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What Are Managed Services

Article (PSA-0007)
Submitted by: Billy Joe Long, Member/Manager
Company: Problem Solving Applications, LLC
Titled: What Are Managed Services?
Original release date: January 15, 2018

What Are Managed Services?

Managed services allow business managers/owners to offload specific IT operations to a service provider. This service provider is known as a Managed Services Provider. The managed service provider assumes ongoing responsibility for monitoring and managing designated equipment and resolving technical problems for selected IT systems and equipment on your behalf.

Managed services providers can offer services such as alerts, security, patch management, data backup and recovery for different client devices: desktops, notebooks, servers, storage systems, networks and applications. Offloading routine infrastructure management to an experienced managed services professional lets you concentrate on running your business, with fewer interruptions due to IT issues.

Managed services providers usually price their services on a subscription basis. Depending on the services they provide, pricing is usually based on the number of devices, with different packages priced at different levels. Some provide customer support onsite when required.

Basic services often start with a monitoring service, which notifies you of problems, which you resolve on your own. At the upper end of the spectrum, service providers offer fully managed services that cover everything from alerts through problem resolution.

Typically they perform an initial assessment of your current IT environment and management requirements to help you decide what services and service levels you need.

Does My Small Business Need Managed Services?

Just like larger companies, small businesses need technology to operate efficiently and to compete effectively. But as reliance on IT grows, the resources to support an increasingly complex IT environment may not. In many small businesses, IT resources are scarce, and can be quickly overwhelmed with the day-to-day responsibilities of keeping the IT infrastructure that the business depends on up and running.

If you fall behind in keeping up with things such as backups, patches and security, the odds are that you’ll face an IT outage or another problem down the road that will negatively impact your business. For instance, if your e-mail server, customer relationship management system, financial application or network goes down unexpectedly, you face substantial productivity and revenue losses as a result.

MSPs act as an extension of your IT department, taking care of routine IT infrastructure monitoring and management around the clock—freeing up your IT staff to focus on higher-value projects. By proactively monitoring and maintaining your systems, an MSP can help you avoid many technology problems in the first place. Should an issue occur, an experienced MSP can troubleshoot and resolve it more efficiently.

Unlike traditional outsourcing situations, where you surrender complete control of your IT assets, you decide what you want the service provider to take care of, and what you want to handle. You retain full visibility into the process and management of your systems. In addition, the MSP subscription model gives you more expense predictability than a consultant-type time and billing model.

MSP Considerations?

With so many different types of MSPs and offerings, the MSP label can be a confusing one. So, when considering managed services, think first about your requirements. How satisfied you are with the level and quality of support that you have today? Where are the gaps, pain points and inefficiencies in IT infrastructure management? How do downtime, outages and other problems impact your business?

With these requirements top of mind, evaluate MSPs that map to your IT, business and budget requirements and provide a flexible, proactive approach that can adapt with you as your needs evolve.

If you need a Managed Service Provider or need more information on the subject – call PSA Computer Services at (707) 506-6228 to set up an appointment to get a quote.

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