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Ensuring Your Strategic IT Success

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Are you spending too much time on technology niggles instead of your business?  What you need is a managed service provider…

In today’s hustle and bustle business world, to have a competitive edge, your company must be, more than ever, technologically advanced.

However, the more complex your IT system, the more challenging it can be to ensure you get the most out of its sophisticated software, which can be a constant headache.

This can, therefore, mean you have a reduced focus on your core services – you spend time and money on this technology and a first-class IT team, but this can divert from your primary business concerns.

This is where a managed service provider (MSP) can step in to help you escape these challenges.

What is a Managed Service Provider?

In a nutshell, a managed service provider (MSP), also sometimes known as a ‘cloud service provider,’ is a company that remotely manages a customer’s IT infrastructure and end-user systems and is a service which is delivered over the internet, usually on a regular basis, and under a subscription package.

Managed services are, therefore, the process of outsourcing the technical responsibility, which includes maintaining and anticipating the need for a range of procedures and functions in order to help cut company expenditure in this particular area.

These kind of managed service providers aren’t new, but what they can offer from the original application service providers of the 1990s in terms of customers’ IT support, is bigger and better than ever.

Some managed service providers offer specialisms in specific areas of information technology such as data storage, vertical markets, including legal, financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing.

The beauty of this kind of service provider is they are an alternative to the on-demand outsourcers who only work on a specific job – the subscription model of the service provider delivers the managed services.

State of Contract

The business client and the managed service provider are bound by a contract that clearly states what performance and service are required.

So, by having a contract ensures the provider manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of bespoke services for its clients.

Most providers charge an upfront setup or transition fee and an on-going flat fee fixed monthly fee – this benefits most clients as it provides them with predictable IT costs for defined support.

Trying to staff a full-time IT department is usually expensive and often unnecessary for small to medium-sized businesses with simple IT network systems.

It will be up to you as to how much you’re willing to pay for managed IT services so you’ll be in control of your bill.

There are managed security services providers as well, who specializes in remote firewall administration and other security remote packages. Other managed providers offer printer maintenance and the supplying of consumables.

Small and medium-sized businesses are typical of managed service provider customers – this is probably because most smaller companies have limited in-house IT capability, so they may view this kind of service offering as a way to obtain IT knowledge and expertise.

By shifting the responsibility to a remote provider who can build in sophisticated IT packages to the company’s existing infrastructure, the small business doesn’t have to worry about large overheads or IT expertise as they can leave it to the professionals.

However, large institutions may also contract with managed service providers. Government, health, or educational agencies, if facing budget pressure and in-house hiring limitations, may decide to have a contract with an MSP to supplement in-house IT staff.

By using managed services, businesses can, therefore, have the most up-to-date technology, which includes cloud computing, connectivity, bandwidth, network monitoring, security, virtualization, and disaster recovery seem to be the main call of the day for service providers as well as a traditional application. Infrastructure management, storage, desktop and communications, mobility, help desk, and technical support are among some of the most popular services required.

Every Cloud…

Every business runs on information.

The migration to a cloud environment is the first step in future-proofing your business’ data center.

Then, you’ll need to make the step towards making the latest technology and services available to your business.

Without clear and concise cloud management, your business is very likely to be under security threats, data loss, and costly downtime.

For most of us, there are extensive gaps in our IT knowledge that need to be filled to prevent the worst from happening.

Managed cloud services refer to outsourcing the daily IT management for cloud-based services and technical support to automate and enhance your business operations, leaving you to focus on what you do best and the service provider to do their magic when managing cloud security, computing, storage, network operations, application stacks, vendors and that’s just for starters.

Depending on your business’ IT needs, most cloud MSPs can also handle monitoring and reporting, performance testing, backup, and recovery.

With their fixed monthly pricing, hiring a cloud managed services provider is often less expensive than an in-house team.

Every time your company decides to update its IT services means your in-house IT team will need training, which loses you time and money.

Managing your services means 24/7 management for a service provider.

Tools of the Trade

There are essential tools that need to be used when managing IT, and a service provider should be able to offer a comprehensive range.

RMM – remote monitoring and management is a remote fleet tool which has the goal of detecting and predicting problems other than by noting a failure.

RMM also makes it possible to deploy updates as well as remote patches to install and configure software but to solve various malfunctions as well.

The tool of network mapping and supervision helps establish a map of your network in order to simplify it later when inspecting your IT infrastructure.  It is able to present a detailed inventory of the equipment and breakdowns in links, workstations, etc.

Software such as Professional Service Automaton is for project management and resource allocation for projects.

A managed service provider, therefore, is able to manage and take responsibility for remotely providing a defined set of services to its clients in a proactive way…