3 Trends in Managed IT Services You Should Know About

What Managed IT Services Are & Why You Need Them

Managed IT Services are information technology (IT) services and solutions provided by third-party IT experts known as Managed Services Providers (MSP). For an affordable, fixed monthly fee, companies, both large and small, can procure top quality IT services and infrastructure.

Many large companies have their own in-house IT departments. However, given the increasing demand for cutting edge information technology and infrastructure in today’s business environment, even companies with existing in-house IT staff are increasingly looking to Managed Services Providers (MSP) to take on some or all of their IT needs.

MSPs offer many of the services an in house IT department would provide but without the overhead. Often, companies will seek a partially managed solution in which an MSP works as an extension of their existing CIO or in-house IT staff.

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3 Managed Service Trends to Watch in 2019

#1: Demand for Managed IT Services is Growing

According to market research firm MnM, the Managed Services market is expected to grow from $180.5 billion in 2018 to an astounding $282.0 billion by 2023. That’s a predicted growth of well over 50 percent over the next half-decade.

This should come as no surprise, however, to anyone who has been keeping an eye on the IT sector and the rapid progression of technology as a whole. Technology is changing everything, even the way we work.

The advent of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, and many other technologies are increasingly moving most aspects of work into the cloud. As a result of this great migration and increasing reliance on technology for even basic tasks such as record keeping and accounting means that businesses need a quality IT team now more than ever before. Even small businesses, start-ups, and mom and pop establishments now need access to the internet, wifi, web-based marketing, and e-commerce solutions to compete and do business.

Unfortunately, hiring internal IT staff can be prohibitively expensive for many. That’s why the demand for managed services has grown in recent years and is expected to continue to increase at an astonishing rate over the next five years.

How does exploding demand for Managed IT Services affect your business?

More and more small to medium-sized companies are switching to a managed IT solution to gain crucial competitive advantages.

In the past, many businesses could get by with minimal in-house IT staff and the occasional “break/fix” visit from a third-party provider to deal with issues above their capabilities. Many smaller operations didn’t even have a full-time IT person but rather individual staff members who would be occasionally be tasked with solving IT problems and strategy. That isn’t a feasible solution anymore.

Today companies need the capabilities of an entire IT department to compete in the marketplace and protect sensitive proprietary information and the information of their customers. However, not every business can afford to hire an entire IT department. That’s why businesses have turned to Managed IT Services Providers (MSP).

If you want high-quality IT solutions for your business without an in-house price tag, consider a managed solution. With a managed solution, a third-party IT expert can take on your IT tasks such as day-to-day IT support, network management, and cybersecurity. Better yet, companies can get expert IT help without crushing overhead costs. That way, business owners, entrepreneurs, and top business executives can spend less time on IT and more time running their businesses.

#2: Internet of Things (loT) is Coming (Finally!)

The long-heralded Internet of Things (IoT) has been a long time coming. Ever since the dawn of the internet age, IT experts and technology gurus have been predicting the coming hyper-convergence of networks and real-time technology producing a world of “smart” things. With the advent of cloud computing and 5G technology, that vision of the future might finally be here in full force.

What that means is everything from your refrigerator to your lights, to your smartphones, tablets, and computers will not only communicate with each other, they will do it seamlessly, in real-time, all while being informed by Big Data via the cloud.

The promise of IoT has always been the layering of machine intelligence over everyday appliances and pieces of technology. Nowhere is the hyper-convergence of networks, data, and real-time feedback more apparent than in the modern workplace. Think about it; phones used to be tethered to a desk and served a single purpose - voice communication. Today, your phone is a literal microcosm of your life containing everything from personal photos to work-related emails and applications, and most importantly, access to the cloud where everything is stored. Soon, all devices will have access to the cloud and all the information contained therein.

How does the rise of loT affect your business?

Of course, with more and more “smart things” connecting to the internet, comes an increased need for the appropriate IT infrastructure and expertise to support such a level of connectivity while also managing security, oversight, monitoring, and management.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) and other IT strategies developed for a connected world can be administered and managed by an MSP. The managed mobility sector is expected to grow the most as employees increasingly work remotely. As IT assets leave the confines of a conventional office setting, new and innovative ways of remotely managing, supporting, and monitoring those assets will continue to be essential and much more challenging, especially from an IT security standpoint.

#3: Managed IT Security Might Be the Only Way From Now On

Business leaders are discovering that internal expertise is insufficient to meet the day-to-day security threats that actively target small to medium-sized businesses every minute of every day. Cybersecurity is taking on an increasingly important role as more and more business operations, assets, and people move into the cloud out of controlled office environments.

A simple subscription to an Anti-virus software isn’t nearly enough. The proliferation of IoT-capable devices has exponentially multiplied potential attack vectors for malicious cyber actors. If everything is now stored in the cloud, and everything can now simultaneously access the cloud, the potential for devastating security breaches is much, much greater.

While the news is often rife with stories of large, multinational corporations suffering debilitating hacks and theft of valuable information, such as proprietary data, cybercriminals also attack smaller businesses as well. The vast majority (70 percent) of small business experience a cyber attack at some point. Perhaps more disturbingly, 60 percent of small businesses that do experience a cyber attack go out of business within 6 months.

Valuable information such as employee passwords, banking information, and intellectual property are more easily stolen from smaller companies with inadequate security measures who think they are too small for cybercriminals to notice. Even worse, hackers often use small businesses as easy access points into larger supply chains.

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How does cybersecurity affect your business?

Many small business owners make the mistake of overlooking cybersecurity. That doesn’t mean that they don’t invest at all in cybersecurity; it just means that they don’t invest enough.

Today a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy is required that extends well beyond simple spyware software. The best multi-layered security doesn’t just rely on IT technology. It also depends on rigorous security procedures, processes, and protocols.

Finally, no security strategy is safe if people, such as employees, are not aware of and do not follow the established security procedures, processes, and protocols. That’s why managed security is the only way forward in today’s hyper-connected world.

There are infinitely more cybersecurity threats to businesses today then there were just 20 or even 10 years ago. Most companies’ IT security budgets have not increased in proportion to the growth in the number of cybersecurity threats. Most businesses can’t simply hire more IT security expertise in-house. That’s why managed IT security has become more popular as a way for businesses to affordably procure the cyber protection, knowledge, and expertise they need. Remember, it only takes one cyber breach to potentially ruin an otherwise well-run business.

Cybersecurity requires an in-depth knowledge of the security landscape, predictive expertise, real-time monitoring, and dedicated personnel to deal with it effectively. That’s something a Managed Service Provider can provide to smaller companies without completely breaking their IT budgets.

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No matter what your core business is, you’ll need the right technology to sustain a successful (and profitable) business. Investing in technology is essential.

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The IT industry is prime for significant changes in 2019. Are Houston business owners ready to take advantage of what is to come?

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