What Is the Role of a Managed IT Service Provider?
No matter the size, businesses operate today with technology as their foundation. Technology supports many significant operational undertakings aside from being their foundation. That’s why its efficiency should always be on point.
Are you still managing all your IT tasks in-house? It might be time to change that. Managed IT services are making a comeback and quickly becoming the most viable solution for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition and survive in the long term.
If it is your first time hearing about managed IT services, let’s look at what it actually means. Managed service is the practice of outsourcing particular business tasks to a qualified third party. In this case, an IT services provider. Utilizing IT outsourcing firms can provide your business access to specialized services such as cloud computing, database management, and software development. Given that these services may not be required on a daily basis, contracting with these external tech specialists becomes a cost-efficient choice.
So, why opt for managed IT services instead of doing everything in-house? Well, there are nearly a dozen benefits of outsourcing your IT needs, some of which include lower costs, access to better technology and expertise, and higher productivity as in-house staff can focus on other important tasks.
That said, if you are considering hiring a managed IT service provider, here are some roles you can expect them to play:
IT Infrastructure Management
IT infrastructure management involves overseeing the software, hardware, and other systems that comprise the IT ecosystem. So, the managed IT expert takes everything from the organization’s IT policies and equipment to IT staff and relevant external partnerships. So, this role is quite broad and encompasses a variety of sub-roles. Most commonly, it is categorized into systems management, network management, and finally, storage management.
Effective IT infrastructure management is crucial, as neglecting this aspect can lead to costly downtimes, damaging your business’ reputation. Additionally, it can negatively affect your customers who rely on your products and services.
Network Monitoring & Maintenance
Regular maintenance of your IT network is key to ensuring high performance. Without monitoring and maintenance, internet failures, security breaches, and other network issues can completely cripple your operations. Lucky for you, this is something you don’t have to worry about when you have an IT services provider. They will actively monitor your IT network and make adjustments/ updates where needed to ensure it runs without any mishaps.
This involves regular checks on server performance, network traffic, and system logs, along with updating your systems as needed. These measures ensure your organization’s IT infrastructure remains efficient, providing smooth and seamless services to your clients.
User Access Account Management
In any organization, employees in different positions and with varying responsibilities will need different solutions and tools to undertake their roles. And, so, clearance cannot be the same. User access account management, also known as identity and access management, is all about managing how much access each user in the organization has. An IT service provider helps seamlessly manage user identities, assigning permissions based on particular attributes.
Their services include creating and deleting accounts, updating privileges, and managing passwords. These tasks are essential for maintaining system security and integrity, preventing unauthorized access to your IT systems.
Technical Support Services
A managed IT services provider also offers IT assistance to you as well as your staff when you need it. This role can take many forms depending on the provider and the agreement. For computers and other hardware, this support is usually on-site, while for cloud services, the issue can be sorted out remotely.
Basically, technical support springs into action when a problem with the IT system is affecting operations or business. Or when your system needs maintenance or an upgrade. Technical support also includes answering employee questions regarding anything in the IT system.
The advantage of engaging these services is their availability around the clock. This means that even if your business operates across different time zones, your IT-related concerns can be attended to promptly.
Cyber Security Management
Your managed IT service experts also handle your IT security needs. That includes developing, implementing, and updating a full-proof security strategy that secures a company’s sensitive information. This role, in most cases, also includes assessing possible risks and addressing them before they become significant threats.
Cloud Computing Management
Cloud computing is yet another role under managed IT services, and it refers to the provision of various computing solutions, e.g., storage, apps, servers, etc., over the internet or “cloud.” By leveraging cloud computing solutions offered by a managed IT service company, you can migrate your business’s IT infrastructure to the cloud, manage your cloud resources services, and increase your security.
That said, some of the cloud computing solutions you can receive from a managed IT service company include:
- Software as a Service
- Platform as a Service
- Infrastructure as a Service
- Hybrid cloud
IT Compliance & Risk Management
IT compliance is all about aligning with IT policies guided by industry standards, while risk management identifies and reduces risks.
With that in mind, managed IT service provider offer various solutions to ensure that your business meets stipulated IT compliance requirements while ensuring the lowest risk for your business. Some of these IT compliance and risk management services include compliance audits, IT governance, policy formulation, and security evaluations, to name a few.
Servers are essential aspects of your business’s IT infrastructure as they enable the hosting and management of apps, data storage, and provision of network services. To ensure your business sustains optimal performance, you need to monitor your servers regularly, maintain them accordingly, and even upgrade them within reasonable timeframes.
One of the key roles of a managed IT service company is server maintenance, which involves an array of solutions aimed at helping your company manage its servers. These include capacity planning, server optimization, patch management, and more.
Data Backup & Disaster Recovery
Data backup entails generating copies of critical data and storing it in a different place to ensure that it can be accessed in case of data loss as occasioned by a system failure, whether due to human error or any other issues. As for data recovery, it is all about repairing and reclaiming your business’s IT infrastructure following a disaster, hardware failure, or cybersecurity event.
By leveraging the services of a managed IT service company, a business can better safeguard its data and guarantee that a business continues operating effectively. Some of the solutions a managed IT service company can provide in this regard include backup and recovery planning, data backup, maintenance and testing, and so on.
Analytics & Reporting
Another role that the managed IT service company will take up is analytics and reporting. Basically, they leverage data to draw insights into your company’s IT operations and help you streamline performance. A managed IT service company will help you generate key analytics and reports that help you steer your business in the right direction.
A Managed IT Service Provider Might Be What Your Business Needs to Scale
Are you thinking of taking your IT ecosystem to the next level? It might be time to bring in a managed IT service provider. By delegating the tough IT work to the provider, you can focus on core business operations and scale your business to new heights.