What are managed services and how do they compare to outsourcing?
Outsourcing is taking an internal function and contracting an outside source to perform that work. Managed services are a collaborative effort between you and your service provider with emphasis on proactive monitoring and management of an IT operating environment. People within a company sometimes consider outsourcing as a threat to their jobs. Managed services are different in that they place the emphasis on the reallocation of resources to strategic core business initiatives.
These days, everyone is strapped for cash. But, you have to keep up with the fast pace of technology. Managed services handle mundane IT tasks so that you and your technology staff can focus on current and new strategic business endeavors.
What benefits do managed services offer?
Managed services free up IT resources and help to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. Your IT staff can focus on aligning with business goals without worrying about day-to-day operations and reactive support. Another benefit is that managed services are typically offered at a flat monthly fee. So when issues or incidences arise, they can be resolved easily and your fee will remain basically the same. See why many companies are moving over to AOKNetworking's NEW Intelligent Workplace.
With managed services in place, your IT environment is constantly monitored. So, instead of reacting when things break, you can proactively remediate issues. In addition, a good managed services program will be able to react to the problems that can’t be planned for, so you’re covered no matter what. A good program is flexible and modular — it can scale up or scale back as your business requires.
Additional managed services offerings include adding expertise to your staff where you don’t have it or don’t require a full time person (i.e. Oracle support, VMware or security). Software as a Service (SaaS) is a type of managed service that allows you to add tools you need without upfront capital expenditure and the hardware and skills needed to deploy and manage the tool.
If a company explores managed services what outcomes can it expect?
First, you have to define what managed services are appropriate for you and your company. Usually this entails a combination of identifying what elements of IT are core to your business, and also identifying what commodity items a managed services provider can potentially manage. From there you can determine exactly what you need and when you’ll need it. You’ll be able to predict IT costs, so you’ll have consistent spending. Managed services also offer a proactive analysis of your operating environment, remote monitoring tools, less reactivity for operations, more scheduled maintenance and the ability to measure results via monthly or quarterly reports from the managed services provider. Managed services will allow you to focus on your business and not on IT.