For decades, IT managed services has been the go-to option for businesses of all sizes looking to outsource their tech needs. Offering a wide range of benefits, including cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved security, it has been the preferred option to ensure workforce productivity and continuous support. However, understanding the pros and cons and best practices for choosing a provider before embarking on their managed services journey can help global enterprises maximize expected outcomes.
Why it makes sense?
Reduced costs: One of the biggest pros of IT managed services is the significant cost benefit. By outsourcing IT tasks to a third-party provider, businesses can avoid the high costs of maintaining an in-house IT team. This can be especially beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to support a full-time IT staff. Additionally, managed IT services can help businesses avoid costly downtime by providing 24/7 monitoring and support.
Improved productivity: Another critical benefit of IT managed services is that they can improve efficiency and productivity. Managed service providers typically have a team of experts trained and experienced in a wide range of IT tasks. This means that they can handle a variety of IT issues quickly and effectively, which can help businesses avoid delays and disruptions and enable their teams to focus on core competency areas. Additionally, managed service providers often use advanced tools and technologies to automate routine IT tasks, which can further improve efficiency.
Enhanced security: Managed IT services can also help improve security. Managed service providers typically have robust security protocols in place to protect customer data and networks. They may also offer additional security services such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and data encryption. What’s more, managed service providers are often able to detect and respond to cyber threats more quickly than businesses that rely on in-house IT staff, which can help minimize damage in the event of a cyber attack.
Minimized downtime: Managed services can help reduce downtime by proactively monitoring and maintaining IT systems and identifying and resolving issues before they cause disruptions. Managed service providers can also provide regular updates and upgrades to software and hardware, ensuring that systems are running on the latest versions and are better equipped to handle potential issues. Additionally, managed service providers can provide round-the-clock support, allowing for quick resolution of any problems that do arise and ensuring the availability of IT systems.
But challenges remain
Despite all the benefits of outsourcing your IT needs, there are also some challenges to consider when it comes to managed services.
One potential downside is that businesses may lose some control over their IT systems and data. When partnering with a managed IT services provider, businesses may have to rely on the provider’s policies and procedures, which may not align with their own. Additionally, businesses may have less visibility into their IT systems and data when working with a service provider. That said, by taking proactiver measures, enterprises can mitigate such challenges. For instance, by clearly defining the scope of work and what tasks are being outsourced will eliminate any confusion on responsibility for different aspects of the IT systems and data. Implementing robust security measures, such as encryption, firewalls, and access controls, will protect sensitive information. Similarly, establishing clear lines of communication will ensure a defined process for reporting and resolving issues in a timely manner.
Another drawback is that businesses may not be able to customize their services to meet their specific needs. Managed IT service providers typically offer a set of services that are the same for all clients, which may not be a perfect fit for every business. This can be especially problematic for enterprises with unique IT requirements. However, partnering with providers who offer flexible solutions, such as customizable packages or the ability to add or remove services as needed, will help.
Besides, considering a hybrid approach where you outsource some IT tasks to a managed services provider, but keep others in-house, to ensure that you have the level of customization that you need. In addition, developing a strong partnership with the managed services provider, and work together to find solutions that meet your unique IT requirements is essential.
Selecting a managed IT services provider – what it takes
When choosing a managed IT services provider, it is essential to consider a few key factors. First, businesses should look for a provider with a proven track record of delivering high-quality services. This can be determined by looking at the provider’s customer reviews, case studies, and testimonials.
Businesses should also look for a provider offering a wide range of services to meet their needs. This may include services such as cloud computing, data backup and recovery, and cybersecurity. Additionally, businesses should look for a provider that is transparent about their processes and procedures and can provide detailed reports on their services.
Finally, it makes more sense to partner with a managed IT service provider who is responsive and easy to work with. This means that the provider should be able to quickly and effectively address any issues that arise and that they should be easy to contact and communicate with.
A reliable managed service provider will have a team of experienced and skilled professionals capable of handling a range of IT needs and providing customized solutions. A proven track record of success and demonstrated improvement in their customer tech systems are essential. They should also have a strong commitment to customer service and be able to provide fast and effective support when issues arise.
Additionally, a suitable managed IT service provider will have the latest technology expertise, certifications, and security measures in place. They should also be able to provide regular reports to their clients, so they can monitor their IT systems and make informed decisions about future IT investments.
The article has been written by Subbarao Kapila, Vice President – Global Presales and Solutions Delivery, CriticalRiver