“Managed services” is a term that covers a lot of ground. In an IT context, it refers to specialized services provided by companies like ours. These can include support, service, resource rental, remote monitoring, backup services, and all sorts of other things. Just about any IT-related service that you could imagine is out there somewhere. However, when trying to choose the best options from this huge pool, you have to start somewhere. As a starting point, we present this overview of the different types of managed services.
These are probably the most valuable managed services because they are meant to ensure the safety of your organization. In addition, these services provide results that are otherwise much more difficult to achieve. For instance, it probably isn’t practical for you to have your in-house IT people monitoring the network on a 24/7 basis. Chances are, there are better things they could be doing. That is why routine monitoring is frequently outsourced. A company that provides security-related IT services is usually called an MSSP (managed security services provider).
These services sometimes take the form of specific programs, such as antivirus, threat detection, or disaster recovery software. However, since these things can be purchased independently, the “security as a service” options seem to be more popular. One of the handiest security services is penetration testing. This involves a simulated cyber-attack that is conducted in order to find flaws and vulnerabilities in your defenses. Management and analysis of log files is another handy service that can detect some of the most subtle threats.
Sometimes, information is more valuable than gold. When it comes to business planning, information is basically the same as money. Why? Because good information usually translates into good financial decisions. Bad information (or no information) generally results in the opposite. This is why data analytics are among the most popular managed services.
If nothing else, analytic tools are useful as a fail-safe mechanism. If your own records do not sync up with the analytic data being presented to you, it is a red flag that necessitates action. Many government agencies at all levels have embraced the importance of data-driven decision-making, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the private sector to follow suit.
Managed Communication Services
For some organizations, remote communication is an essential part of their everyday activities. In fact, we would say that most businesses use remote communication as an essential daily tool. As a result, there is a serious need for these services to be functional at all times. If your IT team is already busy with all sorts of other projects, it makes sense to outsource the maintenance of these communication systems.
Whether it’s a mobile app, a call center, or VoIP service, managed communication is usually going to be more reliable. Recent reports indicate that these services are becoming a lot more popular and are forecast to continue growing at a high rate of speed. It’s not hard to figure out the reason for this trend, as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the growth of remote labor.
Printing needs vary a lot from one business to the next. However, if yours is one that does a lot of printing and/or one that has complex printing needs, a managed printing service might be just the thing. Rather than simply managing the process of printing, these services cover all aspects of the issue. Basically, their job is to make sure that all your printing operations go smoothly and provide the desired results. They take full responsibility for making that happen.
This will usually involve hardware improvement plans, and some MSPs will even provide the printer for a small fee. Since they take responsibility for your printing operations, they will want you to have the best equipment. Automatic shipment of toner and ink is also a nice thing that is achieved through constant monitoring of ink and toner levels. They can even monitor your printing costs and help you to manage them more effectively. In case you are wondering, these plans also normally cover scanners, fax machines, and copiers.
Managed Support Services
This category is particularly broad, as it includes anything that provides an on-demand support service. The simplest example would be a 24/7 telephone support line but managed support doesn’t always have to be remote. On-site support services are meant to provide quick deployment of technicians who can deal with a wide variety of problems.
Quite possibly the most important aspect of these services is called “emergency IT support.” This is what you use when the normal inquiries have failed to produce the answers you need. When you go with these services, you are basically paying for good expert advice and/or expert help whenever it might be needed. Good IT support is essential for any business, as most experts will agree.
SaaS (Software As A Service)
You are probably using this kind of service already. Just about any subscription-based software program can be placed in this category. This would include things like Microsoft Office, Photoshop, etc. You don’t have to go through a managed IT service provider to get these things, but it can sometimes be cheaper. In addition, you will get access to a lot more help and support when you buy it through an MSP.
This kind of subscription model is used for a number of reasons. First, it allows the software provider to sink more resources into the improvement and maintenance of the program. A monthly payment system makes it more cost-effective for them to do this. Secondly, SaaS solutions are ideal for cloud deployment. You don’t have to download, install, or configure anything…the software is ready to use whenever you enter the cloud environment.
Managed Networks And Network Infrastructure
Every business needs a dedicated network, but there are a lot of ways in which to achieve that result. The most expensive option is to host your own dedicated server, complete with all the secondary hardware needed. While there are advantages to doing things this way, most companies find that it’s more cost-effective to go with a network that is managed by a third party.
Most managed networks are hosted virtually, as this is a more space-efficient option for companies that host a lot of managed networks. The good thing about a network like this is the fact that someone else is responsible for maintenance, performance, and security. Managed networks can be tailored for ethernet connections, wireless networks, or mobile networking. It can also be used for intranets, allowing for better teamwork from afar. In some cases, you may also wish to outsource only specific parts of your network infrastructure, which is also a valid option.
Cloud Services And Infrastructure
There is an important difference between cloud services and cloud network providers. Cloud network providers do just what their name implies: They provide a cloud network for their clients to use. Cloud services are more like special features that can be used to enhance your usage of the cloud and open up new capabilities.
Managed cloud services are great from a security standpoint. This is because, when it comes to cloud security, configuration is the most important factor. Depending on the network configuration, a cloud network can either be fully secure or wide open. When all those settings are managed and monitored by a dedicated third-party company, you can be sure that everything is locked up as tightly as possible.
DaaS (Desktop As A Service)
This is a simple service that allows you to configure a remote desktop and use it anywhere. The actual desktop is hosted by a third party on virtualization software. So, you simply log into that network and use a consistent desktop no matter where you are. This is ideal for remote tasks of all sorts, as it effectively lets you use every computer or mobile device in the same way.
In some cases, you might choose to use a non-persistent desktop, meaning that everything is reset upon logging out. This means that you always start from the same point, although it removes your ability to save things internally. Remote desktops really do provide a lot more flexibility by allowing you to access the same desktop from any connected device. This “remote desktop” can also be accessed remotely by authorized technicians, making service and repair much easier.
At PCH Technologies, we understand that businesses need a wide variety of services to optimize their business operations. As such, we provide a wide variety of solutions, from managed IT support services to small business computer support, as well as everything on this list. Our managed IT service plans can be custom-tailored for your unique needs and we take pride in doing just that. If you would like to know more about any of these managed services (or any other IT-related matter), feel free to call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.