What are Managed Services Providers?
Managed services is the practice of outsourcing the maintenance of an organisation’s IT infrastructure. Providers of managed services help their customers get the most out of IT by developing a unique plan to fit their business needs. A managed services partnership will always be underpinned by a service-level agreement, which will specify the responsibilities of both parties, and most importantly, what the customer should expect from the service.
Partnering with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) can be extremely beneficial to both SMEs and corporate enterprises, allowing them to extend beyond what most people think about IT support, i.e. a break/fix model revolving around helpdesks and callouts, and goes further even than the on-demand outsourcing model that has become popular in recent years. MSPs look to completely transform organisations’ tech infrastructure to make it run more efficiently, create preventative measures to avoid faults and other issues, and when they do happen, make sure they are fixed as quickly as possible.
Why partner with an MSP?
Flexible Working & Scalability
With the recent shift toward flexible working trends, working-from-home, and hybrid offices, you want your users to be able to get support wherever they are, and you certainly don’t want that support to be limited to office hours. Partnering with a Managed IT Services provider should mean that you have the option of unlimited support.
Partnering with an MSP should also mean having scalability. Your managed IT services must be able to grow as your company grows and, if necessary, shrink as you shrink so that you are never spending money you ought not to be.
The reason most organisation will choose to partner with an MSP is to enable them to digitally transform their business. Digital transformation is actually business transformation, as it means faster working, better collaboration and a more future-proofed IT strategy.
The most common technique of digital transformation is through Cloud migration, and an MSP should be present with their partner throughout the migration / transformation process. Here at TechQuarters we have a 5-step approach to digitally transforming, followed by a roadmap:
Firstly, we would explore the options for technology solutions, making recommendations and helping you select. This would be followed by us implementation your solutions, after which we help support your users and provide training to get up and running on all the newly implemented technologies and applications.
We follow up with annual audits on your systems to ensure your Cloud Roadmap is up to date.
Can Managed Services replace in-house Support Services?
If you already have in-house IT support but are considering partnering with an MSP, you have options: replace your in-house team entirely or have them work alongside your MSP.
Of course, you could replace your in-house team entirely – these days the bulk of common IT and computer issues can now be fixed via direct remote control or via the helpdesk, and a good MSP must offer callout services, and may even offer technologies that reduce instances of common hardware issues. But you definitely do not have to replace them, and many will feel that having in-house technicians is a better fit than relying on a callout service for hardware fixes.
We personally have customers who take advantage of our callout service, and we have other customers who kept their in-house IT and are very happy with our collaborative managed services.
Ultimately when considering Managed services, the questions should not be about what it can replace, but about how it can transform your organisation’s processes and functions and keep it up to date on technologies.
What Managed Services can we do for you?
As well as being able to fulfil the traditional break/fix role of IT support, having audited your current IT infrastructure, an MSP will want to introduce safeguards and redundancies to your infrastructure. The following are a few of the common solutions:
A backup ensures that in the case of a disaster, your organisation’s data is not lost forever. This would typically involve implementing technology that works on your internal network and will replicate data and send it to a secure secondary storage space.
With this service an organisation can backup on-premises data i.e. files, folders, system states; you can also backup databases, virtual machines, and all kinds of other essential data. Data backups will typically be stored in the Cloud. In the case of TechQuarters, we use Microsoft Azure Backup.
Disaster Recovery (DR) involves implementing technologies and network policies which allows your MSP to recover your IT infrastructure and systems following a disaster, whether natural or manmade.
When developing your DR plan, your MSP will develop business continuity planning unique to your infrastructure, so that in the event of a disaster, the window of time where data could be lost, and the time it takes to restore business processes, are both minimized.
Whatever your situation is, we feel that managed services is the way to go. At TechQuarters, we are committed to working out unique partnerships that work for every enterprise.