If you are part of your company’s operational or IT management, it is quite possible you have heard of the term Managed Services. If you’ve never used Managed Services, or are interested in learning more about what managed services are at a higher level, we hope this blog series assists you.
Types of Managed Services
As with most functions available from providers, managed services can be broken into different functional or feature-driven types of service. These encompass all the aspects of your infrastructure. These functions are:
Managed Networks and Infrastructure
Managed Networks and Infrastructure is really the base setup of your network. Typically, these are comprised of the computers, servers, security platforms, routers, networking, and connector to your ISP that are the puzzle pieces that fit together. Managed Service providers can offer both hardware and support services to ensure that these basic tenants keep up-to-date, secure, and running seamlessly so that your users have the tools they need to do their day-to-day work.
Managed Security conducts a wide range of security services typically via the cloud and is an expert in an enterprise’s information security program. The security initiatives in this type of MSP allow seamless business operations and provide up-to-date audits, maintenance, and security protocols. Providers also offer proactive security tests, such as penetration testing, access audits, ongoing training, and encryption management to ensure your network is as safe as possible.
Managed Support Services
Managed support services delegate your company’s IT support management to a third- party service provider specialized in handling business IT systems. This type of managed service is pertinent to the information technology where the service provider proactively monitors systems, resolves issues, and performs work. If users have issues, managed support contract allows them to open tickets, and have MSP handle all resolutions quickly and efficiently
Managed Cloud Infrastructure
Managed Networks and Infrastructure holds the business systems together by managing both the hardware and software systems within the IT infrastructure and keeps it running perfectly. It manages the cloud infrastructure of a company allowing businesses to experience enterprise-grade IT infrastructure without the cost of managing and maintaining. It finds a flexible way for enterprises to prepare for business growth, focuses on innovation, and improves security compliance requirements.
Managed Software as a Service (SaaS)
Managed Software as a Service (SaaS) is outsourced software solutions that can be implemented and adopted with very little customization. Some of the many verticals it is used in payroll software, compliance reporting, etc.
Managed Wireless and Mobile Computing
Managed Wireless and Mobile Computing are built on the concept of mobile computing and cloud computing where the execution of mobile applications is done through managing, processing, and communicating data. The managed service provider is an expert in handling issues in ad hoc and infrastructure networks, communication properties, network technologies, and data formats.
Data analytics as a service provides data analytics software and procedures for companies that require end-to-end organizing, analyzing, and presenting data. Most AaaS are subscription-based and uses processes like data mining, predictive analytics, and AI to make scalable insights of data for the organization to make smarter decisions in real-time.
Traits to Look for in an MSP
Many companies offer managed support offerings, but what should you be looking for in an MSP? Here are some offerings and requirements to look for in an MSP that will help you choose a provider that fits your needs and puts you on the path for success.
- Quick Response: The quicker the response, the better the MSP. Your service provider must give timely responses to all your queries and has a window of response that meets the severity of the solution. If your company is international or runs a 24-hour model, you should also look for an MSP who can offer around the clock services as well.
- Flexible Pricing: Look for an MSP that offers flexible pricing models that can meet your support needs and budgetary restrictions. It is recommended that before meeting with an MSP to discuss a partnership, you have the budget and needs laid out, and be transparent so that your MSP can customize their plan for you.
- Security: MSPs should be adept at taking security measures and responses to combat data loss or any kind of security breaches. As we have seen a large increase in the number of people who are working from home, who are using multiple devices (both BYOD and mobile use), and who are no longer confined within a physical location, it is imperative that any MSP has a thorough understanding of security needs and requirements and can enact on these needs.
- Downtime Management: If a company experiences downtime, either due to an Internet outage, hardware failure, or any other issue, your MSP must have a clear and concise communications plan for letting you know what is occurring, what steps are being taken to resolve, and an estimated time to resolution. And for companies who have mission-critical needs, discuss the possibility of creating a disaster recovery process to ensure that your company has a plan in place if a cataclysmic event were to occur.
- Provide options: Be upfront with your prospective MSP about your needs and ensure that you are choosing a provider that will not just do what you ask for, but will also present possible options for your needs. MSPs should be experienced in not just management and maintenance but in their expertise to give you the best practices for IT operations.