In today’s increasingly technical and complex business environment, it can be challenging for IT leaders to effectively manage their suite of technology applications and tackle day-to-day issues while maintaining operational excellence and controlling costs.
Whether it be a lack of skill, resources, budget, or technology – or another reason entirely – many organizations opt to use a managed services IT support model via a managed service provider (MSP) to aid in specific processes and improve their overall IT posture.
By definition, a managed service provider (MSP) delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center.
The Managed Services Model
There are a number of ways companies can utilize a managed services model for their IT operations. The approach may differ depending on the size of the organization, number of technical staff, budgetary restrictions, and more.
This blog will highlight some common approaches to a managed services business model that organizational and IT leaders should consider.
As a Professional Service
Although an MSP’s services are typically leveraged as part of a larger, strategic partnership, their expertise and tactical support can also be used just for a one-time project or specific service.
Some examples of this could include large-scale technology builds or deployments, recovering lost data, performing a technical assessment, migrating on-premises infrastructure to the cloud, and break/fix support. These types of engagements generally have a definitive start and end date and may not require the ongoing support of an MSP once the project is complete.
The primary difference between this type of IT managed services model – compared to that of a more traditional managed service model – is that these professional services are not continuous, but rather completed ad-hoc or during a designated timeframe.
As an Extension of Your IT Team
A hybrid model is another approach to consider when evaluating an IT managed services model. This is where an MSP manages only a portion of tasks within a business’s IT environment, also known as “smartsourcing”. This method can be extremely valuable to organizations that have a dedicated team of IT staff, but may not have the bandwidth or level of skill needed for more complex IT tasks.
A common example of this is a business smartsourcing its level 1 service desk, where the responsibility of resetting passwords, troubleshooting basic connectivity issues, installing software, and more is shifted to an MSP. Another example is if a business has a hybrid network with both on-premises and cloud instances, they may need to consider an MSP to help with monitoring, management, configurations, or security.
These types of IT functions are typically expensive to maintain in-house due to ongoing staffing and training requirements. From a managed services cost model perspective, a hybrid approach can prove very valuable for organizations of any size.
As Your All-in-One IT Partner
The last managed service delivery model we’re going to touch on in this blog is a fully managed IT solution. This offering is perhaps more popular among small-to-midsize businesses, as they may have minimal, if any, technical resources in-house, and what staff they do have may not have experience with new technology or complex applications. That said, many enterprise organizations still choose to partner with an MSP for their IT needs.
This model is ideal for businesses that:
- Do not have dedicated resources to handle network maintenance, updates, or repairs.
- Want a more predictable IT spend with a monthly fixed cost.
- Need their IT infrastructure to support its daily operations.
- Has a desire to keep their technology stack up-to-date to gain a competitive advantage.
- Require standardized reporting to capture ROI and satisfy other business initiatives.
- Maintain regulatory compliance.
Finding the Right Managed Services for Your Business
While managed services is an excellent strategy that allows your organization to be cost effective, highly resilient, and secure, it is important to find a partner that is dedicated to service delivery and providing a strategy that can move the needle forward for your business. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation around all the ways an MSP can support you. Remember – you are in charge.
To learn more about how Buchanan can support your organization and its people, contact us today.