Your business depends on technology. No matter the industry, every business uses IT products and services in some capacity. While some businesses manage IT using in-house staff and resources, most companies choose to outsource IT.
From technical support to high-level managed IT services, businesses outsource a variety of technical roles. This may lead you to wonder whether outsourcing IT is right for your business. Explore the main types of IT services to learn more.
What Are IT Services?
IT services are skilled services provided by an outside agency or independent contractor. IT stands for information technology. IT covers a broad range of activities related to the use of the Internet, computer software, and more.
Businesses use IT services for email, cloud storage, and network security. Managed IT services are also available to address multiple areas of IT. However, IT support is the most common category of outsourced IT services.
No matter the category, all types of IT have one thing in common: the need for technical expertise. Hiring full-time workers to fill IT positions takes time and money. In many cases, outsourcing IT offers a more efficient, cost-effective solution.
The Different Types of IT Services
IT support services help businesses manage their daily operations. The main goal of IT support services is to keep your business running smoothly. Businesses rely on IT services for managing payroll, scheduling, inventory, and all types of day-to-day procedures.
Here is a list of IT services that businesses commonly use:
- Managed IT services
- On-demand IT services
- Technical support
- IT Help Desk Support
- Software application management
- Data Storage and Management
- Hardware Support Services
- Software Support Services
- Cloud services
- Cybersecurity solutions
- IT communications services
- Network Security & management services
- Email Services
This list of IT support services is not all-inclusive. IT is one of the biggest sectors and encompasses a wide range of services. However, these are the areas where small to medium-sized businesses most often choose to outsource.
Managed IT Services
Managed IT services include ongoing management of essential IT functions. These services are typically provided by managed service providers (MSPs). An MSP develops a service plan based on your requirements and offers continued support.
Managed IT services can also be divided into three categories related to the level of service:
Low-level managed IT services involve installing and implementing new software. The MSP installs and integrates the software with your existing IT infrastructure. They may also offer ongoing security monitoring. When a threat is detected, the MSP notifies you so you can take corrective action.
Mid-level managed IT services offer a little more comprehensive support. With mid-level managed IT services, the MSP may resolve security threats instead of simply notifying you.
High-level managed IT services include tailored IT solutions to cover any area of your technological needs. You can rely on high-level managed IT services to plan and implement network storage, cloud storage, software applications, IT communications, and more.
On-Demand IT Services
On-demand IT services cover many of the functions offered by MSPs. You can use on-demand services for software deployment, storage solutions, cybersecurity, and any other aspect of IT. However, instead of an ongoing support plan, you only use the services as needed.
On-demand IT services are a pay-as-you-go service. You avoid the need for long-term contracts, which makes on-demand IT services useful for addressing temporary IT concerns. For example, you may need professional IT services during a transition to new software or when relocating to another office.
Using an on-demand IT service can be cost-effective for your short-term needs. However, if you anticipate the need for ongoing support, a long-term contract is likely to result in better cost savings.
Companies frequently outsource technical support. Technical support may include hardware support, software support, or troubleshooting. The support may also be for in-house employees or customers.
For example, a company with a web-based application may use outsourced agents to field troubleshooting and support queries. However, the most common use of technical support is to keep the technology that you depend on running. From the software that you use for scheduling to the printers in your office, technical support services are available to support all areas of IT.
IT Help Desk Support
An IT help desk is very useful for supporting employees who need prompt attention in order to fix any IT issues they may face, whether hardware or software related. By offering your employees this service, it’s more likely you’ll have fewer of them coming to you needing help with getting a workable solution. It also saves time and money too because this way you can utilize the saved time/money on other project types like marketing efforts or new product development for example.
It is a great way to be able to manage the productivity of your employees. Although it’s useful to outsource a help desk, you can minimize this need by providing your employees with sufficient training in using their tools prior to receiving the tools needed for their work.
Software Application Management
Many businesses depend on software-as-a-service (SaaS) packages. Managing these packages can be complex. Outsourcing software application management allows someone else to handle licensing, renewals, and deployment.
IT software services also typically include technical support options. Employees or clients can contact a trained technician to quickly resolve any issues with the software packages covered by the support plan.
Data Storage and Management
Data storage and management are one of the most important aspects of IT for companies. It encompasses a variety of different IT services that are used to store and manage data. These services are critical for all businesses, as they allow companies to keep their data safe, secure, and accessible. Data-intensive applications such as video editing, graphic design, or engineering simulations can require a significant amount of space to store data and the increasingly large data sets from “Big Data” analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning applications.
IT services come in all shapes and sizes, but most companies will need to rely on data storage and management at some point. By choosing the right IT service, your business can rest assured that its data is safe and secure. Furthermore, a good data storage strategy is key to keeping your business running smoothly.
Data storage is typically a service that is contracted to an outside company or provider on a per-gigabyte basis. This is typically referred to as “storage-as-a-service.”
Data storage can be arranged in a number of ways, including:
- Directly attached storage (DAS) is the most basic form of data storage and is typically used to refer to a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) that is directly connected to the server.
- Storage area network (SAN) is a network of storage devices that is connected to a server. A SAN typically consists of many HDDs, but can also include flash drives as well as tape backup systems.
- Network attached storage (NAS) is a server that provides file-level access to hard disks, flash drives, or tape backup systems.
- Cloud computing involves storing data on a remote server or servers rather than on a local hard drive.
Businesses can outsource their data handling needs to service providers who will take care of all the data access and storage. This leaves businesses free to focus on other areas that need attention and effort, such as developing new products or expanding their customer base.
Hardware Support Services
Hardware Support Services are often provided to help individuals and businesses with their computer equipment in order to maintain its performance, reliability, and usability. These are a critical part of any business. There are two main types of hardware support services: desktop and laptop support. Desktop support includes all the IT services that are related to your company’s desktops, such as installing and updating software, managing passwords, and troubleshooting issues. Laptop support is similar to desktop support, but it focuses on the specific needs of laptops, such as maintaining battery life and protecting against theft.
Hardware support services can help your business with a variety of needs when it comes to your technology. Installation, maintenance, and repair are all critical aspects of keeping your hardware running smoothly. Often, these services can be offered as part of a package or plan that is customized for your company’s needs.
Software Support Services
One of the main types of IT services is software support. Software support includes providing staff members with help when they have questions or challenges with company software. This can include anything from resolving a simple issue to walking someone through setting up a complex process. With software support, businesses can rest assured that their staff has the resources they need to be productive and successful.
Software support services provide a range of benefits to businesses, including the latest updates, upgrades, and security patches. They also offer end-of-lifecycle support as well as new software rollouts. This can be extremely beneficial for businesses that want to ensure their software is up-to-date and secure.
Cloud services help businesses transition from physical storage to cloud-based storage solutions. The cloud is also increasingly becoming the preferred option for hosting applications.
Outsourcing cloud storage management saves businesses the hassle of selecting the right cloud service provider and platform. The outsourced agency also ensures that the company’s software and technologies integrate with the cloud-based services.
Compared to physical storage, cloud storage is often more affordable and scalable. Physical storage often requires servers with individual price tags of tens of thousands of dollars. With cloud services, you only pay for the storage you need right now.
Cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses across the globe. Small to medium-sized businesses are often the target of cyber-attacks, as cybercriminals know that SMBs have fewer resources to protect against threats. Instead of becoming the next victim, many businesses choose to outsource their cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity experts can analyze your network and software for vulnerabilities. They can also provide continuous monitoring and threat resolution for future cyberattacks.
IT Communications Services
Businesses are increasingly using newer technologies to communicate. Video conferencing, chatbots, and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) solutions are changing the way that people connect.
With video conferencing, you can ensure that you have a way for remote employees to collaborate. Chatbots help to streamline customer service by addressing frequently asked questions without the need for human input. VoIP solutions provide an alternative to traditional telephone lines and come packed with many additional features, including call recording and dedicated phone numbers for employees.
When these technologies fail to work as intended, you may experience a disruption in communication. Outsourcing IT communications keep your employees connected. You can depend on an outsourced IT team to install and manage the communications tools that you use. You can also receive ongoing support to address any technical issues that arise.
Network Security & Management Services
Network administration and management services are used to assist with the planning and implementation of your IT infrastructure. The typical IT network communicates with a wide range of applications and hardware. Experts are needed to ensure that these technologies run smoothly.
IT networks need to work with different technologies and require protection from cyber threats. Network administrators are responsible for setting up local servers or cloud-based servers, installing firewalls, and configuring the network to meet your specific needs. They also establish data backup procedures, monitor for cyber threats, and protect against data loss.
Email services are a vital part of most businesses. They use email for communication with customers, employees, and other business partners. Email is often the best way to send individual messages as well as company-wide updates. Email also helps to build customer relations by providing a personal touch to communications.
Maintaining business relationships is essential for any organization, and email is one of the most common ways to do so. Email services provided by IT professionals can be especially beneficial in sales and marketing processes. The email services will ensure that the messages are delivered properly and on time, which can lead to more successful conversions and better customer retention rates.
IT teams managing their businesses’ email accounts is becoming increasingly important. By choosing the right provider, an organization can save time and money on communication needs. Additionally, by working with a consultant who understands the different types of IT services, a business can make sure that it is getting the most value for its money.
Why Outsource IT Service for Business Operations?
Technical support and related IT services are the most outsourced jobs. 37% of US businesses rely on third-party support teams to handle their IT and tech support needs.
Here are the most common reasons for outsourcing:
- Reduce expenses
- Focus on core business
- Solve capacity issues
Reducing expenses is the number-one reason for outsourcing IT services for businesses. Outsourcing simply costs less compared to hiring in-house employees. You spend less on hiring, training, equipment, and office space.
Purchasing hardware to grow your in-house IT infrastructure is costly and requires specialized workers. Outsourcing offers a more cost-effective option that you can easily scale based on your current needs.
Focusing on core business operations is another common reason to outsource the IT service types discussed. Outsourcing allows businesses to continue focusing on existing operations instead of expanding their operations. Increasing internal IT infrastructure takes resources away from other areas of the business.
Businesses also outsource IT to deal with capacity issues. This is especially true for small to medium-sized businesses. Many businesses do not have the space or capacity to support additional workers. Outsourcing eliminates the need to accommodate more in-house staff.
Outsourcing is also beneficial for dealing with changes. A business may need to increase its IT support to handle its growing operations or increase its IT budget to deal with a temporary change. The companies that provide IT outsourcing can address almost any issue with tailored solutions.
How to Start Outsourcing IT Services
If you want to start outsourcing IT services, consider the IT functions that you need assistance with. There are many types of IT services available that can help grow your business. Depending on your business needs, you may benefit from technical support, software application, or installation services.
When preparing to outsource, you should also explore your options. IT outsourcing is often available from business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, such as Digital Minds BPO.
Digital Minds BPO is a leading provider of outsourcing solutions, including outsourced IT services. We have years of experience and access to a wealth of skilled talent. Contact us today to find out how we can help streamline your IT operations.
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