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  • IT Support Philadelphia – Managed IT Services Defined

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    Managed service is a broad term used to describe all outsourced business functions. Most business owners get to hear this word for the first time when they explore outsourcing.

    What is managed service?

    Managed services can be defined as the strategic practice of outsourcing the daily management functions and responsibilities in a bid to improve business operation and reduce operational cost. This could be in form of outsourcing business maintenance activities, production support, human resources responsibilities and lots more.

    The MSP Alliance described managed IT services as "the proactive management of an IT (Information Technology) asset or object, by a third party typically known as a MSP, on behalf of a customer. The operative distinction that sets apart a MSP is the proactive delivery of their service, as compared to reactive IT services, which have been around for decades."

    Gartner said a managed IT service provider is a company that “delivers network, application, system and e-management services across a network to multiple enterprises, using a "pay as you go" pricing model. A "pure play" MSP focuses on management services as its core offering. In addition, the MSP market includes offerings from other providers - including application service providers (ASPs), Web hosting companies and network service providers (NSPs) - that supplement their traditional offerings with management services."

    So we can say managed IT service is a process where part of a business IT functions are given to a third party, which does it proactively for a fee. However, the outcome of the services may differ depending on the company’s approach to their support offerings.

    Most IT service providers just adds up a collection of services with a supervisory package and a price-tag and call it “IT services”. However a full-time IT service manager takes full responsibility of a clients IT infrastructure to ensure that they not only enjoy a hitch free operations, but that there is an improvement in their experience with their technology.

    The Theory and Purpose

    A basic theory about managed IT value and services is that the more a business relies on it technological infrastructure, the more cumbersome and costly its IT service requirement would be. Most small and medium companies strive to have a proactive covering for their IT services and this requires hiring a reputable IT service company to handle their IT solutions.

    There are different levels of monitoring and proactive IT activities been offered by these companies, but they all point to the ultimate goal of advancing the business’s processes through IT and ensuring that there is very little downtime.

    Managed IT serviced provides a cost effective way of reducing reactive issues and planning for short and long term IT enhancements and business changes. They work fervently to satisfy their client base, by providing services based on best industry practices to help develop and refine the clients business.

    The IT service providers have a major advantage of economy of scale and so it is more cost effective to hire them than to keep an in-house IT team.

    VARIATION OF MANAGED SERVICES

    While the definition of managed service is quite unclear, their variation is more confusing. Below are some of the common variations of managed service offerings you are most likely to come across.

    IT Monitoring Services

    This is the least expensive and also the least effective managed IT service offering. This is most times not considered as managed IT service. Most IT service companies use it as an entry level option at very low costs. All that is required of the IT service provider would be to provide monitoring services for the client, so when a problem occur, they would report to the business owner/manager and if you require the services of the IT company to fix the issue, you would have to pay an additional fee. This would go a long way in fastening the response time to IT issues, however it won’t add much to the business process and the IT service providers might charge higher to fix any issue.

    Limited Response

    This is another approach of managed IT service. This however requires the IT service provider not to only monitor, but to also make fixes if there is an issue. However the nature of those “fixes” is limited. The IT service provider may have to carry out reactive support on specific server, hardware or other technical issues for a specific time.  However any issue that falls outside those specified, will attract an additional service charges.

    Hybrid Approach

    In his case, the business is allowed to employ an in-house IT department, while they utilize the resources and knowledge of the IT Company. This approach is mostly used by businesses that have the need for full time in-house IT personnel. The functions are delegated in such a way that, the in-house IT person has specific functions, which he/ she focus on, while the IT company plays  monitory role and also provides solutions to issues that are outside the perimeter of the in-house team.

    This variation enables the IT Company focus on implementing processes that would enhance business.

    Note: most companies feel there is need to have IT personnel on-sight at all times, so he/she can quickly respond to any IT issues the employees have. Though this is more costly, but if well implemented would go a long way in smoothing operations.

    The IT service companies would also work to limit the need of a day to day check by providing proactive solutions, so in the rare cases where their services are urgently need on sight, they would be well equipped to undertake it.

    Remote-Only Help Desk Support

    In this approach a business controls its managed services in such a way that they only get to call the IT company when the need arises. This approach is best for businesses that requires very little IT on-sight time. They only get to pay when there is need for on-sight IT services. This benefits the business a lot as they get to enjoy quality IT services at low cost.

    Full IT Services

    This is the situation where all of the business’s IT responsibilities are placed on an IT service provider. The service provider would be required to use their expertise, tools and experience to work in line with industry best practices, developing and improving the client’s business processes and productivity.

    They will work to:

    • Reduce downtime.
    • Enhance client productivity.
    • Reduce reactive issues.
    • Provide a monthly budget.
    • Be consultants on major IT related actions.
    • Reduce client’s business risk of data loss and more.

    Which do you need?

    Considering the several approaches listed above and the very loose definition of managed services, most business owners become more confused as to what approach to choose. This is also made worse by the disparity in the cost for each approach. Business owners would most likely view all the approaches as the same; however there is a wide disparity between the various approaches.

    You can easily get all the answers you desire by contacting us here at Computer Tech. We are an IT service provider with over 20 years combined experience of delivering top notch IT services to our numerous customers. We will provide top notch IT solution for your business that would exceed all your IT expectations.

    Feel free to contact us now, for a free consultation.