Net Neutrality, Artificial Intelligence, Y2K, Data Mining are all buzzwords floating around the IT industry. Another term you keep hearing is Managed Services. Are you left wondering what it is? Is it just another trendy name or something larger? Hopefully we can lay out what Managed Services is and it’s a benefit to you.
The first thing to clear up is that Managed Services isn’t just terminology being thrown around to make something mundane sound exciting. Managed Services is a viable business model. Break/fix style support in today’s environment is unreliable and unsuccessful for both the provider and the customer. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from finding the right Managed Services Provider (MSP). The MSP model can be applied to both SMB and Fortune 500 companies. Small to midsized companies can really benefit from Managed Services. If you want to keep your employees focused on productive, having an MSP will ensure you have a fast and reliable network. As an SMB it should be motivating to know that you have access to the same benefits as larger companies when it comes to your IT infrastructure.
The MSP movement has roots that go back to the 90s. Both hardware and software vendors were developing early warning signals when something would go wrong using Simple Network Management Protocol. But the original systems built to monitor the signs were complex to manage and therefore expensive. The expense meant this was only being used by the largest of networks. But instead of staying static and potentially dying out the systems changed and by the mid-2000s it started to evolve into the MSP platform we know today.
As a MSP subscriber your entire network is monitored and any anomalies create an alert that your MSP will look into. This is a complete turnaround from the break/fix mentality. Under Managed Services you aren’t left waiting for something to actually stop working in order to apply the solution. Having a MSP means greater stability and a significant decrease in business interruptions since your updates and patches are rolled out on a regular schedule. Your systems are also now monitored 24/7. Constant monitoring means that you don’t have to wait for an end user to report a problem and it increases your CyberSecurity.
The break/fix model is outdated. It has a negative impact on IT firms as the income stream is unreliable. It also cuts into resources since it takes more time to apply a fix when it’s something that could have been avoided with maintenance. As a customer, the break/fix approach means you actually have to be down before receiving help. Why take the risk of a business interruption when you can be proactive vs. reactive? Success in business largely depends on being able to stay current and that means anticipating changes and adapting before your competitor to give you an edge. So why not take the same approach with your IT services?
It can take some adjustment to paying monthly verses paying for services as needed but over time the MSP pricing model can actually save you money. Managed Services mean greater efficiency. As in any other situation greater efficiency over time means lower cost. This also means you can focus more on running your business verses having to deal with technology. Your MSP can also help ensure you are getting the best market price and service from your IT related vendors. Their experience and exposure will give you an advantage so you know that you aren’t overpaying for internet or software licensees.
There’s also more transparency of services with an MSP. Your contract will lay out the services, responsibilities and availability. When you have this level of transparency and accountability it helps create a solid relationship between the provider and the customer. With so much at stake, you will have peace of mind knowing that your network is secure and stable and who to contact when you have questions.
The constant changes in technology can make it hard to decipher what is and isn’t a trend. But Managed Services is not going anywhere and the benefits to the user can only increase.