Managed services are not a new concept. As more complex IT and communication systems develop, SMB becomes more reliant on Managed Service Providers to offload the day to day responsibilities of routine infrastructure management including monitoring, problem resolution, and functions on behalf of their business clients. Business owners are then better able to spend their time developing their marketing plans, servicing their clients’ relationships, and working on their continued success.
Floods, tropical storms, fires, and unforeseen disasters can have a devastating impact on any business. Companies can’t risk disruptions, downtime or when systems are not running at optimum levels. Companies need to monitor internal traffic in order to detect hackers and those who are trying to gain access using the company network. There has to be emergency solutions to power outages so that computers, servers, and printers stay powered to save current products and there is no loss of employee productivity or data.
All organizations need to be pro-active with the maintenance of their technology. Any business that provides services to clients which involves private information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, health information, mortgage records, and other sensitive information cannot afford to compromise the integrity of their network. In addition the threat of a company’s backup failing because it has never been tested could mean the loss of important data, or even the complete downfall of a company’s financial history.
Some companies hire their own IT staffs who are 100 percent committed to the one organization. These professionals have a strong and complete understanding of a business’ unique needs and are able to handle and manage the short and long term IT requirements. The downside of this however is the strain on an organization’s budget. Full time employees earn salaries, earn benefits, and continually need training to remain up-to-date with ever changing and progressive technology.
More practical solutions nowadays are realized through Managed Services, where an organization can have 24/7/365 monitoring of their servers, workstations, computers, and hardware and mitigate potential problems before they can make a mess of one’s business. As a cornerstone for success IT Managed Services can provide:
- High quality business functions.
- Risk mitigation services by reducing downtime and data losses.
- Cost effective services to facilitate business operations.
- Improve security and access to only authorized personnel.
- Deliver specified and measurable initiatives for efficient business operation.
With IT Managed Services, some or all of an organization’s operation and maintenance is outsourced depending on a company’s business goals or even future growth. It is an appealing alternative because a company can offload just a portion of their operation and not relinquish full control. Services are delivered from a centralized location remotely via the internet.
Capital expenses and changes, remodeling, or relocating can translate into huge expenditures for a company, so an accurate strategy can be designed to provide the best operational effectiveness with the wisest expenditures. Managed IT strategies can include:
- Building remodeling to include the latest and most efficient electrical energy, new wireless networks, and most energy efficient and green environmental temperature controls.
- Relocating to a new location can be assessed for environmental improvements, new innovative hosting solutions rather than the expense and inconvenience of moving physical servers, and the use of alternative communication services over older conventional and obsolete telephone systems.
- Construction of a new site where the best IT framework can be designed for the best productivity with virtual servers and progressive solutions.
At one time when companies were apprehensive about outside monitoring companies, today’s secure technological online reporting capabilities has become a necessity rather than a luxury a company would like to include in their risk reduction planning. Services are usually provided on a subscription basis with a wide variety of packages available depending on a company’s needs and budget.
So how does an organization figure out what they will need and how they can increase their overall effectiveness with IT Managed Services? Since all IT Managed Services are not created equal, look for certain essential qualities. Look for experience, both technical and operational; look for a company that can work with your organization and assess your current IT environment and recommend a practical and cost effective solution. Make sure the company can provide proven methods to facilitate risk reduction and how much risk your company can withstand.
Services can be as simple as just monitoring your company when a problem arises where you are responsible for resolving issues on your own. Managed Services can be expanded to covering everything from alerts, security, patch management, data backup, recovery for different client devices, desktops, notebooks, servers, storage systems, network applications, and right through to problem resolution. The best MSP’s offer clients transparency, flexibility, and practical strategies that focus on your business’ success.