So, what are Managed Services Anyways?
Updated: Feb 9, 2022
Technology is everywhere you can think of, we use it at work, at home, and pretty much everywhere in between. Most of the time everything works as expected, but eventually something doesn't play nicely and disrupts what we were trying to get done. Most of us have basic skills to resolve typical issues, but there are also times where you must contact someone else to help you out. At work it's common to have the phone number of your IT Support readily available, but what happens if their Google skills aren't up to par?
Ideally your IT Support is part of a team that is responsible for keeping all your IT systems secured and running smoothly. If so, they most likely have a team of support professionals who dig in and identify what the problem is to get you back to work. If that isn't the case for you there are a few different support options including asking your niece or nephew, posting it the community Facebook group, or asking the helpful staff at Staples or BestBuy. If you've come up blank trying to get help from any of those sources, it's likely a good time to consider finding a Managed Services Provider to help with those annoying disruptions but who can also take on a more comprehensive role in supporting and securing your IT systems and keep them working as expected.
It's common today for an IT Service Provider to have a variety of solutions aimed at helping you with your issues no matter how big or small. The most common are managed with the alternative being an unmanaged solution that may include ad hoc support, niche skills, best efforts support, etc.
What are Managed Services?
Managed Services targeting IT can be as broad as outsourcing all IT responsibilities including daily management, maintenance and support of your systems or could be assuming specific deliverables such as providing help desk support, monitoring infrastructure, overseeing backup strategies and daily performance, or delivering security solutions amongst many others.
Managed vs Unmanaged service:
A Managed Service obligates your provider the responsibility of all or part of your IT execution for the contracted services:
Accountability for processes, tools, and overall delivery
Ensuring knowledge is documented and transferable
Maintaining secure access to passwords, systems, and your critical infrastructure
Providing line of sight into the performance of your systems through regular reporting, dashboards, and quarterly business reviews
Committing to Service Level Agreements that are designed to support your business requirements
An Unmanaged service on the other hand provides you with resources with relevant skills and limited commitment; and pricing tied to effort and availability. Responsibilities for processes, tools and overall delivery including additional contracting needs remain with you; knowledge exists within individuals and the overall risk remains yours.
Managed Services Benefits:
Most importantly Managed IT Services give you time for you
to focus on your business, not your IT.
Beyond that there are several benefits your business can experience by partnering with a Managed Service Provider:
Providing predictable and scalable expenses
Eliminating the operational expenses of having an in-house team
Delivering faster response times
Access to skilled consultants that are trained and certified with new technology
Proactive monitoring and maintenance of your critical systems
Experience adhering to compliance standards
Availability of advanced cyber security avoidance capabilities
Reducing your risk
The simplest way to see the difference is to decide whether you are seeking an outcome or an input? Managed Services are designed to provide you value based on a defined service, specific outputs and a structured plan as opposed to unmanaged services which you will need to guide, manage, and ultimately have no commitment that the activity performed will achieve the desired outcome.
Next time you contact your IT support team consider what you are getting – are they providing you information or is it the other way around?