QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What’s the real value in managed IT services?
Many businesses and organization first consider IT managed services because of a crisis. When a system is malfunctioning, they call in an IT consultant to repair what’s broken. Impressed perhaps by the provider’s expertise, they enter into a managed service plan contract for ongoing assistance.
But, while problem-solving is certainly central to IT managed services, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The true value of managed services is its capacity to innovate new technology, streamline operations and, overall, brings greater IT value to an enterprise. Of course, preventing future IT disasters is part-and-parcel of what a good managed services provider should bring to the relationship.
If you’re focused on making the most of your managed service provider, consider posing to them these questions:
- How will your managed IT service help us compete more nimbly?
- Can your managed IT service help us adopt new technologies more rapidly?
- Can your service plan help us transform our operation into one that’s more digital-capable, employing cloud-capable applications and services?
- Will your managed service plan optimize our environment, and not just fix our immediate IT infrastructure problems?
- Bottom line: How does the cost of your managed IT service get repaid in contributions to our innovation and efficiency?
Managed IT services? Cloud services? Or, both?
A closer look at managed IT services
As an owner or manager of a small to mid-sized business or organization, you’ve probably heard the terms “managed IT services.” and “cloud services.” But if an IT expert isn’t on hand or if you’re too busy with other challenges, it’s likely you haven’t had time to learn about the advantages that each of these solutions offers.
Begin with managed services. With these service plans, a managed service provider (MSP) addresses all issues an internal IT team would normally handle. For example, the MSP would keep hardware up and running. They’d ensure software is up-to-date. What’s more, the managed IT resource would assume responsibility for monitoring your network 24/7. In short, the MSP manages IT challenges and solves related problems with one goal in mind: To free you of IT worries and enable you to concentrate more fully on running other aspects of your business.
Serving as a replacement for — or a supplement to IT members you may (or may not) have on your staff — managed service providers offer you:
- IT system monitoring and management
- Data backup and recovery
- Email server hosting and patch management
- Security audits andupdates
- A flat-rate, monthly fee pricing structure for a service plan (in many cases)