August 3rd, 2017
The growth and diversification of information technology sparked off the need to develop and utilize a number of services related to IT. As the breadth and complexity of IT services led to a need to make this an easier process for corporate bodies, the concept of managed IT services emerged. This brief column aims to help you understand the idea of managed IT services better.
What is managed IT service?
Let's say that you run a business, and you require someone to handle all your Information Technology needs. You have two options - you could either personally hire a team of employees, with a team leader, resources, equipment and benefits, and have them on our payroll, or you could outsource these responsibilities and functions to a qualified and capable third party. The second option is essentially what is known as a managed IT service.
Outsourcing its IT service requirements lets an organization either partially or completely offload its IT operations, functions, and responsibilities to an external service provider. This provider assumes the responsibility for the functionality of IT services and equipment, and in turn, the organization receiving the service pays a fee to the Managed Service Provider (MSP).
What are the various services that Managed Service Providers offer?
The spectrum of IT services offered by MSPs ranges from basic solutions, which include monitoring your IT operations and alerting the enterprise in case there's a complication (which must then be resolved in house), to comprehensive packages that include a number of IT services such as data backup and recovery, alerts to potential problems, cloud management, resolution of any IT issues, patch management and overall information security, on an on-call basis. Typically, MSPs offer service packages on a subscription basis. The cost of the service depends on the duration for which the services are required, the number of devices to be managed, and the range of services opted for.
In order to keep up with the diversifying requirements of business enterprises, the mode of extending managed IT services has evolved over time. For instance, organizations no longer need to worry about relinquishing all the power to a third party; they get to decide exactly what to outsource, and what level of authority of extend to an MSP.
How do managed IT services benefit a business?
One of the primary advantages of managed IT services is that they let an organization concentrate on running its business without having to exhaust valuable resources to handle any undue disruptions in its IT network. Hiring a managed IT service offers a wide range of advantages to a business, including but not limited to:
Are managed IT services necessary?
While it may seem logical to conclude that only large organization need to outsource their IT requirements, smaller enterprises stand to benefit from availing the services of an MSP as well. This is because every organization, irrespective of its size, relies heavily on the use of IT. So, while it's undoubtedly prudent to have an IT department inhouse (to handle day-to-day IT operations), it is also always advisable to consider subscribing to an MSP, as a good way of managing overheads and gaining access to high quality services at lower price.