If you are a little older, you might remember the days when online services were relatively simple. You would simply make a contract with an ISP and maybe get a VPN if you were concerned about privacy. For better or worse, those days are over. These days, there is a huge list of online services that can be purchased and provided.
For a private individual or a smaller organization, it is usually not practical to purchase a lot of different plans. Each one adds another monthly fee, increasing your overhead. Today, we will be comparing and examining two of the most popular online services: Cloud computing and managed services. By the time we are done, you should know which of these you require more.
The Key Differences
The difference between these two service models is simple: One of them provides a single service while the other one provides a wide variety of them. Cloud providers provide a cloud network and anything related to that network. In contrast, a managed services provider offers whatever a person or company might need. Because of this, managed service providers are usually cloud providers, but the same thing does not apply in reverse. In short, managed services are a lot more generalized while cloud computing focuses on just one thing.
Who Can Benefit From Cloud Computing?
Many companies can benefit from the advantages of the cloud. First of all, it provides your organization with an internal network that does not require any physical maintenance on your part. If the server goes down, that isn’t your problem to fix: Your cloud provider will have to handle that issue. Your monthly fee should cover everything. Needless to say, this monthly fee is usually less than the costs of maintaining an entire network on your own dime.
Data storage is another great advantage. Because the cloud will normally consist of virtual resources, you can use as much storage space as you may need. Of course, more storage will often come with an increase in the monthly fee, but your storage doesn’t necessarily need to keep increasing exponentially. By cycling out the data that is no longer relevant, it is easy to make sure that your storage is used efficiently.
This brings us to the importance of off-site data backup. If your system suffers a terrible crash (or worse yet, a cyber attack), they are likely to focus on your on-site resources. It wouldn’t be very likely for both you and your cloud provider to be hacked or suffer a crash at the same time, so your data is far safer. The use of the cloud is probably the most convenient way to carry out a comprehensive data backup plan.
The cloud can also be of great benefit to companies that make use of highly specialized software. Instead of trying to install that specialized software on every single machine used by your staff, you can simply provide that software as a service. Apart from proprietary software, most cloud providers will also offer helpful SAAS (software-as-a-service) options.
Finally, on a more general note, the cloud provides a higher level of interconnection to your entire operation. When everyone is using the same cloud environment, it is almost like having everybody use the same device. Of course, since every user will be running a different instance, there shouldn’t be a problem with overload. Thus, each user has a separate environment, but they are all connected and can communicate with each other seamlessly.
Who Can Benefit From A Managed Services Provider?
As long as the MSP is of a competent and reputable nature, managed services can be helpful to just about anyone. When you create a managed services plan, it will involve sitting down and figuring out what services you need and which ones you do not. Your options might include:
- Online data backup
- Cloud services
- Network/security monitoring
- Server hosting
- Endpoint security
- Management of mobile devices
- VOIP or telephone services
This is just a partial list, as each MSP will have its own set of possibilities from which you can choose. Chances are, your organization can find something useful in there. If nothing else, the security monitoring services offer a way to achieve much better security with minimal setup and expense.
This option is really good for companies that are creating or revamping their IT setup. Whether you are a new organization setting things up for the first time or an established organization that wants to do an overhaul, you can get a lot of services bundled into one plan. If you sought out those same services from different companies (i.e., not bundled together), you would definitely end up paying a lot more.
Choosing The Right Option
When making this decision, you need to take a hard look at your current IT/cybersecurity situation. Don’t look at the situation in an optimistic or pessimistic way: Simply be honest with yourself and your group about what is needed and what is not needed. If you are in pretty good shape and don’t need a wide variety of services, you would be better off going with a cloud provider. They will provide what you need with a minimum of fuss.
On the other hand, a managed service provider will be the better choice for companies that need a lot more improvement. So, it comes down to this: If all you need is the cloud, find a cloud service provider. If you need to address multiple issues in one plan, you need to find an MSP.
Here at PCH Technologies, we try our best to provide everything that our customers need. As such, we are both an MSP and a cloud provider, but those services do not have to be purchased together. Our prices are highly competitive and our service has no equal. If you would like to know more, please call us at (856) 754-7500.