The Essential Guide To Managed IT Services
When it comes to managed IT services, you have a lot of options at your disposal. IT services encompass a wide variety of technology support, maintenance and repair services. With managed IT services, you partner with a third party provider to manage your IT needs. You get the knowledge and expertise of experienced professionals when and how you need it—without the need to keep a staff of IT employees and the expense that such staff entails.
While the general concept of managed IT services is easy enough to understand, the various options available under the “managed IT services” umbrella are actually quite numerous. You know you want to get the benefits of such services, but it can be challenging choosing between all the options available.
The following guide is meant to help you get a clearer idea of what the different offerings you will encounter entail. As you learn more about your options, you can make a more informed decision about which are right for your unique business needs.
Managed IT Services—What You Need to Know
The following services are the ones you are most likely to encounter with a managed IT services provider. You can choose one service, multiple services, or get a package of services that essentially mimics having an in-house IT team.
Backup as a Service
Backing up your data is a necessity. Backup as a Service offers your business a way to ensure that the data you need protected is backed up on a regular basis. It also encompasses recovering your data if needed. Your service provider will help you determine what you want to backup and how often, and will then implement a system to make sure it happens as intended. Your data will be backed up off-site.
A managed communications service will unify all of your communications need so that everyone is on the same platform—minimizing confusion, complications, and ensuring streamlined communications across all channels. Managed communications can include video conferencing, instant messaging, email, calendar sharing, hosted phones, file sharing, administrative portals, video conferencing and more.
Software as a Service
Your service provider can act as the manager of your applications and other software, distributing your apps through the cloud and communicating with the software provider on your behalf. While you can often interact directly with the software provider, there are benefits of utilizing your managed IT services provider to facilitate the process. Your service provider can ensure that all your apps are up to date at all times and improve your customer service experience.
Security as a Service
Security should always be a top priority for your business, and one of the best ways to ensure optimal security is to have your service provider manage your security needs. Your provider can distribute security apps via the cloud and manage them remotely to make certain everything is up to date. Having a remotely monitored security arrangement lets your provider identify issues right away and respond immediately. Your service provider may also install security components on-site, depending on your security needs.
Security as a service includes all the apps necessary to protect your business, including security reporting, anti-malware, anti-virus, system monitoring, system testing, remediation, log management, log analysis and patch installation verification.
The amount of data your company collects is growing and will continue to grow at a rapid pace. Keeping up with all of that data and analyzing it for the benefit of your business is no easy task. Data analytics as a service can make the process much easier on your end. Your service provider can monitor your data, capture it and analyze it to provide you with insights. You can use such insights to improve the efficiency of your operation and possibly even increase revenue.
Desktop as a Service
Your service provider can help you access a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure so that you can access your operating system from other computers or online. A third party will be responsible for hosting the back end of the virtual desktop. This service is useful for businesses that have data that is sensitive and needs an extra layer of security, as well as for businesses that have numerous employees working remotely.
Networking and Infrastructure
You can have your IT service provider provide networking services and infrastructure as needed. Some service providers have actually servers of their own, while others may offer virtual servers. The more data you need to store, the more expensive it is to use these services. However, even using on-site servers from a service provider is still much cheaper than actually maintaining your own servers at your place of business. You would have to replace your hardware around every five years or so, which quickly adds up.
Support services are some of the most popular offerings from managed IT service providers because they provide so much benefit for such significant value. With support services, your provider will provide you and your employees with tech support for all your systems. You can get help with troubleshooting and with many of the basic issues that cause trouble in day to day business, including resetting passwords and updating software. You have a range of options with support services, from phone and chat support to actual on-site support at your place of business.
Managed IT Services Packages
Many providers will let you pick and choose which of these services you require. However, you can also get many or all of these services as part of a package, usually at a reduced rate from a la carte options. A package of services can allow you to essentially have your own IT team when you need it.