Today’s businesses, especially operations that are either currently experiencing growth or set to encounter it soon, are constantly changing with the times and needs of clients. In addition, other areas are also adapting and rising to combat scale -for example, risks such as hackers, new and more volatile iterations of spyware and phishing. And then there’s the risk of, should your IT infrastructure go down, whether you can recover in time without causing domino-effect stresses across your staff and customer base.
Together, we can help you maintain smooth operations that are more efficient, proactive, and reliable even in the most trying of times. But what is a managed service, and how does it work?
Let’s explore this subject in more detail.
- 1 The Definition of a Managed Service
The Definition of a Managed Service
A managed service is a specific kind of service that the client initiates (you) and is fully handled by the provider (us). The latter is often referred to as an MSP (managed service provider).
Business owners procure a managed service to take care of specialized processes or responsibilities. For example, upon hiring us as a managed IT services provider, we can take care of everything from hardware and software fixes to network overhauls and cybersecurity beef-ups, all while adhering – in a fully compliant manner – to your requirements and budget.
What is an MSP Used for?
An MSP can help streamline your operations within the scope of the services that they offer. Their goal is to help you improve efficiency, cost control, and productivity without placing additional strain or pressure on your employees – if anything, the services in question should make life better for them and the clients you serve.
For example, you can hire a managed IT services provider to overhaul your networking to make it more efficient and reduce downtime. This can be done while accommodating projected growth in the form of additional, newer employees being added to the network in the near future. Depending on how you wish to use an MSP, you’ll be able to free up internal resources, reduce labour costs or energy wastage, improve internal processes to save time and eliminate needless steps that bloat your operational flow, and more.
Factors that Influence the Need for Managed IT Services
From this point forward, we’ll refer to managed services in the context of IT-related applications. When procuring these services, there are many benefits to be had, though they will vary depending on a variety of factors including the following:
- The size and scaling needs of your operations
- Network bandwidth and uptime versus downtime
- Disaster recovery failover rates
- Cybersecurity and preventative measures currently in place (if any)
- Compliance and regulatory requirements that govern your operations
- Staff capacity
- Business specialization (otherwise known as application) and industry
How Can an MSP Help Your Business?
With the above factors in mind, here are just some of the many potential benefits that may be applicable to your use of managed IT services in particular:
- Safeguard data, including the implementation of two-factor authentication (2FA) and encryption
- Streamlined cloud migration and cloud governance
- Network improvements that reduce uptime and increase traffic bandwidth
- Freed up internal IT resources/team members
- Education and training for employees on best practices in using hardware/software
- Improved collection, organization, and secure access management/permissions handling of servers, intranet, and uploaded data
- Reduced or eliminated service outages
- Proper support to help your team remain agile and productive
- Improved strategy planning and roadmaps
- Data-driven decision-making through flagging and reporting, analytics and diagnostics, and findings from scans
- Future-proofed infrastructure that can flex to accommodate rapid growth/scaling
- Optimized hardware and software integration, leading to improved efficiency and reliability
- Significantly reduced risk management, threat reporting and mitigation, and proactive security
What to Look for in an MSP
When shopping around for a managed service provider, especially one dealing with technology as we do, it’s crucial that you narrow down your search based on the following criteria:
Are They Up to Date on the Latest Threats and Pain Points?
An MSP needs to know their ABCs – it’s that simple. That means, when handling IT infrastructure, knowing exactly what threats are out there and of the highest risk today, not yesterday, when handling IT infrastructure. Your MSP should also have the expertise and technology needed to combat those digital and physical threats, and yes, that includes the ability to help your business bounce back from a natural disaster without losing precious data.
In addition, is your MSP aware of the common pain points plaguing businesses similar to yours, and are they willing or able to accommodate for workarounds based on strict compliance or regulatory requirements that dictate your operations?
Are They Experienced?
Not just anyone can call themselves an MSP. Becoming a true specialist takes years of practice, refinement, and skills development. For instance, our IT team at Revolution Networks knows the ins and outs of not only the hardware of yesteryear but also the latest innovations. We keep up with tech trends, threats emerging in the digital landscape, and new techniques that deliver added value to our clients. This is why we’ve been able to amass a vast suite of services, encompassing everything from IT consulting and network wiring to remote backups, managed workstations, exchange hosting, and much more.
Are They Supportive, or Do They Push You Away?
We believe that knowledge is power, which translates to a powerful amount of growth and success potential for your business if you can learn even when “outsourcing.” When working with an MSP, they are taking over responsibilities and planning within critical areas related to your operations. It’s a deeply personal relationship in a way, because they need to get to know your business and team from within. Therefore, it only makes sense that you choose an MSP who wants to help your team make full use of the solutions they implement. Avoid the ones that shoo you away and don’t want to share what they know, as that will not help you when you’re finished with their services!
On that note, are you keen on learning more about our own managed services here at RevNet? We’d love to chat about your needs and plans together. Get in touch with us today, and let’s make your IT infrastructure the best it can be tomorrow.