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It’s a question that most SMEs will have to address head on, especially as IT environments become more complex and the need to properly protect them becomes more pressing.

It won’t surprise you that in this age-old debate we fall firmly on the side of managed services (Kick’s been providing managed IT services and support for almost forty years so yes, we admit a little bias here…)

That said, we’d encourage any IT decision makers to consider the following five questions when thinking about how effective their IT set up is:

Do you feel confident that your business is keeping up with the rapid evolution of IT technology?

Are you confident your business could withstand a cyber-attack or ransom request?

Do you have a disaster recovery plan to recover your IT environment if the worst strikes?  

Do you use secure cloud services within your business?

Are you able to quickly and satisfactorily resolve IT issues?

If you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, then you should consider a managed IT service.  That’s not a slight on your IT team, more a realisation that it’s incredibly difficult to keep up with all the IT developments, threats, opportunities and challenges out there.

Here’s some pros and cons for the in-house IT approach v. a managed IT service.

In house IT

SMEs will likely have some sort of IT personnel in house and charged with looking after the day to day operations.  This personnel tends to be a one person band or a small team with excellent internal knowledge but lack exposure to the wider IT industry.

Pros

  • Sound internal systems knowledge
  • Internal champion of IT systems and first line support

Cons

  • Time restrictions doing ‘the day job’ that impact ability to understand broader IT landscape
  • Key person dependency risk with one/few people fully understanding the company IT environment
  • Unlikely to be able to access support for, or identify, issues arising out of typical business hours

Managed IT service

Businesses like ourselves here at Kick offer a managed IT service, meaning we work with customers to manage their IT environment, from security, to monitoring to future proofing their IT technology solutions.

Pros

  • Managed services providers work with leading global IT partners to access a wide range of products
  • Consistency with agreed monthly cost for services
  • Remote monitoring on a 24/7 basis
  • SLAs established around service expectations and guarantees
  • Provide confidence to customers in the security of their network
  • Customer support, often available 24/7 365

Cons

  • Relationship is important, especially between internal IT reps and managed service provider, and can take time to build trust
  • There are many providers in the market, finding the right one can be challenging
  • Moving from a basic IT set up to something more complex with multiple products can be a lot to take in initially

Managed Services with Kick ICT

As we said earlier, we recommend the managed services approach.  At Kick we can point to almost 40 years’ experience delivering these services to customers as a good reason why we can help, working with SMEs across the country, either with or as an alternative to their internal IT resource.

We’re a Microsoft Gold partner and Cyber Essentials accredited and it’s this knowledge and expertise that our managed IT services customers benefit from on a daily basis. 

Our range of managed IT services include IT security, cloud services, datacentre, Azure hosting, back up and disaster recovery as a service, modern workplace, virtualisations, hardware and communications.

For more information on how a managed IT service can help your business you can speak directly with your Kick account manager or, if you are new to Kick, then contact us or call 01698 844 600 to arrange a no-obligation chat.

Ian Davis is Head of Technical Sales here at Kick ICT. Follow Ian on LinkedIn for more information on managed IT services and how to make the most of your IT environment

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