INTERTEC BLOG

What are Managed Services and Why Do You Need Them?

June 1, 2021 / by Frederid Palacios

With the ever-growing capabilities of IT and technology, organizations are becoming overwhelmed. While these technologies are highly beneficial and capable, managing them can require a great deal of time, especially when misconfigurations arise. To solve this issue, more and more organizations are seeking the help of a managed service provider (MSP). Managed services can supplement the day-to-day needs of an IT department, allowing them to free up internal resources and prioritize more strategic projects. Managed services are when a company outsources specific IT functions to a third-party provider or MSP. These functions can apply to nearly any process but often include email hosting, storage backup and recovery, and network monitoring. The goal of obtaining this provider is to serve as an IT team for a company with limited internal capabilities or support an experienced IT team by allowing them to delegate some day-to-day tasks. Obtaining a managed service provider is highly beneficial to any organization, so we will discuss why it matters and why so many organizations are switching from traditional internal IT departments to managed services.

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Most Common Services

To begin, it's essential to understand what managed services are capable of handling. The number and type of services that a company needs from an MSP will depend on its unique internal IT capabilities; however, we will discuss the most common services needed. The first service is data backup. Critical to every organization handling large volumes of sensitive data, IT backup services protect and retain a company's data. This service also allows organizations to recover data ranging from single files to entire databases, ensuring that no critical information is lost or compromised. Data backups serve as a layer of redundancy, providing you with additional security and accessibility in the case of an event. For this service, it is typically best to outsource to an MSP as you can take advantage of their advanced technologies. More great services to outsource include help desk solutions and IT support services. Many organizations that utilize managed IT services have little or no IT resources of their own. For this reason, MSPs often help desk and IT solutions to give their customers access to on-call specialists to help them troubleshoot and correct issues, remotely and on-site. These services will help you proactively manage and patch devices while providing insight into how your systems currently work and should work.

In addition to help desk solutions and data backups, MSPs are also instrumental in managing network security and providing cloud storage services. Information security is becoming increasingly important for organizations to prioritize as the rate of cybercrime is climbing. MSPs can free up your internal IT resources by outsourcing tasks such as network intrusion detection and prevention, virus and spam eradication, content filtering, and traffic analysis through a traditional or next-generation firewall. Speaking of security, cloud storage is proving to be an optimized storage system with security more enhanced than traditional on-premise databases. Because you are limiting the risk of compromise to a physical data storage system, cloud storage provides you with enhanced security and backup storage capabilities. A typical MSP will offer general data storage, in addition to object storage and systems management. These capabilities will allow you to store larger amounts of data at a higher network speed, in addition to enhancing the cost-effectiveness, scalability, and reliability of data storage.

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Why Organizations Switch

Managed service providers offer numerous beneficial services and capabilities. Over the past few years, an increasing number of organizations have become more familiar with managed services and are now choosing to make the switch. There are ten primary reasons why organizations are choosing to transition to managed IT services. First and foremost, managed services are a great way of controlling IT costs. Because you are utilizing the services of an external provider, you only pay for what you use when you need it, rather than purchasing expensive in-office equipment that may not be used frequently. This also makes it much easier to budget for IT services. Secondly, you will significantly reduce labor costs with an MSP. Hiring and training IT team members is a time-consuming and expensive process, and temporary team members may not always meet expectations.

Equipping yourself with experienced professionals gives you the talent that you need while you focus your internal house resources where they are needed most. Going off of this, you can guarantee that your IT personnel are trained, experienced, qualified, and certified. Any MSP will ensure that their team members are the utmost skilled, thus providing you with the best of the best. Note that we included both experienced and qualified as important attributes, but there is an important distinction between the two. This brings us to our fourth reason for switching. When hiring internal IT personnel, you can only see that they are qualified, but that might not translate into being experienced with hands-on work or unexpected scenarios. An MSP will provide your organization with experienced IT persons who are equipped to handle whatever issues may come your way.

With expert personnel at the ready, your organization will see increased efficiency and competitiveness. Because you will no longer be managing IT services in-house by yourself, you will lower the time spent on research, development, and implementation time, all of which increase costs that are ultimately passed onto customers. In addition to this, MSPs will increase the speed at which you implement new technology. A quality outsourced MSP will have the resources available to start new projects immediately, whereas this would take much longer for an individual organization to do independently. With projects such as this handled for you, you will have more time and availability to stay focused on your core business. As is true for every business, you have limited resources, and your leadership has limited time and attention. Outsourcing IT projects will allow your business to stay focused on core business strategies and leave the IT to the experts.

Another excellent reason to switch to MSP is to reduce risk in your organization. Every business face risks, especially where data and technology are concerned. While market conditions, government regulations, and financial situations will always be something to be aware of, with an MSP, you can take the risk of IT misconfigurations off of your plate, allowing you to focus on other risks. In addition to this, the utilization of an MSP can level the playing field between small and large businesses. Most small businesses cannot keep up with the in-house support of larger ones, but they can gain access to similar technology and expertise through an MSP. For small organizations that cannot afford to obtain their resources on their own, this is a significant advantage. For the final benefit of managed services, your organization will also see enhanced compliance and security. As mentioned prior, many MSPs utilize security measures such as cloud solutions, data backup tools, and advanced firewalls. An external provider will not only have advanced technologies for implementing and maintain cybersecurity, but they will also have the time to devote specifically to information security. Overall, managed services are incredibly beneficial to an organization, providing them with numerous competitive advantages. Delegating work is a fundamental principle for any leader as it frees up time, money, and effort. By implementing managed services in your organization, you will see enhanced IT services, reduced costs, and optimized operations.

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Frederid Palacios

Written by Frederid Palacios

Fred Palacios is a seasoned software architect with more than 20 years of experience participating in the entire software development cycle across a host of different industries--from automotive and services to petroleum, financial, and supply chain. In that time, his experience working closely with high-level stakeholders has provided him with a strategic vision for developing the right solutions to flexibly meet critical business needs. As CTO of Intertec, he's continuing to focus on the creation of business-critical applications for large enterprise projects, particularly those that handle high concurrency and large datasets. He is passionate about using technology as a tool to solve real-world problems and also mentoring technical teams to achieve their maximum potential and deliver quality software.

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