Let us assume that you are running a small-scale e-commerce website. All data crucial to your business such as sales catalog, payment info, details of customer orders reside on your computer’s hardware. For a trouble free running of business, it is important that these hardwares run continuously and are maintained regularly. Any malfunctioning of these hardware components needs to be troubleshot in the minimum possible time to avoid business disruptions. Who fixes your hardware and IT in times of trouble? The answer is IT services.
IT services is a blanket term for the teams that continuously maintain the hardware/database/information and business processes and fix the outages to prevent and reduce downtimes. Basically, they provide value by facilitating the outcomes expected by the customer without the customer having to take ownership of specific costs and risks. When organizations cannot afford to have an in-house IT services team, they can go to Managed Service Providers (MSP) to avail the services of Managed IT, which is a third-party service provider for IT services.
Why Managed IT?
Managed IT reduces the burden of having to hire full-time IT experts for the organization. While the management can concentrate on business, Managed IT takes care of the IT services needed.
Other than this, there are a few more advantages of Managed IT. Some are listed here:
- Managed IT services ensure that downtimes are kept to a bare minimum. Thereby, organizations can have better value to KPIs linked to the efficiency of IT services
- With the work experience in the field, Managed services can identify potential problems in the systems before they occur, thus preventing downtimes
- Having IT services also ascertain higher efficiency and productivity.
- Availability of IT infrastructure is also increased with Managed IT services
The most common challenge with Managed IT is the lack of communication between the IT services team and the company’s management. If this is addressed at the time of signing the contract there is not much of a challenge to speak of. Managed IT brings in more benefits to the table than challenges
Types of Managed IT services
Most common IT services that can be easily handled by Managed IT are
- Data backup services – As a security measure, it is always a good idea to have a copy of all your data. This will prevent losses in case the database gets corrupt. As data gets refreshed every day, it is important to take a backup of updated data on a routine basis.
- Network security services – Managed IT providers are trained in detecting and eradicating viruses, trojans, malware, and spam in your organization’s computer network. This is also a very important operation one should do regularly to prevent malicious attacks.
- Storage services – For companies with large amounts of data, storing the data in an easily accessible format for easy retrieval is a challenge. Managed IT would be a good choice in this regard as the service providers are equipped with the necessary infrastructure and the knowhow to handle copious amounts of data
- Systems management services – Managed IT services keep an eye on all your network nodes and terminals and monitors the data traffic. This is crucial to predict potential problems before they occur. IT services are also equipped with the expertise to make necessary changes in the system to avoid the expected problems from occurring
Types of outsourcing contracts for Managed IT
Managed Service Providers (MSP) offer various kinds of engagement models for organizations that wish to avail their services. The most common engagement models are Basic, consulting, and fully outsourced models.
In the basic engagement model, the organization usually has an in-house IT services team. Only a few activities like systems management are handled by the MSPs. This works well when organizations want the internal team to focus more on strategic topics.
In the consultation model, MSPs provide strategic solutions in addition to the services offered in the basic model. Strategic solutions, for example, could be a detailed plan for scaling up the IT operations of the organization. This is suitable if the organization’s internal IT team is young and inexperienced in strategic topics.
Fully outsourced model
In the fully outsourced model, MSPs provide all the IT services needed by the organization. If need be, the equipment for conducting some routine maintenance are provided by the MSP. In addition to the routine activities, there could also be a virtual CIO provided by the MSP.
A CIO makes executive decisions such as the purchase of IT equipment.
IT services are essential for all businesses that involve computers and software. Hiring a full-time IT services team will prove to be expensive for small and medium-sized businesses. From an economic standpoint, Managed IT works out much cheaper than having in-house IT services.
For large businesses, Managed IT frees up the internal employees from mundane everyday activities. They can better utilise their capacities for implementing strategic business ideas and for innovations.
All in all, Managed IT relieves the management of the burden of maintaining IT systems and ensuring cybersecurity. Hiring one would undoubtedly be a wise decision and an intelligent investment choice. Here is a deep dive into the field of IT outsourcing.