Managed IT services
With companies trying to be as efficient as possible to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn, there is significant pressure on IT departments who are expected to effectively manage the more complex needs of the organization with fewer employees and resources.
As companies begin to realize the strain that is being placed on IT in addition to realizing the increasingly important role it has in the success of the company, many are beginning to look for solutions. One cost effective solution to consider is managed IT services.
Understanding managed services
Managed services are being utilized by an increasing number of Canadian companies. It involves outsourcing or transferring management functions that would normally be done in house to an outside company. This company provides these management functions and works to improve overall operations. Even though the management function may be outsourced, it is still overseen by a business leader or department manager within your company. They are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the managed service.
What are managed IT services?
Managed IT services is a subset of managed services that are offered by third-party companies. Many companies have turned to this option over hiring new people internally because of the costs associated with hiring and employing people internally. In most cases, refining IT functions within a company often comes down to a few tweaks rather than a major overhaul.
Here are some of the common features that are part of managed IT services:
Keeping an eye on day to day operations
- Managing system maintenance such as updates and patches
- Reporting and monitoring
- Security management and monitoring of threats
- Network performance
- Providing system access to programs and applications
Essentially, managed IT services allows your company to focus on the more important issues, while passing on the more repetitive and simple tasks that often take up the bulk of your IT department's time. How much support you require or responsibility you want to hand over is completely up to you. In most cases, companies make the key management decisions and control their IT strategy, while the managed IT service provider takes on role that focuses on managing and executing your strategy.
Common IT managed services
Here are some of the most common IT functions that are passed over to IT managed service providers:
Employee access and user management
- Network security maintenance and monitoring
- Database management
- Around the clock system monitoring
- Data storage and backup tasks
- Communications services such as unified communications, videoconferencing and Internet and phone services
The benefits of managed IT services
There are many benefits to using an IT service provider. While cost is the most obvious benefit of this approach, there are many additional reasons to consider this type of service to enhance your IT department. They include:
Allowing IT leaders within your organization to focus on future planning and development.
- The ability to enhance your overall IT management strategy.
- Allowing your experts and specialists to focus on the tasks and jobs they were hired to do in the first place.
- Staying up to date about the latest innovations and best practices for IT departments.
- Around the clock monitoring services.
- An outside perspective on the current shortcomings of your approach to using IT within your organization.
Overall, managed IT services provides companies with a cost-effective method to expand their IT capabilities by taking their focus off of the day to day operations and allowing them to focus on the more important strategic development of IT within your company.
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