What is ‘managed services’?
‘Managed services’ is a singular name for the large group of tasks carried out by a managed service provider or MSP. Companies can outsource the day-to-day maintenance of their technology for a monthly fee and this incorporates a great number of tasks and responsibilities which help to facilitate smoother operations—hence the name, managed services. This can also be a great way of saving money and ultimately helping towards your business goals.
A managed services provider (MSP) will monitor the ongoing health or status of your IT infrastructure to ensure issues can be prevented or spotted at a point that preventative measures can be taken. Additionally, your MSP will take care of hardware and software installation, troubleshooting and maintenance.
Less frequently, MSPs will provide a single function rather than providing a full suite of managed services and this is known as out-tasking. However, the managed services we’re referring to—whereby an organisation’s in-house IT department effectively has an external company act as a specialist supplier or partner—is known as outsourcing.
What’s the difference between break-fix and managed services?
The old system of break-fix services used to be the most popular way for businesses to solve their IT issues. If an organisation experienced an issue, they could call up their IT expert (often at a different location) and explain the issue. In lucky situations, a solution could be found quickly, but if not, organisations were lumbered with expensive repairs and costly downtime.
On the other hand, the managed services offering boasts consistent 24/7 monitoring and technical support of your systems, with a focus on avoiding risks and failures. MSPs work remotely and can access your systems from afar which means they can keep on top of any issues and fix any service requests directly; offering technical support without the need for convoluted phone calls or email chains.
What are the advantages of adopting managed services?
Since the phrase ‘managed services’ incorporates a great number of different tasks to do with IT infrastructure, there are also plenty of advantages.
Data backup, disaster recovery and improved security
Outsourcing your organisation’s IT infrastructure does bring the advantage of improved security, with data backup and disaster recovery. The way that your MSP is able to work on your IT systems remotely is that they are powered by the cloud. With cloud computing, organisations can save their important business files and information on a remote server rather than just on the hard drive of a computer. This means that even if your laptop or desktop suddenly crashes or breaks, all you have to do is log in to your organisation’s cloud portal to retrieve your files. What’s more, if an organisation has systems based in the cloud, it’s much more difficult to attack their IT systems. This is because servers are stored remotely in data centres and not on the premises of the business, making it much more difficult for hackers and cybercriminals to get access to them through a shared network. If there is a cyber attack on your business, having an MSP ensures that temporary setbacks do not turn into permanent failures, with recovery plans for any data or information lost in an attack.
When your organisation has an MSP, they’ll remotely monitor and manage your network, including any updates needed on software and hardware. Having these types of tasks carried out remotely means that your organisation saves money on labour costs normally associated with these jobs being done in-house. On top of a reduction in labour costs, employing a managed service provider can keep bills down too. Normally, if an organisation is completely responsible for its own IT infrastructure, there are major costs associated with storing servers (which require a large amount of space) as well as any equipment needed to cool the machines. With an MSP, an organisation outsources this responsibility to them.
Lowered carbon emissions
Following on from the reduced monetary output that comes with employing managed services, another benefit of not housing servers on your business premises is that it will significantly lower the carbon footprint of your organisation.
As mentioned previously, hiring an MSP ensures greater security and data insurance than going without. Ultimately, using an MSP boasts benefits such as minimising downtime in a disaster (cyber or technical), as well as minimising costs and allowing you to focus on opportunities that generate revenue. The big picture benefit of using an MSP is greater productivity, as the process frees up personnel and money to focus on the areas of your business that will lead you to success.
Ensures reliability of IT infrastructure
With 24/7 monitoring of your company’s IT infrastructure, you no longer need to worry about downtime being responsible for derailing your operations for several hours at a time. MSPs should have the time, resources and staff to ensure that any issues are resolved before they become a problem. Preventative measures should also be taken to ensure that outsourcing to MSPs significantly reduces the risk of expensive disruptions for client organisations.
There are a great number of reasons why hiring an MSP is good for your business—from reliability to increased productivity. Outsourcing the entirety of your IT infrastructure can feel daunting, but rest assured that by putting your trust in a managed service provider, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.
If you’d like to learn more about the types of service, and levels of service that iomart offers, get in touch to speak with one of our cloud specialists. We’ll ensure you have a thorough understanding of the undertaking that is moving to the cloud, as well as the advantages it will bring.