It is postulated that over two-thirds of all businesses use some form of managed IT service. It is presented as the means to access top-of-the-range computing capabilities with the least risk and most reward. Its thus worth being in the know, and having a clear idea as to what this all means and how a managed IT service can work for your business.
What Is a Managed IT Service?
A managed service provider or MSP is essentially an outsourced function whereby the business will allow an external professional or team of professionals to provide. The managed service aims to make the IT servicing and maintenance function more holistic and proactive rather than reactive. It is specific to IT outsourcing and with the high speed development and spread of cloud technology even the smallest of businesses can access the best in software, infrastructure and hardware in a managed service package.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a service is one of the main reasons that many businesses have outsourced IT. The managed service is about ensuring that all aspects of the software requirements of the business are dealt with. There is no need to purchase the software and the service provider will install, upgrade and maintain the latest software requirements of the firm.
Hardware as a Service (HaaS)
As with the software, using outdated hardware is a common error in businesses of all types, causing all sorts of inefficiencies and increasing business risk. The HaaS model as a component of a managed IT service provides clients with all the hardware they need. The business will not own this hardware and simply leases it as part of the outsourcing contract. Repairs, updates, installation and more are all dealt with by the provider and your business can keep doing what it does best.
Cloud Infrastructure and Storage
The managed service provider must be able to provide a clear process of migration to the Cloud as well as a secure space in the cloud for computing and storage. The best way to achieve this is to have the entire cloud process managed or outsourced in totality. Some businesses learn the hard way by having different aspects of their cloud infrastructure managed by different firms.
Proactive Maintenance and Upgrades
One of the mainstays of a professional managed IT service is the proactive maintenance and updates that will be completed on an ongoing basis. The traditional means of providing IT support has previously been on a ‘call and come’ basis, whereby the business calls the service provider when they have an issue. This is reactive to the max and will only serve to fight fires and deal with issues as individual occurrences, rather than being able to plan a holistic IT solution. They are either then able to physically visit the office and rectify the issue, or do so remotely with a team viewer. Proactive outsourcing is the preferred manner and should be part and parcel of a managed IT contract. It must be about ongoing maintenance and reviews of the systems in place and a process of continuous improvement.
For many the security included in a managed IT service agreement or contract will proliferate across the entire system. It is worth noting that security is one of your main requirements and being upfront as to your security expectations and needs. In a world where cyber-crime and online fraud is rife and the ability for emails and data bases to be hacked and subject to spyware attacks, means that cloud security must be guaranteed. Staff should be trained and educated as to how they are expected to form part of the electronic defense system.
Many a small business owner will thus attest to the fact that outsourcing your IT makes sense in this way and the crux is to select the services that you need and ensure that the contract is crystal clear as to what is to be provided. The advantages of outsourced or managed IT services far out way any disadvantages and will provide a clear means of achieving professional computing functionality for businesses of any size, shape and form.
In an age when the tech exists and the know-how is freely available to be in a position to understand the need for managed or outsourced IT contract, there is no reason why any sized business still has printer issues, or a system that staff struggle to access. A professionally managed IT service with all of the above or simply a few aspects of the aforementioned components will go a long way to improving your business and allowing you to compete with others in your sector on an even playing field.