What are managed IT services? Managed IT services refer to tasks, processes, or services handled by a third-party provider. It essentially means outsourcing your IT needs to a managed service provider (MSP). Instead of in-house teams, external teams of consultants and professionals will perform various tasks in your stead.
Given the managed IT services definition, it is clear that most, if not all, organizations need it. However, not everyone can set up robust and reliable IT infrastructure in an increasingly digitized world.
This article tells you how managed services work and how IT outsourcing can help your business.
How Do Managed Services Work?
Managed services cover a wide range of business functions and apply to every industry. In information technology, outsourced tasks usually include setting up the required infrastructure and maintenance to keep it running.
It has become a preferred alternative, especially for companies unable to meet IT demands regarding manpower and equipment. Instead of investing in new infrastructure or training, paying a third party for your needed services is more cost-effective to meet modern digital demands.
Also, the sharp rise in managed IT services came in response to the pandemic. For instance, to survive amid the travel and in-person restrictions, companies resorted to online means. A 2020 study reveals that the health crisis has accelerated digital transformation in several industries.
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Types and Examples of Managed IT Services
The unprecedented demand has increased competition among MSPs and identified new challenges and opportunities for improvement. It has led to specialization among providers, with the offerings of managed providers being divided into sections.
Below are some services that could give you an idea of what managed services are capable of in the IT industry.
1. Managed Security Services
A managed security service provider (MSSP) is responsible for setting up your defenses, managing the devices required, monitoring your systems, and generating reports.
Managed security offers a lot of services, including the following:
- Managed firewall services. Covers the design, implementation, administration, and maintenance of your full firewall infrastructure. Other MSSPs can start with assessing your existing defenses or could include active traffic monitoring.
- Vulnerability scanning. A systematic review of your existing IT infrastructure. Usually, cybersecurity consultants will conduct an audit of your system, identifying areas where technical support is required.
- Anti-virus and anti-spam software. Deployment of software solutions that protect your system from most malware that can otherwise harm your system. It also includes the regular update and maintenance of these systems.
- Intrusion detection systems (IDS). It refers to a monitoring system, usually driven by AI, that detects unusual behavior and raises alarms in case of a possible attack or breach. The MSSP usually hosts it from their security operations center (SOC).
2. Infrastructure Support
Your infrastructure is the lifeblood of your IT capabilities and, by extension, your business capabilities. As such, ensuring that your systems remain up and running is important.
Infrastructure support from MSPs usually revolves around network monitoring. For people asking what are managed IT services? And what do they offer? This support has to be one of the most common answers. They can work with your in-house teams or help you set up your system.
Technology services under infrastructure support include the following:
- Data processing and storage
Storage is a key component of most digital transformation efforts. Not only does it define where you store information, but it also affects how you handle and process data from your business processes.Most MSPs provide additional storage capabilities as a part of their cloud services. It makes for versatile storage options that are scalable to meet changing needs.
- Endpoint detection and response
Most businesses have adopted a remote or hybrid working arrangement. A 2020 survey reveals that about 83% of employees now prefer a hybrid work setup. In terms of IT services, this means more remote devices accessing your network.An updated EDR plan ensures that every computer and mobile device can safely connect to the company’s IT platform.
- IT helpdesk services
For businesses without an in-house team, reliable helpdesk support gives managed IT services meaning. Professional support representatives usually walk through their clients’ problems and even provide on-site support as needed.Depending on the service level agreements in place, helpdesk service also monitors, manages, and offers insight on your system health as needed.
Credit: George Morina
3. Managed Software as a Service (SaaS)
For companies requiring a certain software solution, managed software as a service (Saa) is an essential part of their digital transformation. Authorized sellers with proper training and license can provide your company with the software you need.
It includes a management solution, managed platform, or even a specific business app. Some commonly-used SaaS include the following:
- Google Workspace
- Microsoft 365
- And more
Benefits of Managed IT Services
If you’re looking to facilitate your company’s digital transformation with a managed IT services provider, understanding the benefits help. The following benefits can guide you in making an informed decision.
- Control Over Your Spending
The main advantage of managed IT services is that you only pay for the services you need. MSPs spare you the need to purchase new equipment or hire new professionals. When your organizational needs can change anytime in the future, it creates risk on whether these investments can pay for themselves in the long run.MSPs consolidate your needs and let you align your expectations. A service level agreement (SLA) details the services and options available to you at any point during your tenure with them.
- Minimized Downtime
Most MSPs are equipped with the technology and skills to ensure that you optimize your network uptime. For most businesses, downtime equates to lost opportunity, productivity, and profit.By offering core IT functionalities through cloud computing, MSPs allow their clients to enjoy accelerated business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
Most businesses experience massive fluctuations throughout their lifetime, which makes it risky to make IT investments. MSP services offer scalability, letting you change the IT services you have. Usually, it can be changed or updated within a certain period, allowing you to upscale or downscale services depending on your needs.
Stay relevant and thrive in the changing landscape. Adopt a digital transformation strategy that is perfectly suited to their needs. In this aspect, a reliable partner for managed IT services can spell the difference between failure and success.
Outsource Solutions Group is a managed IT service provider in the Chicago area. Powered by decades of experience with the top industry partners, you can expect reliable IT support right when you need it.
Feature Photo Credit: Field Engineer