What are the benefits of managed IT services?
Firstly, what are the different types of managed services?
IT covers a broad range of systems and service types, and because nearly all business functions depend on it, many organisations choose to bring in specialist help, particularly if they don’t have an IT department of their own. Managed IT services enable businesses to provide a comprehensive range of solutions that are constantly available and affordable, providing reassurance that expertise is always on hand.
Managed IT services providers excel at proactively specifying, monitoring and supporting everything from networks, cybersecurity needs and cloud infrastructure, to SaaS, business continuity and disaster recovery, and telecommunications. Some, like ourselves, even build our own broadband networks to bypass the service issues that can occur on widely available public networks.
This breadth of knowledge is valuable because no single IT person can be a master of every technology, especially when major transformational programmes are involved or there are unexpected ad-hoc projects that require specialist skills.
What makes a good service provider and how do I choose a service provider?
Selecting any third-party supplier can be a minefield. Researching the options, matching the managed IT services on offer against specific requirements, and looking for recommendations is a good place to start. All of these should be based upon a thorough understanding of your business objectives.
If providers can furnish customer case studies this will help to illustrate their competence at working with other organisations of a similar size or in the same industry. Some specialise in particular areas of technology and offer high-quality skillsets, which can also be a benefit.
The calibre of a managed IT services team is crucial. Organisations should look out for qualified experts that are trained and certified to work with the technologies that they rely on. Their relationships with vendors will be an important factor in ensuring the advice they give is up to date and informed.
What is the difference between managed services and outsourcing?
The two services are not the same and should not be confused. Many organisations need IT help sporadically and outsource their IT support needs to cover those occasions. Managed IT services provide complete cover for all requirements with the added benefit of constant monitoring which mitigates any issues that might arise.
Both involve using third-party providers, but managed services offer a broad portfolio of services and the deep involvement of their team of experts on an ongoing basis. This is also called Technology as a Service. The scope of work for outsourcing providers is defined by specific requirements, such as cybersecurity, for example, or to assist with a project such as data entry.
Managed IT services, conversely, continually supervise and test all the elements of support they are providing for companies. They take on the responsibility for IT and, in effect, become the organisation’s IT department. This can extend not just to operational IT support and access to expert help, but to web hosting, server hosting and delivering enhancements for all applications and services.
Great providers also look to the future and will advise on new, emerging technologies that may advance your business operations, automate processes or create entirely new business models.
If you would like to discuss the wide-range of managed IT services that we provide, please contact us.