The first items to consider are what services you want to manage and your budget. Basic managed IT services programs typically offer alerts/advisories about needed actions and some level of manual remediation; advanced options include more in-depth monitoring/maintenance, and automatic problem remediation through the software.
A managed services provider delivers and manages technology services, applications and products. They can be hosting companies or comprehensive managers of an entire company IT network, monitoring and maintaining everything from server performance and security to mobile access and telephony. Backup, data storage, network management, user management and systems management all can be part of a managed services contract. The benefits of these different aspects of managed IT services are extend to the face that most, if not all, of these services can be performed from beyond a company’s internal network—minimizing or even eliminating duties previously handled by internal IT staff.
On paper, this sounds great. There’s great economy and efficiency. And, managed services by nature are proactive, identifying and fixing pending problems in areas ranging from server capacity to security before they become operating meltdowns. Plus, routine administrative functions can be automated. That, in turn, drives higher productivity and morale, and ultimately benefits the bottom line.
The benefits of outsourced, managed IT services include the idea that providers can rapidly access specialized skill sets for out-of-the-ordinary challenges. This improves quality of service and cost-effectiveness, and helps maintain a calmer workplace (versus the frantic “brush fire” mentality that can set in when urgently needed skill sets are not readily available). And, managed services contracts often are based on a flat monthly fee, making costs predictable in this historically unpredictable economic climate.