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What are managed services? A comprehensive explanation

6 Mins read

In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business landscape, organizations are constantly seeking ways to optimize their operations, enhance productivity, and stay ahead of the technological curve. One trend that has gained significant traction in recent years is the adoption of managed services.

Let’s understand managed services in detail and examine the benefits they can bring to your organization.

What are Managed Services?

A managed service provider is a company that takes care of important parts of your business every day to make sure everything runs smoothly. They help all kinds of businesses, from small ones to big ones like government agencies and nonprofits.

These providers have a group of smart people who know a lot about how to run businesses well. They can handle complicated tasks and processes that might be difficult for you to do on your own. By working with a managed service provider, you can get access to talented experts and the latest technology without spending a lot of money.

Importance and Relevance of Managed Services in the Modern Business Landscape

The managed services model came about as a new approach to IT support, replacing the old method of paying for help only when something went wrong. In the past, if your computer system or network had a problem, you would call an IT provider and pay them for the time it took to fix it.

At first, this seemed like a cost-effective way to handle IT issues. However, whenever a problem occurred, all the money you had saved would quickly be spent on fixing it.

This break-fix model made it hard for smaller businesses to plan or make strategic decisions about their IT. In contrast, larger companies had Chief Information Officers (CIOs) who could oversee the IT strategy for the entire organization. Smaller businesses, on the other hand, had to make do with keeping their existing technology working for as long as possible, without much room for proactive planning.

Due to the challenges faced with the break-fix model and the rise of the “as-a-service” pricing model, managed services were created to address these issues. Managed services offer several advantages over break-fix, such as reducing overall costs and providing immediate assistance when needed. Additionally, this new pricing model includes a range of services that were previously too expensive for many businesses to afford.

Although managed services have become the main method of IT support, there are still many businesses using the break-fix approach. One of the main reasons companies are transitioning to managed IT is the concern that outdated IT infrastructure can lead to excessive spending. This was highlighted in a report called “The 2020 State of IT” by Spiceworks.

Currently, the global market for managed services is worth about 267.3 billion US dollars. This value was determined in 2022. It is predicted that this market will continue to grow at a steady rate of 12.8% each year from 2023 to 2030.

How does a Managed Service Provider work?

Once you’ve chosen a managed service provider (MSP) and finalized the contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs), the provider begins by thoroughly examining the processes you’ve outsourced. This helps them find ways to use resources efficiently, reduce costs, and make the processes more efficient. Their experts can also identify any challenges in your processes that you might have missed.

Based on this analysis, as well as identifying potential risks and liabilities, the service provider creates a customized solution that is tailored to your specific needs. They also provide ongoing support and maintenance for the outsourced processes.

Source: Freepik

Some of the common business processes that are often outsourced to a managed service provider are:

  • Payroll
  • IT services and infrastructure
  • Workforce management
  • Recruitment
  • Vendor management
  • Contract management and compliance
  • Human resources

Types of Managed Services

Managed services come in various types, each catering to different areas of business operations. Here are some common types of managed services:

  • IT Infrastructure Management: This involves the management and maintenance of a company’s IT infrastructure, including servers, networks, and software. It ensures smooth operation, security, and updates to keep the systems running efficiently.
  • Network Management: This type of managed service focuses on the management and monitoring of a company’s network infrastructure. It includes tasks such as network security, troubleshooting, performance optimization, and ensuring reliable connectivity.
  • Security Management: This service is dedicated to safeguarding a company’s data and systems from cyber threats. It involves proactive monitoring, threat detection, incident response, and implementing security measures like firewalls, antivirus software, and data encryption.
  • Data Backup and Recovery: Managed services providers can help with regular data backups and secure storage, ensuring that critical business data is protected. They also offer recovery solutions to minimize downtime in the event of data loss or system failures.
  • Cloud Services: This type of managed service focuses on utilizing cloud computing to store data, run applications, and provide scalable resources. It includes cloud migration, infrastructure management, data storage, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.
  • Help Desk Support: Help desk services provide technical support to end-users, assisting with troubleshooting, software installations, and resolving IT-related issues. It ensures employees have access to reliable support and minimizes disruptions to their work.
  • Vendor Management: This service involves managing relationships with technology vendors on behalf of the company. It includes procurement, contract management, and ensuring that vendors meet service-level agreements.

The benefits of Managed Services

Hiring a reputable Managed Service Provider (MSP) ensures that your IT infrastructure is in capable hands. Let’s understand the benefits of managed services:

1. Saving Costs and Easier Budgeting:

Outsourcing IT services to an MSP can help small and medium businesses save money. Instead of hiring expensive IT personnel, businesses can rely on the MSP for a fixed monthly cost. This simplifies planning and budgeting for IT services.

2. Access to Experts:

By partnering with a reputable MSP, even small businesses can access highly skilled IT professionals without the need to go through the hassle of hiring them. MSP teams have extensive experience in IT, ensuring that your business receives excellent services.

3. Proactive Support and Quick Response Time:

MSPs specialize in managing IT systems and are fully dedicated to this task. As a result, they can respond promptly to any system performance issues or failures, providing proactive support to minimize downtime.

4. Ready Infrastructure:

Developing codes from scratch to configure an organization’s applications can be time-consuming for in-house developers. However, MSPs have pre-existing libraries of codes that can be customized to fit specific client requirements. This enables them to deploy solutions more efficiently, saving businesses’ time and money.

5. Improved Business Focus:

By outsourcing IT infrastructure management to an MSP, entrepreneurs can reduce their stress and focus on their core business competencies and strategies. With experts handling IT issues, business owners can have peace of mind and concentrate on growth and stability.

Learn the benefits of implementing managed services through an example:

Company A, a mid-sized business, decided to leverage cloud technology for its operations. They partnered with a managed service provider experienced in cloud services. The MSP facilitated the migration of their infrastructure to the cloud, managing data storage, virtual servers, and software deployment. The company gained scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency, as they only paid for the resources they used. The MSP also provided round-the-clock monitoring and support, ensuring high availability, and minimizing downtime.

How to select an MSP?

When choosing a Managed Service Provider for your company, it’s important to consider a few things:

  • Service Level Agreements: Each business is different, so a good MSP should offer flexible options that meet your specific needs. Look for a clearly defined service level agreement that sets expectations and ensures timely response times.
  • Industry Experience: Find an MSP that understands your industry. They should be familiar with the regulations and requirements relevant to their field. A track record of success in similar industries shows they have the expertise to manage your network effectively.
  • Focus on Growth: It’s essential to choose an MSP that is forward-thinking and committed to embracing new challenges and technologies. You want a partner that will support your company’s growth and help you stay ahead of the curve.
  • Excellent Customer Service: Customer service should be a top priority for any MSP. They are the people you’ll turn to if something goes wrong, so it’s important to work with a team that is honest, friendly, and dedicated to meeting your needs. Look for an MSP that goes above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service.

By considering these factors, you can find the right MSP that will meet your company’s needs and help you succeed.

Conclusion

Managed services are a smart and affordable option for small and medium-sized businesses to level the playing field with larger companies. With managed services, you can access top-quality equipment, expertise, and support that are typically available to big corporations. It’s like having the same advantages as the big players without breaking the bank.

By partnering with a managed services provider, you can enjoy the benefits of advanced technology and experienced professionals who can help your business thrive. This cost-effective solution allows you to stay competitive, enhance your capabilities, and focus on what you do best while leaving the technical aspects to the experts.

Contact us to learn more about managed services and get expert help.

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About author
Priyanka Dadhich – a content writer, can usually be found reading books. She likes to write about technology, healthcare, travel and fashion. Priyanka loves coffee and listens to music in her free time. She spends her free time with her family.
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