by Granville Triumph
The current economic downturn has forced many organizations to reduce their IT budgets and put many new initiatives on hold. That doesn’t mean they’re cutting IT spending entirely. On the contrary, many are taking a hard look at investments that can help them stay competitive and meet today’s operational demands.
Organizations are continuing to embrace cloud-based services, mobile platforms and big data analytics with an eye toward increased efficiency, flexibility, productivity and customer satisfaction. However, these new technologies often bring unintended consequences in the form of increased IT challenges.
Industry surveys repeatedly reveal that organizations struggle to obtain the maximum return from their IT investments. It can be difficult to effectively implement and optimize new solutions while continuing to maintain existing infrastructure.
That’s why more and more organizations are choosing to collaborate with a managed services provider (MSP). The MSP can remotely monitor and manage the IT infrastructure and take over specified IT functions such as data backup, cybersecurity and more.
Redefining Managed Services
MSPs have been a part of the tech landscape for decades, but there has been a measurable shift in emphasis in recent years. While cost savings once was considered the primary benefit of the managed services model, this is no longer the case. In a recent survey of 350 executives, respondents said they most value managed services for the ability to reduce risk, improve efficiency and free internal IT staff for more strategic initiatives.
Best-in-class managed services programs are more than a laundry list of IT tasks. The MSP will work with customers to understand their business needs and objectives as well as identify IT pain points and gaps. The MSP will then develop a customized program backed by disciplined processes and delivered by a team of seasoned engineers and technicians.
This collaborative approach to managed services provides high-value benefits. The MSP and customer will jointly define uptime, performance and other benchmarks and put SLAs in place to ensure that those metrics are met.
People, Process, Technology
Managed services can serve as a lifeline for work-from-home employees who need IT support. But today’s MSP is more than a help desk. Qualified MSPs have engineers on staff with decades of practical experience in the day-to-day administration and management of business-enabling technologies. They also have the ability to scale to meet growing business requirements through proven methodologies, thorough documentation and robust internal communication.
State-of-the-art tools enable the MSP to remotely monitor and report on each customer’s infrastructure. These tools provide real-time and historical data that the MSP’s team uses to understand trends, set thresholds and respond to alerts more effectively.
In-house IT departments should not view managed services as a threat. The role of managed services is to complement rather than replace internal IT. By partnering with an MSP, IT teams know they can focus on implementing new technologies and driving their organization’s IT strategy, while relying on the MSP for maintenance, management and support.
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed immense pressure on organizations to implement work-from-home strategies and automate business processes while keeping a lid on IT costs. However, strategic IT investments are proving to be the differentiator between organizations that merely survive and those that thrive in today’s challenging economic environment. By partnering with an MSP, organizations can help ensure that new technologies deliver the expected benefits.