In the world of digitalization, every business needs to invest in technology to achieve its business objectives cost-effectively. Implementing managed services allows companies to reduce their cost and improve productivity. In this guide, let’s explore more about how managed services work and how they benefit businesses.
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What Are Managed Services?
The term managed services refers to the outsourcing of business IT requirements to a third-party IT service provider, or managed service provider (MSP), for improved functions and reduced expenditure. Managed services enable companies to free up their IT resources and focus more on core competencies.
Implementing managed services provides companies with an effective way to access top-notch technology and skilled professionals, thereby giving them an edge over competitors. Managed services involve monitoring and managing IT systems, IT infrastructure setup, security services, cloud management services, and more.
To understand managed services deeply, it’s important to know about the providers in this space. MSPs are companies that specialize in delivering IT managed services to their clients with regular support. Outsourcing IT-managed services to MSPs helps companies to save money that they would normally invest in an in-house IT department. MSPs usually provide a bundle of services, such as cloud, security, network, and application support on a monthly bill. Payment amounts and schedules are agreed on by both parties when they sign a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Types of Managed Services
Managed IT services range from security and cloud management to support and communication services for companies of all sizes. Here are some common types of managed services:
Managed networks and infrastructure
Network and infrastructure managed services involve managing and monitoring network tasks, establishing Wide Area Networks (WANs), Local Area Networks (LANs), and other networking infrastructure for businesses. It also includes hosting, storage, and backup services that allow companies to withdraw their investment from data centers or third-party data centers.
Managed security services
As more companies have adopted a work-from-home culture, it has grown increasingly important to protect company data wherever it goes. And with the advent of cloud-based storage services, sophisticated security measures are required to prevent cybersecurity threats against corporate data. Managed security services provide clients with top-notch antivirus programs and managed IP VPNs that mask devices and networks while tackling a range of cybersecurity threats.
Managed support services
Company employees cannot always solve the issues they face with their computers, hardware, and applications on their own. Managed support services support employees as they contact the help desk for assistance. It enables companies to minimize their downtime and improve productivity due to the efficiency of managed support services that resolve employee-level problems quickly.
Managed data analytics services
Managed data analytics service providers gather data from different sources and analyze that data. This allows them to deliver company insights that help the organization understand trends in their industry and make effective decisions to meet upcoming business requirements. They use business intelligence (BI) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to make predictions about that specific market; these predictions help companies to reorganize marketing strategies, inventory, production, and other business operations.
Managed SaaS services allow companies to access the service provider’s applications seamlessly that are required to improve productivity. The MSPs make timely updates, security patches and upgrades, and ensure the comprehensive functionality of applications. Managed SaaS services provide an up-to-date technology environment and services for their clients.
Managed cloud infrastructure services
Managed cloud infrastructure services involve the managing and monitoring of computing and storage on the cloud. It provides remote access to significant business data and improved data security. Managed cloud infrastructure services are cost-effective, as MSPs follow the pay-as-you-go payment method.
Managed communication services
Managed communication services include a range of communication programs like video calling, emailing, chatting, file sharing, and VoIP. Some companies require MSPs to act as a third-party call center for their customers.
Who Needs Managed Services?
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) require managed services even more than large enterprises as they can’t always afford to set up their own IT department. Businesses that need to scale their infrastructure quickly can also benefit from managed services due to the flexibility these service providers possess. The MSP subscription model of billing with a variety of service packages allows businesses to choose the most suitable service package for their business requirements.
What Are the Benefits of Using Managed Services?
Managed services offer a range of benefits that directly impact business growth. Let’s take a closer look at the top benefits of using managed services:
- Access to top-notch technology and expertise: Managed service providers use advanced technologies and experienced professionals to deliver their services. Companies do not need to worry about the expenses incurred with constant technology upgrades and employing IT specialists internally.
- Low capital investment: Adopting managed services reduces capital investment and helps the business avoid setting up its own IT department to carry out IT services.
- Predictable expenditures: MSPs provide high-quality IT solutions on a monthly subscription model. Therefore, companies can forecast their expenditure and utilize resources accordingly.
- Improved security and reduced risks: Letting IT specialists deal with the IT infrastructure aids businesses in avoiding higher risks of a data breach. Generally, MSPs should have deep knowledge of the ins and outs of their industry so they can provide quick solutions to prevent any type of cybersecurity attack.
- Centralization: Managed services can centralize and streamline applications, data, and servers either with the data centers provided by MSPs or by renting from third-party data centers. This centralization also allows companies and their employees to access required data from anywhere at any time.
Best Practices for Getting Started with Managed Services
To be successful in implementing managed services, companies need to know and take the following steps:
- Choose the right managed service provider for your budget, industry, and specific needs.
- Define the services that need to be done by MSPs.
- Set metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of managed services.
- Build a good relationship with your MSPs.
Read next: Best Managed Service Providers (MSPs)