Seems like these days, almost all computer consulting companies list “managed services” as part of their service offerings. Anyone looking into hiring a company or individual to help with their computers will see managed services listed everywhere.  But, what does managed services mean in computer support and what does the service include?

Unfortunately, the term “managed services” does not mean the same thing to all of these companies who offer it. And it doesn’t matter if you are comparing large national computer consulting companies or small local shops.

So, what is managed services in computer consulting?

Looking at all the possible services a computer consulting company can offer an individual, family, or business, for managed services, the word managed is key. Basically, you pay a company or individual a set fee to “manage” your technology. In return, they will:

  • Remotely monitor your computer’s health using an automated system that sends alerts if something goes wrong.
  • Conduct preventive maintenance for your computers and network.
  • Automatically apply all critical patches and updates to your computer.
  • Provide some form of “ticketing” system to keep track of all work done on your computer and network.

Different managed service providers will have different fee structures and may also include additional services in the packages they offer, but the above items give you the basic minimum required for a true managed service arrangement.

Do you need remote monitoring of your computer’s health?

Yes, as noted in the first bullet above, monitoring is key to staying on top of—or even ahead of—issues and problems with your computer. These issues can then be fixed or corrected before they become a big problem. If you have 24/7 monitoring of critical computer systems, often any problems that arise can be resolved before you are even aware of them.

Computer maintenance and updates are critical for the life of your computer equipment.

Preventative maintenance and keeping current with updates and patches is very important for your computers and networks. Much like getting  your car serviced regularly or having a checkup with your health care provider, making sure your computer has the latest software updates and maintenance can help prolong the life of your computer and help you get the most out of it. Preventative maintenance will help keep potential problems at bay and software patches and updates actually fix bugs and correct problems.

Choosing a true managed services plan can help save money (and headache) in the long run.

The managed services monthly fee is a regular dependable expense, unlike the unexpected emergency replacement of equipment. While no managed services provider can help you completely avoid the need to replace computer equipment now and then, they can help avoid surprises. With a support ticketing feature, arranging for a managed services program for your computer or network means you’ll never “forget” to do regular maintenance and updates such as system patches, antivirus updates, and data back ups.

If you are interested in learning more about how to choose a managed services provider for your home or business, read our article How to Choose a Managed Services Provider, or call us today. We would be happy to answer all your questions.