When everything is ticking along nicely, nobody is thinking about IT support. But without effective IT management, things can quickly fall apart. Although sometimes invisible, IT departments are the operational backbone of nearly any major business.

As businesses become more reliant on complex technology to keep their operations running smoothly, managed IT departments are becoming increasingly common. From the hardware running their networks to sophisticated software solutions, a managed IT department can take over the responsibility of the entire maintenance and overall health of a company’s technology infrastructure.

So, how exactly does a managed IT department operate? And how can managed IT departments help businesses save time, money, and resources? In this article, we’ll break down some of the key functions of a managed IT department, the processes involved, and how managed IT can help businesses succeed.

What does a managed IT department do?

Running an IT department is no small feat. Imagine a business with hundreds of employees and an ever-growing network of computers, printers, and phones — among other important devices. There might be multiple departments, each with its own set of software tools and systems that are in constant use. If any of these systems go down, it could bring operations to a screeching halt. Keeping track of all these moving pieces is a mammoth task and requires a little bit more than a single IT manager. This is where a managed IT department comes into the picture.

Sometimes, a business does not have the internal skills or resources to properly manage its IT needs. In this case, they may consider outsourcing their IT requirements to a Managed Services Provider (MSP). These third-party managed IT departments can take over the management, maintenance, and optimization of all IT systems and infrastructure. The core functions of a managed IT department can usually be broken down into three key areas as shown below:

1. Network and system management. This includes the daily maintenance of hardware, software, and other IT systems, such as setting up and managing networks, monitoring performance, troubleshooting problems, patching software, and providing managed security solutions. It also includes the installation of new systems and services, as well as regular upgrades.

2. Custom solutions. This involves creating specialized managed IT solutions tailored to the needs of a particular business, such as managed cloud services, managed wireless networks, and managed data storage solutions. It might also include managed VoIP solutions and managed applications, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.

3. Help desk support. This involves providing technical assistance and support to employees, customers, and other stakeholders when something goes wrong with the IT infrastructure. This could include troubleshooting issues, providing hardware and software support, setting up user accounts, and more. Typically, managed IT departments will provide both onsite and remote support.

What are the benefits of a managed IT department for businesses?

Organizing an IT department can be a daunting task for businesses that don’t have the resources to do it themselves. For these businesses, managed IT departments can provide vital support and expertise in the form of managed IT solutions and managed services. They remove the burden of running an IT department and allow businesses to focus on their core operations. Here are some of the key benefits managed IT departments can provide.

Instant access to expertise

When businesses choose to outsource their managed IT requirements, they get the advantage of having immediate access to a team of highly experienced IT professionals. This team can be tapped for advice, support, and managed services that are tailored to the needs of the business.

Reduces risk of system failures and data loss

When things go wrong in IT, they can go really wrong. Catastrophic system failures can lead to data loss and disruption of operations, which can be extremely costly for a business. A managed IT department is tasked with minimizing the risks associated with IT systems, by providing managed security solutions and regular system maintenance and upgrades. This can significantly reduce the risk of system failure and subsequent data loss.

Improves efficiency and productivity

Managed IT departments can also help businesses improve their operational efficiency and productivity. Without the burden of IT management, businesses can more easily focus on their core operations and activities. This translates into better performance, which can lead to greater sales and revenue. Managed IT departments can also increase IT process automation, which can further streamline processes and increase efficiency.

Enhances security and compliance

Managed IT departments are also responsible for implementing managed security solutions that protect businesses from cyberattacks, malware, and other malicious threats. They ensure that IT systems are configured securely and managed according to industry standards and regulations. This provides businesses with the assurance that their data is being managed in a safe and secure manner, in compliance with the latest regulatory obligations.

Reduces total cost of ownership (TCO)

By leveraging managed IT services, businesses can ensure that their IT systems are managed more efficiently, cost-effectively, and with minimal disruption to operations. This can significantly reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) associated with IT management and maintenance.

Enables faster operational scaling

If a business is scaling upwards, they need the right IT infrastructure in place to ensure smooth business operations. A managed IT department can quickly provide the managed services and managed solutions needed to support a business’s growth and expansion with minimal disruption or delays.

Access to the latest tools and technologies

Any manager of an IT department knows that in order to do their job well, they need access to the latest tools and technologies. A managed IT department will come pre-equipped with the managed solutions and managed services needed to keep up with the latest advancements in IT. This includes RMM solutions such as Atera, which are specifically designed for managed IT service providers and IT departments that want to enhance efficiency, increase automation, and improve their overall productivity.

The managed IT department — the future of IT management

In today’s digital age, managed IT departments are becoming an increasingly attractive option for businesses that want to access the expertise of a managed service provider without the associated costs and time commitment. From reducing risk to saving time and money, managed IT departments offer businesses the managed solutions and managed services needed to succeed in the digital age.

To see for yourself how Atera’s RMM platform can enhance your managed IT department, sign up for a free trial today!

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