services and solutions. You know the difference between break/fix and managed IT and you know that both have advantages and disadvantages

Wondering if your organization is too small for managed IT support? Read this article to find out what sized organizations can benefit from managed IT

At this point, you might be still exploring your options and have some thinking to do. That’s perfectly normal. 

Or, you may be ready to learn more about how break fix and managed IT stack up in terms of cost, reliability, security, and productivity. 

If you find yourself confused, looking for more information, or wanting to talk to a person, click the link below to provide your contact information so one of our advisors can reach out to learn about your pain points, answer your questions, and see if we are a good fit to work together. 

Talk with a Human

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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