Most IT service companies now seem to be moving toward managed IT services rather than operating on a break/fix or per-hour basis.

Even if you’re struggling to shake off an attachment to the more traditional way of doing things, there’s no doubt that delivering managed IT services has some serious benefits:

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  • Persuading clients to sign up for an “all in” monthly service means your company can count on more predictable revenue and cash flow.

  • A side effect of this is that your company becomes more valuable if you decide at some point to sell it, as the future owner knows that turnover is guaranteed.

  • All the major software vendors are moving firmly toward a service-based sales model, which is making the “old way” of doing things seem outdated.

So, let’s assume for the purpose of this article that you’re planning to launch a managed IT services offering. The key to its success is establishing an impressive list of services that are all included in the monthly fee you agree to with your clients. Here we present a list of seven things you can include to make the offering compelling and tempting to your customers:

  1. Network Administration. All managed IT services contracts will typically include basic network admin: maintaining the servers, managing storage, dealing with routine issues, and all the other things that are a “given” for any IT support provider.

  2. “Helpdesk” Support. Your customers are sure to expect helpdesk-style support as part of their contract. The hours during which you offer it deserve some serious thought; if you have customers who require assistance outside of core office hours, you have a legitimate reason to charge significantly more. Furthermore, you needn’t necessarily provide the out-of-hours support yourself, you could instead consider outsourcing this work to a network operations center (NOC).

  3. Network and Vulnerability Monitoring. Various solutions exist that allow you to keep a permanent eye on all aspects of each client network, many of which interface with mobile devices so you can monitor “from a distance.”

  4. Online Backup. All of your clients will need to back up their data, so it makes sense to be the one providing the service. Countless online backup providers will be eager for you to sell their services on a commission basis. Or, you could set up your own backup infrastructure or rebadge a third-party service.

  5. Disaster Recovery. With many backup services now utilizing imaging and virtualization technologies, developing a backup service into a full-blown, location-independent disaster recovery service is often fairly straightforward. This is another one of those things that your clients will have to get from somewhere, so it’s worth persuading them to get it from you.

  6. Internet Security. At the very least, you should be looking to earn a commission stream from all of the Internet security software your clients use. Even better is to use a centrally managed cloud antivirus solution for all of your clients, giving you complete control and the ability to make a pleasing profit.

  7. Policy Assistance. Once companies reach a certain size, they must consider various policies and procedures relating to information security, data protection, and employee monitoring, to name just three. Often, regulatory requirements will make these policies mandatory. You should, therefore, consider rolling the production and management of these policies into your MSP offering. With so many of these policies being template-based and plenty of commonality between different companies, there’s lots of potential here to earn money for the same work repeatedly.

The list above focuses on seven things you could include in a managed IT services package, but nothing to stop you from going even further, including things like voice-over IP or document management. Some MSPs even offer hardware as a service, allowing companies to pay monthly for their entire IT provision.

What do you plan to include in your managed IT services offering? Share your ideas in the Comments box below

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