Managed IT services encompass a comprehensive range of technical solutions, providing holistic IT support essential for businesses reliant on technology. By assuming the role of an in-house IT team, Managed Service Providers (MSPs) typically deliver these services at a substantially lower cost.
The service provider manages, monitors, and provides technical support to the entire IT infrastructure of your company. Typically, managed services that a service provider offers include critical first, second, and third-line support from the network operations center, including security management, remote application hosting services, and mobile device governance.
This article will unwrap the world of managed IT Services and demonstrate how a managed service provider can improve your day-to-day business operations and why it will give you the time to focus on your core business development.
Managed IT Service Contracts (Service Level Agreements)
The first step is to establish a formal business and service provider agreement. The agreed contract must be signed before any onboarding of Information Technology Services can begin. The managed services agreement encompasses a predefined service level agreement that explicitly outlines the specific managed services being acquired.
Importantly, it documents the specifics of system monitoring metrics and network infrastructure alert thresholds.
The contract specifies the service level agreement by establishing the service tier and explicitly outlining the customer and provider responsibilities, such as encompassing security provider infrastructure monitoring, major incident management, and remote support options.
The SLA details what, if applicable, third-party vendor management is needed. Such agreements often involve channel partners supported by the managed platform teams to ensure seamless operation and optimal outcomes for all parties.
What are the benefits of using managed services for IT?
Managed IT services and add-on cloud services provide a centralized platform with numerous benefits to businesses, particularly small to medium size.
Here are some of the tactical advantages IT-managed services bring to the table:
Expertise and Experience:
Managed services providers (MSPs), like a managed IT company, have a team of IT professionals with extensive experience across skill sets within various business sectors. They bring their expertise to the table to solve complex IT problems for most business owners, something that in-house teams may not always be able to handle effectively.
IT-managed services offer numerous cost-efficiency benefits for organizations. By outsourcing IT services to a managed services provider (MSP), businesses can reduce labor costs associated with hiring and training an in-house IT team.
The predictable monthly fees associated with managed services aid in budgeting and financial planning. Being able to call upon specialized expertise provided by the MSP ensures access to a wide range of skills without the burden of extensive training or the cost of new hires.
Proactive monitoring and maintenance minimize downtime and associated costs, while robust security measures and compliance management help avoid costly data breaches or regulatory penalties.
By leveraging the expertise of a managed services provider (MSP), businesses can effectively mitigate the high costs associated with keeping IT services in-house. With the MSP’s support services at a fixed monthly fee, organizations can streamline their budgeting processes, leading to greater ease and precision. Moreover, the strategic decision to engage managed services often leads to significant cost savings over time, ensuring financial efficiency for the business.
24/7 Support for Your Cloud Services:
Having access to an around-the-clock help desk and technical support is a game changer. In addition, when your employees are finished for the day, you can engage a managed services provider to keep your systems running at peak condition out-of-hours.
This ensures that any IT issue can be addressed promptly, minimizing downtime and enhancing business productivity in and out of hours.
In the global market, where cybersecurity threats are rising, MSPs offer robust cybersecurity security services to protect your business from potential threats. When it comes to managed security services, MSPs typically use centralized platforms and cloud-based interfaces for real-time threat monitoring and response.
Real-time Threat Monitoring:
MSPs enhance your business’s cybersecurity profile by introducing intrusion detection systems and automated alerting. Knowing exactly what is happening on your estate gives you the upper hand against cyber criminals and reduces your attack surface significantly.
The day-to-day requirements of cybersecurity are very demanding on an employee’s time. For example, remediating a list of extensive actions from the latest vulnerability report can take months to complete. By outsourcing cybersecurity, MSPs empower you to free up in-house IT teams to focus on other strategic initiatives, increasing productivity and business agility.
The demand for skilled cybersecurity experts has increased the cost of hiring elite talent. However, outsourcing to MSPs can be more affordable than maintaining a full-time in-house cybersecurity team. This is because companies pay for the services they need when they need them, converting fixed costs into variable costs.
MSPs have access to a broader knowledge base and more specialized expertise, allowing them to identify and defend against new types of cyber threats quickly and efficiently.
State-of-the-Art Cybersecurity Tools:
Managed service businesses with the most recent cybersecurity tools, like advanced threat intelligence, remote monitoring, and enhanced protection against emerging cyber threats. These licenses are expensive and require expert proficiency to get the best out of the application.
Access to the Latest Technology:
A managed services provider will have access to the latest SaaS platforms, licensed agent software, and cloud platform tech. As a result, cloud services providers can provide businesses access to these technologies without a significant upfront investment.
Advanced SaaS Platforms:
Managed IT Services grant businesses access to the newest SaaS platforms, such as VPS cloud platforms, dedicated cloud services, CRM, and ERP systems. Customers can be onboarded into these cloud services seamlessly, and any client data is streamlined into operations to bolster data security.
Updated Software Licenses:
Managed services companies handle the complex world of software licenses, ensuring businesses continually operate with the latest, most secure software versions. The customer doesn’t have to worry about the intricacies of licensing software per server, per core, or SaaS platforms license.
Modern Cloud Platforms:
A managed service provider gives access to the latest bespoke cloud platforms, hardware, and data center facilities, ensuring secure data storage and full remote access and supporting flexible work models.
As your business grows, an managed services provider can easily scale your IT services to match your needs. This flexibility can be priceless for a medium-sized business anticipating rapid growth or for businesses that experience seasonal trade.
Network and System Monitoring
Network and system monitoring is vital to ensure adequate network and infrastructure operation. It involves monitoring the health and performance of network connections and systems and identifying potential issues before they become problems.
A managed service provider will generally use an agent-based software tool to monitor systems proactively, ensuring the smooth running of internal IT operations.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Backup and disaster recovery is another essential service provided by MSPs. For example, in a system failure or a cyber attack, MSPs help businesses recover their data and restore their operations as quickly as possible.
No managed services model is complete without a tried and tested data backup strategy. Cloud servers and in-scope infrastructure are backed up on a predefined backup schedule, ensuring that businesses do not lose vital information in case of system failures or cyber-attacks.
A quality service provider can rapidly restore data during a disaster, minimizing downtime and the associated costs. Look for cloud services that include automated failover to a secondary data center; this approach ensures a seamless customer experience in case the worst should happen.
It is recommended that businesses follow the 3-2-1 data backup strategy, which ensures there are always three copies of data from all computer infrastructure.
- Three Copies: Maintain at least three copies of your data.
- Two Different Storage Media: Store the copies on at least two types of storage media such as Tape Media and Hard Drive.
- One Off-Site Location: Keep at least one copy of your data in a different physical location.
A robust off-site strategy provides an extra layer of protection against local disasters like fires or floods.
A service provider will deploy remote monitoring systems that poll metrics around the clock via private networks, allowing for immediate detection and mitigation of potential threats, servers misbehaving, and any potential issues with other computer infrastructure.
A managed platform will help businesses create and implement disaster recovery plans, ensuring the continuity of operations under any circumstances.
Mobile Device Management (MDM)
MDM and endpoint management is a type of security software an IT department uses to monitor, manage, and secure employees’ mobile devices such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets. Many MSPs offer MDM as part of their suite of services.
Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)
RMM is a collection of IT tools loaded onto a client’s workstations and servers. These tools gather information regarding the applications and hardware operating in the client’s location and supply activity reports to the MSP, allowing them to resolve issues remotely.
Employing a managed services provider can bring numerous benefits to a business, including cost savings, access to expert knowledge, improved security, and more. By taking over IT services management, MSPs allow businesses to focus more on their core competencies, potentially enhancing overall business performance.
The Rising Demand for Atlantic.Net Managed IT Services
Managed IT Services form an expansive category within the realm of IT service offerings, boasting an array of closely related counterparts. These counterparts, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Application Service Providers (ASPs), and platform services, can be considered interconnected branches within the broader IT services family.
Alongside these branches, business technology services and utility services also assume pivotal roles, contributing significantly to the overall landscape of IT service provision.
Atlantic.Net’s Pricing Structure
The pricing model at Atlantic.Net is designed with scalability and cost-effectiveness in mind. We offer a “pay-as-you-go” model, allowing our clients to tailor their IT needs according to their current requirements. We also offer discounted two or three-year plans.
Our customers say that this approach provides a flexible and affordable IT solution and alleviates the operational burden of managing their own platforms.
Cost-Effective IT Management
Managed IT Services can significantly reduce IT spending and client costs. Businesses can forgo the expenses of buying expensive server equipment and maintaining an in-house IT team by entrusting IT needs to a third-party organization like Atlantic.Net. Furthermore, our usage-based pricing model ensures clients only pay for the services they consume.
Benefit from Our Expertise
Atlantic.Net’s Managed IT services provide businesses access to a team of IT professionals with extensive experience and up-to-date knowledge of the latest IT trends and technologies. Our seasoned professionals have the expertise that’s crucial to navigate complex network infrastructure.
Harnessing Emerging Technologies
Emerging technologies such as cloud computing and cybersecurity are revolutionizing the managed IT services landscape. At Atlantic.Net, we consistently offer services in these areas, delivering cutting-edge solutions that address our clients’ evolving IT needs. Managed service offerings such as Network Edge service delivery, IoT management, managed security services, and managed DDOS prevention services are core to our managed services model.
Reliable Service Provision
Reliability is fundamental to our service delivery at Atlantic.Net. Our clients depend on us to ensure the seamless operation of their IT functions. We achieve this through proactive system monitoring, effective technical support, and an unwavering commitment to service excellence.
We are so confident in our technology that we offer an industry-leading 100% uptime SLA. You can find more about this here.
Choose Atlantic.Net for Your Managed Service Provider
Ready to take your business to the next level with seamless IT solutions? At Atlantic.Net, we’ve got your back! Our Managed IT Services are designed to enhance your operational efficiency, reduce costs, and enable you to focus on what you do best – running your business.
We provide a team of experienced IT professionals, cutting-edge services tools, and technologies, and a commitment to excellence. Don’t let IT challenges hold you back. Discover the Atlantic.Net difference today.
Get in touch with us and let’s elevate your business together. Your IT peace of mind starts here!