IT Security News, IT Support 30 July 2020

IT Support Vs Managed IT Services

IT Support Vs Managed IT Services

Ed Wright, Technical Director, Fabric

If your organisation uses IT, you need some form of IT support service. At Fabric we provide different types and levels of support for a wide range of different businesses. Broadly, they divide into IT Support and Managed Service packages. To help you decide which option best matches your requirements, this article explains what each type of package offers and how they differ.

What is IT Support?

IT Support refers to a department or company providing technical help and assistance with computers and other technology products. In providing IT support, we take responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the IT systems, as well as the networking infrastructure in use within the organisation.

IT Support involves working at the busy front-line, usually interacting directly with employees or clients who are experiencing technical issues.

Daily IT support activities may include:

  • The installation and configuration of computer systems
  • Hardware and software fault diagnosis
  • Support cases, Incident Management & Escalation
  • Service Delivery Reporting

What are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT Services are delivered via an outsourced provider, such as Fabric. Usually, a service agreement is in place between the client and the managed service provider (MSP), stating the deliverables and service levels to be adhered to as part of the contract. Managed IT services typically cover the following key areas:

  • IT Service Desk & Technical Support (everything covered in IT Support)
  • Connectivity – ensuring your business devices can connect to the Internet and company VPNs
  • Network monitoring – scanning your network (servers, routers, firewalls) for faults
  • Security – protecting your organisation from cyber attack
  • Business Continuity – ensuring your business functions/operations are not severely impacted by a technical incident
  • Disaster recovery – putting plans in place to protect and recover your organisation from the impact of a technical outage or negative event
  • Backup – creating and storing copies of data to protect your business against data loss

Woman monitors office

What’s the difference between IT Support and Managed IT Services?

Essentially IT support is reactive and managed IT services are proactive.

IT support offers a basic level of technical assistance for responding to break-fix incidents. The IT support helpdesk will pick up the support request when the helpdesk is online. Often this is just during working hours, so it doesn’t provide 24/7 support.

Managed IT Services are typically adopted when the organisation requires a more professional, strategic and technical level of support. There is often more flexibility in coverage options, allowing for an ‘always on’ service. Managed IT service teams utilise predictive monitoring tools, allowing for preventative measures that may avoid future disruption to the business.

Our managed IT services are delivered by a highly qualified team with a broad range of skills, ready to be called upon as and when needed. This saves on the expense of having highly qualified staff in-house who require continual training and development. Managed IT services are usually delivered via a contractual agreement that includes SLAs and KPIs, reassuring you of continuing, reliable and proactive service.

When to use IT Support vs Managed IT Services

If yours is a non-complex, non-technical organisation that only requires minimal reactive support for its IT services, simple IT Support will often suffice. However, if you have a greater dependency on the availability of IT, technology and systems, a Managed IT Services arrangement is likely to be more appropriate. The table below outlines the critical decision factors for this:

In-House IT Support

Outsourced IT Support

Managed IT Services

Is the service scalable and flexible to support outside of core business hours?

 

Maybe

 

Yes

 

Yes

 

Does the services provide proactive service monitoring of my business IT environment and applications?

 

No

 

No

 

Yes

 

Does the services provide a broad range of IT skillsets?

 

No

 

No

 

Yes

 

Does the service provide a strategic approach?

 

No

 

No

 

Yes

 

Are security updates and patches installed automatically?

 

No

 

No

 

Yes

 

How is the price determined?

 

In-house salaries and cost of training

 

Pay as you go / pre-purchased hours, billed for work done

 

Fixed monthly subscription

Remote working

How much do different IT Support/Managed services models cost?

  • In-house IT – this involves the full expense of paying IT services personnel salaries, often as full-time employees. IT staff often require training to keep skills up to date and stay on top of new Microsoft and other product releases. This can incur high costs.
  • Outsourced IT Support – this usually consists of a block of pre-purchased hours that can be called in as and when needed.
  • Managed IT Services – agreements are delivered over a specified term (normally 2 – 3 years) and for a fixed fee. They outline all the specified services adopted by the client over the agreed time. The commercial elements of the agreement are usually defined by service hours, IT footprint and service activities.

How Fabric can help your organisation with IT Support or Managed Services

Now that you have seen what each type of IT support package involves, the only remaining question is which one is right for your business?  At Fabric we have extensive experience of working with a variety of small and medium-sized businesses. We are happy to provide both comprehensive, proactive Managed Services and basic ‘call us if there’s a problem’ reactive support.

Why not start by contacting us for a free, no-obligation consultation? We will recommend an IT Support or Managed Services package tailored to your organisation. It’s all about keeping your IT running smoothly, so you can focus on what really matters: the business.

Ed Wright, Technical Director, Fabric

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