If you’re a principal or school owner who’s also trying to handle all of your own IT needs, at some point, you’ll want to look for another option.
It can be exhausting to wear the IT management hat along with the several others you’re juggling. Plus, frequently fixing your IT problems – especially if it’s not your forte – takes you away from your primary job duties.
How much more productive (and profitable) could you be if you could hand over the management and maintenance of your IT?
As a managed IT services provider, Fortabyte Cyber Solutions has seen many small schools stuck in the cycle of solving their own IT problems that cost them valuable time and money.
When you sign up for managed IT services, you’ll get the experience and expertise of high-level engineers, which often aren’t accessible for smaller schools.
Plus, here are some additional benefits you can expect:
- Managed IT services are always available.
- MSPs have a collective knowledge.
- Managed IT services are cost-effective.
- MSPs provide IT thought leadership.
The below information will give you a better idea of what you can expect with managed IT services.
Managed IT Services Are Always Available
MSPs hire a team of engineers to work on school problems. Vacation time is staggered, so there are always enough engineers clocked in to resolve your urgent IT issues. Plus, MSPs staff enough engineers to cover unexpected absences, too.
In other words, managed IT services give you 24/7/365 access to IT support, and you don’t have to coordinate availability to make that a reality. This makes managed services an even better option than an in-house IT department, a common alternative to managed services.
Most small schools only have the budget to hire one full-time IT person. If you go that route, your IT manager will inevitably call in sick, take a vacation, and need a personal day. And until they return, your IT issues pile up.
Again, your assigned MSP engineer will be out of the office from time to time, but since they’re part of a team, you can still request and receive support.
The team aspect of managed services also prevents your IT engineer from being overwhelmed by the requests that piled up while they were gone. With an MSP, you have a pool of resources at your disposal to keep your IT systems running smoothly every day.
MSPs Have a Collective Knowledge
To ensure an in-house engineer can address all levels of problems your IT system may encounter, you’d have to hire an extremely skilled engineer. Here are several skills your engineer should have:
- Windows and Mac operating systems
- Network troubleshooting and set up
- Virus and malware removal
- Antivirus installation
- Voice and email set up and troubleshooting
- Writing and troubleshooting script
- Troubleshooting and configuring web applications
- IT stack set-up, configuration, and migrations
- Network and security solutions
- Routing protocols
- Configuring hardware platforms
Some of the items on the above list are within the wheelhouse of tier 1 or 2 (entry-level) engineers.
However, a handful of those components, such as network and security solutions, routing protocols, and configuring hardware platforms, require a more experienced engineer to address them. And that experience costs money.
If your network goes haywire, you need an IT engineer who can fix it. However, these high-level problems are typically infrequent. As a result, you’re paying for access to knowledge that you’ll seldom use.
What’s the advantage of using an MSP instead?
An MSP has the resources to hire multiple highly-skilled and knowledgeable IT engineers. Since this knowledge base is shared among all of the MSP’s customers, you don’t have to pay any extra for access to this level of engineer.
By signing a managed IT services contract, you can work with an engineer who can resolve any problem you may have.
Managed Services Are Cost-Effective
For the amount of expertise you receive with managed IT services, you’ll have significant cost savings. Most managed IT service plans cost as much as the salary and benefits of a tier-1 or tier-2 engineer. But as you’ll remember from the section above, that still leaves an important knowledge gap in your IT department.
To hire an IT engineer who can address all of the issues in your IT department, you’re going to pay somewhere between $100,000 to $150,000 annually. And this doesn’t include the cost of employee benefits.
According to the US Department of Labor, the average employer pays around $24,000 per employee for paid leave, bonuses, overtime, insurance, retirement, and other legally required benefits.
If you’re like most small schools, adding up those numbers feels like a bit of a gut punch.
Managed IT services are a more palatable option for your IT budget. In general, you can expect to pay around $150 per user per month. So, a year of managed IT services typically starts around $45,000 for 25 users but will vary depending on your size and needs.
MSPs Provide Thought Leadership
You don’t have to be an expert in technology to know it’s always changing. There seems to always be a better solution or newer process to more effectively reach your IT goals. But staying on top of these trends takes a specific set of knowledge, not to mention additional time.
Compared to you, the school principal, or even a single IT manager, MSPs have more of both of these resources. For this reason, an important yet commonly overlooked benefit of managed IT services is the thought leadership a contract can provide.
In between resolving school issues, MSPs are researching ways to help your schools make the most of current technology. Reputable MSPs should continually research solutions and processes to enhance your managed IT services contract.
Where to Start your Managed Services Journey?
You could draft a job description for a highly skilled and knowledgeable IT engineer, pay to post it online, and spend time (and money) on the recruiting process to ultimately end up with an expensive line item in your budget. However, if the process of hiring your own in-house engineer sounds difficult and expensive, choosing an MSP provides a better, simpler option.
You’ll have access to a team of engineers, so you don’t have to worry about going without IT support when someone is out of the office. Plus, that team of engineers brings collective knowledge to your organization to solve even the most complex IT issues.
Beyond help-desk support, MSPs also provide thought leadership to help steer your business’s IT into the future. The most significant benefit is that managed services are the most cost-effective way to access all of these components.
Still not convinced managed IT services could be the right move for your school’s technology? Contact Fortabyte Cyber Solutions for a free consultation.