The Ultimate Guide to Managed Services 2024

In 2024, winning in IT depends on using technology to make teams work better and help the business grow. Businesses that can adapt quickly, optimize resources, and navigate technical challenges using tech will inevitably outpace their competitors.

Small and medium-sized businesses typically need outside IT support to achieve such goals if they don’t have their own IT department. Modern IT systems can be demanding and use up a lot of resources. This can make tasks like maintenance and security updates consume a lot of time, and distract you from your goals. 

Amidst a relentlessly evolving digital landscape, maintaining pace sometimes feels akin to sprinting on a high-speed treadmill. The good news is there are options to keep agile: managed services.

This guide explains the advantages of managed IT services in 2024. It also discusses how managed services can ensure that technology supports your success instead of hindering it.

What do managed IT services (MSP) entail?

A managed IT service involves the hiring of a third-party vendor to maintain and manage your IT infrastructure. An outside team of IT experts handles various aspects of your IT setup, including server upkeep, cloud services, system administration, network security, and monitoring

These aforementioned services encompass managed IT services. The provider of said solution is referred to as a managed service provider (MSP). 

MSPs strive to offer affordable IT solutions and services across cloud, security, data compliance, network, and more. They customize their offerings to best help you achieve your business objectives and gain a competitive advantage.

Most importantly, MSPs save your business time. Instead of worrying about IT or allocating resources to manage it internally, MSPs allow you to focus on business strategy and innovation.

Who uses managed IT services?

MSPs primarily help SMBs or organizations without an IT department by managing and maintaining their systems. 

Many influencing factors lead organizations to partner with a MSP, including:

Managed IT services typically provide remote support, management, and maintenance for IT infrastructure and end-user systems. This means that instead of having IT support on-site, MSPs provide support remotely, which can be advantageous for a number of SMBs. Small businesses can ultimately manage and update their IT systems without requiring a team to be present using a MSP. 

Finally, SMBs can eliminate the need for constant problem-solving or performing regular maintenance by engaging with an outside expert that is solely focused on their IT environment.

What does managed IT services include?

Managed IT services generally match their offering to the needs of your business. The services they offer will vary based on your company’s size, industry, infrastructure complexity, and the MSP you choose.

Typically speaking, managed IT services offer:

These services form the foundation of MSP services, but there are many other categories of managed IT services to consider.

Types of Managed IT Services

What are the types of managed IT services available?

While different types of managed IT service providers exist today, all MSPs have the same core model: they help you transition general IT tasks to a team of experts.

This helps your business improve service, save money for better cost-effectiveness, and allocate resources to innovation and important goals. 

In 2024, several MSPs have adjusted to the evolving digital world, offering specialized solutions in different service areas. Here, we break down the most common types of managed IT services available today.

Remote monitoring and management & endpoint protection and response

Remote monitoring and management (RMM) and endpoint protection and response are core services of MSPs. 

RMM assists MSPs in remotely monitoring and managing desktop and mobile IT systems. This eliminates the requirement of being physically present for maintenance and management.

Endpoint protection and response uses intelligent systems to automatically detect, analyze, and prevent cyber threats in your network. 

Both services inform a MSP about problems or dangers. This allows the MSP to respond quickly and keep your business prepared for any unusual or unexpected events.

Network and infrastructure management

Network and infrastructure management services are crucial for maintaining the backbone of your IT environment.

A MSP managed network includes setting up, managing, and monitoring network systems, like servers, storage, and networking devices. 

Top providers guarantee excellent performance, security, traffic management, upgrades, patches, and proactive monitoring to prevent network downtime. These services are pivotal for ensuring seamless connections and robust network infrastructure resilience.

Cybersecurity services

As cyber threats continue to evolve, cybersecurity services have become a cornerstone of managed IT.

These services protect your data and IT infrastructure from cyber threats like malware, ransomware, and data breaches. Providers offer solutions like firewall management, intrusion detection, virus and malware protection, and security audits. They also ensure compliance with relevant regulations, making them invaluable for safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining trust. 

The best MSPs offer customized cybersecurity programs for your organization, ensuring constant protection and enhancement against new cyber threats.

Cloud computing services

Cloud computing services have revolutionized the way businesses manage and store data for over a decade, but there are still many organizations that require assistance in making the successful transition to all-digital, scalable infrastructure. 

Today’s managed IT service providers offer managed cloud solutions that include hosting, storage, backup and recovery, and cloud application management. These services enable businesses to leverage the scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness of cloud computing, ensuring data accessibility and business continuity

For example, many managed IT service providers specialize in solutions focusing on infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for companies requiring managed cloud support with their deployments in specific public cloud services such as Microsoft Azure, or provide solution offerings in software as a service (SaaS) service IT management for modern workplace software stacks such as Microsoft 365.

MSPs can also help ensure that your business is aligned with the cloud provider that best matches your cloud infrastructure requirements. They handle the burden of technical details and ensure seamless migration, smooth operation, optimized cloud usage and costs and regular updates to enable your teams to instead focus on core business objectives.

Data analytics and business intelligence

Managed data analytics and business intelligence (BI) services collect, evaluate and protect business and customers on your behalf. These tools also monitor network traffic, identify trends, and predict outcomes to help you make data-led decisions.

Self-service BI tools are available, but getting help from an MSP can make your analytics tools even better. This is particularly important if you do not have an in-house team of analysts. 

A MSP can seamlessly integrate these sophisticated tools into your workflows, improving access to data for your workforce. They can also focus on managing specific areas for you, such as analyzing finances or improving operational performance.

Communication and Collaboration Tools

Effective communication and collaboration are key to business success in the digital age. Managed IT services in this area include the deployment and management of communication tools such as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), email hosting, and video conferencing solutions. Providers also offer collaboration tools that facilitate project management and team collaboration, ensuring that teams can work efficiently regardless of their location.

What kinds of managed IT services are offered

What are the benefits of managed IT services?

As a small or medium-sized business, you’ll experience significant benefits with managed IT services.

Ultimately, embracing these services to focus on your core business activities, while a MSP handles your complex IT challenges, ultimately paves the way for long-term success and stability with your digital infrastructure.

What are the types of managed IT services pricing?

Pricing is always an important factor in partnering with a MSP. SMBs have a range of pricing options for managed IT services to suit specific needs and budget. Here are the most typical pricing structures to consider.

  1. Per-Device Pricing: Charges based on the number of devices you need managed, such as computers and servers. A straightforward and easy way to determine pricing.

  2. Per-User Pricing: Charges based on users, which is great for workplaces with multiple devices.

  3. Tiered Pricing: Choose from different service levels, each with a set price. You select a tier that matches your business requirements and budget.

  4. All-Inclusive/Flat-Fee Pricing: Provides complete IT support for a set monthly cost, making budgeting easy and predictable.

  5. A La Carte Pricing: Customized services where you only pay for what you use, giving you flexibility and control over costs.

  6. Value-Based Pricing: Focus on the value provided rather than the specifics of the services, aligning your IT support with your business’s performance and goals.

Every MSP offers different pricing structures. Take the time necessary to consider best supports your business’s IT environment and goals for growth and efficiency.

What should I consider before choosing a MSP?

When selecting a MSP for your small or medium-sized business, consider these several key factors to ensure you make the right choice:

  1. Understand your needs: Clearly identify your specific IT needs and goals before choosing a MSP. Consider what aspects of your IT infrastructure you want to outsource, and what outcomes you expect. You must be able to articulate your requirements for a MSP to customize their services to your liking.

  2. Experience and expertise: Look for an MSP with a proven track record in your industry, with customer case studies to provide insight into their process.

  3. Range of services: Ensure the MSP offers a comprehensive range of services that align with your current and future IT needs. This includes support, cybersecurity, cloud services, and proactive monitoring.

  4. Scalability: Your chosen MSP should be able to scale services up or down based on your business growth and changing needs.

  5. Response time and support: Assess their commitment to support and response times. Reliable, timely support is critical for minimizing downtime and maintaining productivity.

  6. Contract Terms: Review contract terms carefully. Understand the commitment, service level agreements (SLAs), and exit clauses, and ensure they make SLAs clear.

Choosing the right MSP is ultimately a strategic decision that can significantly impact your business’s efficiency and growth. Take the time to evaluate and select a partner that aligns with your business objectives and offers the support you need to thrive.

Why use managed IT services?

Choosing the right MSP is ultimately a strategic decision that can significantly impact your business’s efficiency and growth. With preparation and consideration, you can unlock substantial benefits with the right MSP.

It’s always important to take the time to assess your current business state and readiness before evaluating and selecting a partner that aligns with your business objectives, and offers the support you need to thrive.

If you are currently on your journey to find the best IT expertise and partnership, learn how SparkNav’s Managed IT Services may present the best strategic IT solutions for your technology challenges and requirements today.

Robert Griffin
Robert Griffin
As COO, Robert Griffin plays an instrumental role in aligning operational excellence with strategic goals by leveraging his decades of experience in enterprise leadership. With deep knowledge and expertise in security, governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), and AI, his insights are often shared through thought leadership channels, including LinkedIn and blogs. → Follow Robert on LinkedIn.