Managed Services is a way for an organization to have a broader variety of IT sources available to them. Managed Services can include everything from strategy consulting, IT roadmap and planning, all the way down to help desk services.
A company might consider outsourcing to a managed services team for two main reasons. The first is if the company needs help supplementing its internal IT resources. For example, if it is rolling out a new software package, it might not have the resources required (either in manpower or expertise) to roll out the software package and deliver their internal support. Another reason for a company to seek outsourced managed services is that it can pick and choose exactly what services it needs. For example, if you needed to monitor a certain set of servers or machines, or you needed to do Tier 1 support for a new business you just acquired, you could contract a managed services team to do just that.
The “a la carte” ordering style is what helps make managed services so attractive. Whether that is router and firewall monitoring, server and workstation monitoring, or help desk services. You can pick and choose any or all of these with the managed services program that best fits your company. That’s the power – you can choose what you need and for how long you need it.
Both small and large businesses may benefit from managed services. The range of those benefits depends on the internal requirements of those businesses and what they need to have happen from an IT perspective. Small businesses may need a completely outsourced solution. A large company might ask managed services to augment or supplement the staff already on hand. By providing expertise on a particular technology, for instance, virtualization. A large company may need a large server farm consolidated into a smaller one and they may bring in managed services so their internal IT team is not overburdened.
Managed services is meant to be utilized in tandem with your internal IT team. There is an incorrect perception that managed services will take away IT jobs, and that simply isn’t true. The goal of managed services is to complement the skills the internal IT team already has. Managed services is there to augment the team to deliver the best IT services to a company’s end users.
More than anything, when companies are outsourcing a managed services partner, they should find one that they trust and are able to build a relationship with. The potential partner should come in and assess the environment and understand what it is exactly they’ll be supporting. Companies should also determine what level of expertise and knowledge a provider has. Review their references and make calls to see how the provider is delivering the service to others in the industry. Finally, your staff must work with managed services so they should be introduced at the earliest opportunity in order to assuage any fears about job security or potential conflict.