As an employee for a managed IT services company, the easy thing for me to say would be "absolutely! managed IT support is the best thing in the entire world."
But I'm not going to do that to you. I'm going to be real.
And the real answer is: It depends.
Just like anything else in this world, what you need and what actually benefits you depends on your personal circumstances.
Yes, having managed services is a life saver for many businesses, especially small and startup sized companies. But if you're a one man show, operating out of your basement, and you already have general IT knowledge, you probably don't need managed IT services.
Managed IT support is really meant for small or start up sized business that are starting to expand. Businesses like these need some kind of IT support, whether it's in-house employees, "pay-per-view" break fix model, or outsourced managed IT services.
So, if you're at that point when you're considering how to take care of all your IT needs, the question is, which of those support options is best for you.
In-house support is nice because you have someone (or a team) right there under your employment and supervision. But that means you actually have to supervise and be on top of the person. Plus, employee salaries and benefits can be expensive.
Break-fix model can be a good option if you're company isn't totally up and running yet. Being down for an hour or two won't harm you too much, but paying out of your pocket for a larger IT support plan or employee might.
And then in walks managed IT services.
Managed IT services is kind of like the Facebook of the market. Myspace is great, but once you really start making friends, you want to get a Facebook account.
A managed IT provider will give you higher end service and higher end support. So you just have to decide whether your business is ready for it - essentially, are you ready to move to Facebook?
This doesn't mean that managed IT services are always the better option. It just means that once you reach a certain point in your business growth, they very well might be. It really just depends on where you are in your business timeline and where you want to be in your business growth and automation.
The way to decide this, is to consider whether paying for a managed IT provider is going to be worth the expense. I.e what's your return on investment (ROI).
The point of hiring a manged IT service provider is to have a guarantee that a team of IT experts are watching over your IT needs. The team will make sure that your computer, networks, and servers are alwasy updated and working optimally. An expert tech team, will also be sure to develop a backup and disaster recovery plan for you, so that in case of IT failures or blackouts, a copy of your data will already be safely stored somewhere else.
This means, that even if something goes wrong with your computers or networks, you won't have to face any drastic consequences. A reliable tech team will be able to restore your data and your business will continue running without any hindrances. Your customer's will never even know there was a problem.
As a consumer and business employee, this is actually so important. Think about what happens when you try to buy something on a website and suddnely it says something like "we are experiencing some technicial problems, please sit back while we resolve this." I don't know about you, but I generally get a bad impression and often take my business elsewhere.
You certainly don't want that to happen to you. And in such a case, your ROI would be worth the price of managed IT services, because you would have gained customers instead of losing customers.
If you're a small or startup sized business, you've got 25 employees or more, and you're not one to keep up with all this tech support stuff, managed IT services are definitely worth it. Or, atleast worth a free consultation for consideration (because most IT providers offer that).
And trust me, your business, clients, and backed-up data will thank you later.