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Today’s buzzword relating to IT Support is “Managed Services”.  But what does managed services actually mean?  Is it just another marketing ploy by IT companies. Is it a good service for you?

As a definition, Managed Services allows a business to outsource some or all of their IT operations to an IT service provider, known as a Managed Services Provider (MSP). The MSP assumes an ongoing responsibility including 24-hour monitoring, problem resolution for the IT systems for a fixed rate or flat rate.

The most used IT model is known as the  Break Fix model.  Meaning when something broke, the business owner called an IT company and they came to fix it.   A Break-fix maintenance service fixes problems as they crop up. This means that something needs to go wrong before you receive any service, resulting in an inevitable reduction in IT system performance while you wait for the problem to be fixed.

Now days the “uptime” has become a major factor in running operation of any business. Although hardware is becoming more and reliable but the main two factors that are affecting the “uptime” are:

1-     Software conflicts due to the fact servers are computers are loaded with a variety of applications programs.  Therefore if something goes wrong it is harder to diagnose and pinpoint the source of the problem.

2-     Security issues  due to being hacked or infected by a malware because of opening an email or visiting a suspiciou website, etc.

 In the past few years, the hardware and software vendors have been adding new and better ways for the systems to signal problems as early as possible. In 2005, these technologies started to mature. That allowed smaller companies to take advantage of the Managed  Services features and benefits as the large companies did. This technology started the Managed Services movement.  Finally, Managed Services was available for small to medium sized businesses

 The Managed Services software that is in place today allows MSPs to work towards two major goals:

1-           Everything on your network that will result in a user symptom or risk will send an alert before or when it happens, and the Managed Service Provider will know about it.

2-           Every alert they get is something important and needs to be addressed immediately.

 The more closely a Managed Service provider can get to these two goals, the more perfectly they can achieve a truly Managed Service and the more they can get away from “everything being an emergency” situation.

 The Real Benefits Of Managed Services:

1-     Put in simple terms – one of the biggest benefits of Managed Services is discovering and fixing problems before they can negatively affect your business.

2-     A well maintained, proactively serviced computer network will always run better than the alternative. With proactive network monitoring, patch management, and desktop optimization performed on a regular basis, you will notice a tremendous difference in operations… and you will reap the benefits of preventing fires, rather than fighting them.

 3-     Reduced costs: Businesses are also able to control and reduce their overall operating costs with the flat-fee billing model. Cost-effective access to enterprise-level support is a reality

4-     24-hour monitoring: Because the Managed Services provider also manages all of your vendor relationships, issues with internet slowness/outages, printers, phones, cell phones, websites are dealt with directly with the vendor by the Managed Service provider. As a result of this “always-eyes-on” network monitoring 24 hours per day, businesses experience an additional level of comfort and security.

5-    Increased operational efficiency

6-    Reduced operating costs

7-    Cost-effective access to enterprise-level support

8-    Minimized downtime

9-    Allows the focus to be on running the business, and not the technology

10-  Peace of mind from knowing that the network is monitored 24/7/365

 Today, no business can really afford the risk and uncertainty of relying on a “Break-fix maintenance service” because your business is too dependent on having a reliable IT system and avoid any downtime. If you fall behind in keeping up with backups, patches and security, the odds greatly increase that you’ll face an IT outage or another problem down the road that will negatively impact your business. For instance, if your Email server, customer relationship management system, financial application or network goes down, you will likely face substantial productivity and revenue losses as a result.

 Just like larger companies, small businesses need technology to operate efficiently and to compete effectively. But as reliance on IT grows, the resources needed to support this increasingly complex IT environment may not. In many small businesses, IT resources are limited and can be quickly overwhelmed.  Therefore if you are a small business having a managed IT Service contract is wise.

Would you like to know if you are ready for Managed Services, cloud computing, or virtualization? CEO offers a FREE network evaluation and Consultation!  Please call us at 818-501-2281 to set up your Free consultation