What is managed services, and how does it fit?
Managed Services is the ability to involve a 24×7 staff to monitor and maintain your computers. Most of the time, the smaller IT companies will not have the staff to accomplish this. Monitoring is then outsourced to a firm that does NOTHING BUT this type of monitoring. The NOC, (Network Operations Center) will monitor for errors, apply updates (windows updates, antivirus updates) and respond to any issues. To respond to an issue, a NOC employee will establish a remote session to your computer, and fix whatever the issue is.
What is the benefit of Managed Services?
With managed services, the IT firm acts as a liaison between your company’s network and the outsourced firm. This is usually done at a cost per unit. What this means to you is regardless of what goes on, your cost remains the same each month. Equipment is monitored 24×7, and pro-actively maintained.
What are the downsides of Managed Services?
The downside to managed services is you simply do not know who is in your computer. What they are looking at. Granted, I may have trust issues, but, after 20 years of being in the IT business, there are more than enough reasons to be hyper-sensitive to this. Data theft is real. Hacking is real. Viruses are real.
There is also real value in knowing your IT staff, and ensuring they know you. Not an “anonymous” person from virtually anywhere in the world. Your IT staff should be part of the team. To know you, is to know your business. They know your deadlines. They know how you like things done. They know your users, and how to assist them. Ever call the 1-800-HELP DESK type number? Did you have to tell your entire story, just to be transferred and tell it again? At every transfer, have to also repeat your information, case number, contact number? Personally, I feel that to pick up the phone and to call someone who knows you, knows your business, and simply make a request feels a lot more secure.
Is there a place for managed services?
Absolutely. We manage networks where the PC’s are all in the field, and the data is in the cloud. In this environment, there is no “local”. No local server, no local security, no local staff. The data IS maintained offsite in a staffed secure location. In this type of organization, Managed Services is your best way to maintain any amount of control and monitoring to the remote users, while keeping all the machines up to date.
Technology is here to stay. This means we have to find a reliable way to embrace it, maintain it, and back it up. Unless we are in the IT field, it is best left to the pros. In most businesses, infrastructure failure can bring the entire company to a halt. You need to have a team that you trust, who personally understands that infrastructure and ensures that your business is always in the right hands.