What are managed services in the IT industry?
A managed service can be defined as a task that is usually performed by third parties in the IT area. They encompass generic tasks that require specialized personnel to contain costs. In this way they also increase the quality of the service provided, eliminating the need for internal teams to carry out specific work for the business. This type of company may be categorized as a managed service provider (MSP).
What are the reasons why a company needs IT managed services?
But what are the reasons that lead to a search for IT managed services? There can be many reasons, but usually there is one common denominator: the possibility to benefit from specialized knowledge.
These are the main reasons:
- benefit from new technologies
- effective and accurate support
- technical expertise
- total availability;
- capacity to adapt and respond in diverse contexts;
- good reputation.
How do you choose a managed IT provider?
There are several qualities to take into account while when choosing an IT service provider. Here are 5 questions that should be asked when doing so:
- What is their performance like?
- What do they provide to their clients?
- What are their response and operation methodologies?
- What are their technical capacities and what is their level and quality?
- Does it have good references and proven results?
- Providers should commit to detailed reporting on the services provided and system performance, and there should be transparency;
- They should help to strategically plan appropriate infrastructure upgrades and configurations given long-term business goals and objectives;
- It may be necessary to verify the provider’s track record with another similar organization and it may be their responsibility to expedite this exchange.
What are examples of managed services?
Not every MSP includes every type of service, so they can complement each other. Here are some examples of types of MSP:
- Networks and infrastructure: covers establishing various connections such as LANs and WAPs. They may also deal with storage issues;
- Support services: brings together various IT services including both basic troubleshooting and more advanced issues;
- Security: full service including constantly updated anti-malware;
- Print services: it helps with data and file infrastructure suitable for companies with complex file management needs;
- Mobile computing: here Wireless connections are used here. It may be interesting for organizations that do not have the capital to invest in such tech and is suitable for internal networks;
- Cloud infrastructure: works with computing, storage, network, and IT. Some provide virtualization services for applications, software, or operating systems;
- Data analytics: for monitoring and data gathering purposes, data analytics will be needed. This integrates business intelligence to guide particular trends, improving business performance.
- Software as a Service: universal communication software and antivirus; is a subscription-based software platform for businesses. For example: Office 365, universal;
- Communication services: encompasses communication structures such as messaging software, (voice over internet protocol) and video;
How will the company benefit from MSP?
There are several benefits, but here are six advantages of its managed service for an organization:
- Quick response: you will have quick support always available;
- Flexible prices: depending on your needs you can get reasonable prices;
- Security: an MSP will bring measures to prevent data theft;
- Guaranteed backup: your data will be double stored, for when you need it;
- 2 in 1: considering that MSP provide several services, the organization may also benefit from others other services, thus being a complementary process;
- Accessibility made easy: the company may have access to its information from any point, including remotely.
What steps should I follow to ensure that I make a good choice of MSP?
The evaluation and analysis process may require some effort and be time-consuming, but it will be for a good reason. The procedure involves assessing needs and objectives to extract the maximum potential from a service provider.
- Assessment of available IT teams:
A comprehensive assessment of IT needs and costs should be made. Consider the structure and related workflows to be managed and what resources are being used. Taking into account business objectives, the budget should start to be outlined. Long-term investment may be appropriate.
- Request an audit of the currently used systems:
Once you have a few providers in hand, it will be worth asking them to do a systems audit, aiding in the choice of support. Evaluate the hardware and software being used and what might make sense in the future. There should be a contextualization of industry standards, systems and data.
- Take into account flexibility and scalability:
In the process of evaluating future x managed service providers, consideration should be given to the delivery they promise. Ideally, they should be able to scale together (and never at different speeds), be flexible, and deliver services and experiences.
Beyond an MSP Model...
We are witnessing a growth of cloud services considering that they are increasingly being adopted by technology companies. In that sense, they need monitoring.
This type of service fits into a core IT support model by providing remote assistance through network building, troubleshooting, and cyber security by detecting unusual activity and malware. Monitoring data can help track the organization’s bandwidth usage.
IT has been modernizing and complementing organizations. Regardless of the size of the company, any network benefits from IT support. Although it is not always easy to get the right service, managed providers are numerous and competitive, ensuring a core infrastructure to keep information secure and growing. In the event of IT problems or mistakes, finding a good MSP will be even more important, and there are unlimited possibilities.