What are managed IT services? Well, some of that answer will depend on what managed service provider (MSP) you ask, but there are common elements that make up the managed it definition. Simply put, managed services is the practice of outsourcing the responsibility for maintaining, and anticipating the need for, IT processes and functions to improve operations and reduce expenses. But really, it’s much more than that. Let’s review how managed services works, managed it services examples, managed services use cases and more to help you understand the managed it services meaning.
What Are Managed IT Services According to Us
The way we frame the managed IT meaning is that the IT services provided should give the customer the ability to focus on their core business, and not on their technology needs. Managing technology is a separate, time consuming job that can take away from focus on business functions if managers and executives dedicate their time to information technology rather than their actual business. Managed IT services solves this problem by being a well-rounded IT department who you can trust to manage things for you, so that you’re worrying about how to expand your business, and not if your servers are up and running.
How Managed Services Work
What managed services fully involve will depend from provider to provider, but again, there are common elements to the technology services provided. At its core, an MSP will provide you with technical support and facilitate day to day IT functions. They will also proactively monitor your technology infrastructure to eliminate unnecessary downtime. This is the opposite of the break fix model, which is often the function of an understaffed internal IT department or an immature services provider – this model corrects problems after they occur, rather than identifying and mitigating issues before they arise. As mentioned above, the purpose of having a managed services provider is to proactively manage your technology, so that it works when you need it to. Additionally, an MSP will help you strategize so you can scale your IT as your business continually grows. Your particular levels of service, such as how often someone will visit your office on-site for maintenance and assistance, or how often you’ll work together to create IT strategy, will be defined in the service level agreement (link to blog) with your managed services provider.
Some of the other service offerings available from some MSPs are things like managed security or other security services(link to cybersecurity page?), which help support the cybersecurity element of your technology and your valuable business information. This can be a small part of your IT, or you can expand a security offering to be as comprehensive and in-depth as you want. Even if they do not have a dedicated security offering, most managed services companies provide items like patch management and backup and disaster recovery (link to blog)to protect your data. Additionally, items like cloud services are often provided. This typically includes choosing a cloud provider, to getting you set up in the cloud, cloud management and more.
Managed Services Use Cases
Many kinds of businesses decide to use managed services for IT. We have found, however, that typically a business who turned to managed services did it for one of a few reasons:
- Their IT is struggling to keep up with business growth – Maybe when the business began, a one-man shop or single internal IT hire worked for them, but as their business continues to expand, so does their technology, and the IT they had is no longer enough to keep up with demand.
- They are struggling to hire and retain a staff of qualified IT professionals – The IT industry has always been competitive, even before the Great Resignation (external link). Turnover is generally high, not to mention that maintaining a staff of IT pros is expensive when you add up maintaining certifications, the high average salary of an IT professional and more.
- Their IT leadership departed, retired or plans to do so soon – We have had some cases where IT leadership for a company departs for a variety of reasons, prompting the organization to re-examine their IT strategy and consider managed services. Especially for small and medium sized businesses, they realize it often makes sense to shift over to a managed services provider, since they have to make a change anyway. In a few cases, we’ve even had departing IT staff we have done project work with recommend (link to case study) for the business to go in the managed services direction based on their work with us!
While each business has their own particular reason for adopting managed services, if any of the above apply to you, it could be a good time to consider switching to managed IT services (link to blog). Additionally, if you found any of the above managed IT services description to resonate with the technology needs of your business, then of course it would be appropriate to consider as well.
Interested in learning more about Managed Services?