IT Managed Services: What is it? Do I need it?
IT Managed Services can mean different things to different people and organizations. At the heart of the IT Managed Service is a set of key features that set it apart from traditional IT Support or internally managed departments. So, what are IT Managed Services?
The history of external IT Support rose from break-fix IT Support into Pro-active IT Support and evolved into managed services.
For businesses looking to outsource some or all of their IT management, it can be tricky to navigate and understand which services are in question. For example, an IT support provider may approach it companies toronto management proactively to include things like patch management and monitoring, but does this immediately qualify as IT Managed Services?
The IT systems and management associated with today’s standard SMB setup require Resource and management resources to ensure that organizations achieve all of their goals.
Many organizations rely heavily on IT to provide their products and services, so even a mild disruption to staff can affect productivity and overall output.
Below, we have identified the key elements that are important to include in an IT managed service.
- IT Service Desk
The service desk is available during the first few business hours, but increasingly we are seeing a need for 24/7/365 access to this feature.
Finally, the service desk (help desk) should be supported by some guarantee, such as slas that will fix the expectations for example. Initial response and time to resolve the issue.
The NOC (Network Operations Center) is responsible for security – active maintenance and monitoring of IT systems – not to be confused with the SOC, which is responsible for all aspects of IT security.
The NOC helps ensure your IT systems are running smoothly and prevent problems from occurring.
Due to the nature of this feature, this usually needs to be delivered on a 24/7 basis or include an alert/escalation process to ensure that serious issues are addressed when they occur.
In many cases, the NOC is also responsible for the pro-active security aspects, including patch management and other automated settings.
- Vendor Management
Many small and mid-market businesses work with multiple 3rd party software/hardware vendors to provide either industry-specific or generic applications.
It is important that these supplier relationships are managed well to ensure that maximum value is obtained from them.
As part of a true Managed Service, the provider must engage with a third-party vendor to ensure that it solution systems and infrastructure meet the third-party provider’s expectations.
Further, the supplier should, where possible, manage the interaction between the buyer and the seller so that the buyer can focus on their primary business.
- Telecoms and Data Communications Management
Another important area that can be overlooked is the day-to-day management of data and telecommunication providers.
Some msps (Managed Service Providers) operate as telephone and data comms vendors and often distribute services through the User’s system. However, whether the MSP is providing this service or not, they should ultimately be responsible for the day-to-day management of this relationship.
An example of why that is key could be, a web outage has been detected by means of the MSP, the NOC then informs the customer that their net is down – at this factor the purchaser might also already recognized that they have got a trouble (except they’ve automatic failover connections) and this issue needs to be reported to the seller i.e. BT, Virgin and more.
The most effective way to deal with this situation is for the MSP to take the first step by checking with the supplier for any leaks.
At the same time, different communications are made to the customer to inform them about the issue and provide regular updates from there.
The Managed Service Provider is also better placed to provide advice on customer connections and calls and should strive to ensure that the customer is getting value for money.
Msps often maintain multiple revenue streams to grow their business. The supply of all related IT hardware and software has always been one of these important revenue streams.
The official term known for this type of seller is VAR or “value-added reseller”. There should be an emphasis on the “value” factor in favor of the customer.
Simply offering a laptop or desktop PC at a fixed rate does not represent value. Msps must be able to demonstrate the incremental value added by these purchases to approve the transaction.
In today’s world of online shopping, it is easy for organizations to buy directly from manufacturers, or through many online retailers.