In a 2011 blog post “What Is Managed Services and Who Needs It?” we defined managed IT services as technology services outsourced to a contractor. We included examples, such as: backup, data security, data storage, databases, internet, monitoring, network management, and system management.
The benefits of Managed Services are many. The following are a few:
- Predictable IT Costs – managed service providers (MSPs) typically charge a fixed monthly fee.
- Expertise – organizations can leverage the best practices and expertise of a provider that performs these services for multiple businesses 24×7.
- Focus on Core Competencies – internal IT staff can focus on more strategic IT initiatives and not have to spend time on routine, day-to-day IT tasks that can be monotonous and time consuming.
- Leverage Sophisticated Technology – every business, no matter the size, needs a robust IT infrastructure to run their businesses. The managed services option gives small businesses the opportunity to have a sophisticated IT environment at a reasonable price point.
- Avoid Interruptions – a managed services provider can proactively monitor and maintain an IT infrastructure and help avoid issues for an organization more effectively than a busy internal IT staff.
According to the MSPAlliance’s “Consumer’s Guide to Managed IT Services” there are many types of managed services providers. There are MSPS that are more “general practitioners” that offer a broad set of technology tools and services. There are other MSPs that are more specialized in areas such as security, storage or application management. Then there are MSPs that focus on specific vertical markets, especially in heavily regulated industries, such as financial, healthcare and pharmaceutical.
The true benefit of the MSP model is that an organization can evaluate the skillset and time availability of its internal IT staff to meet specific goals and objectives and determine what areas should be outsourced and what can be handled in house. It is not all or nothing. There are a wide variety of managed services options and every organization has different needs by MSPs.