Managed IT services, also known as managed service providers, is a third-party outsourcing service which offer infrastructure, IT support, and many other technical support services to companies. You may also occasionally hear this kind of business referred to as a CMMS, short for computer management services. A company seeking the services of a managed IT service provider would typically be looking to cut costs by contracting with an IT service company that already has IT expertise and staff. However, there are companies that provide managed IT services without needing to contract with any other external organizations. There are several different types of outsourced computer services including application service provider, cloud computing, e-mail hosting and virtual server management.
Application service providers offer applications on demand from a hosted data center, so that a large scale business can get access to its applications without taking up too much infrastructure. Such a business may require e-mail hosting, or may want to have their own application development team. Cloud computing is when a third party organization uses an online infrastructure in which data is stored, rather than being stored on a physical server, like a physical department store. An e-mail hosting service for example, will allow one user to log in and make changes to a web server, or to an application program without requiring the person to maintain a server of their own. These programs can be written in any programming language and can be run directly by the user rather than being stored on a large scale network.
The benefits of choosing a managed services provider that uses an outsourced software model include affordability, since it is cheaper to outsource the IT work than it would be to hire a full-time in-house team and hire IT staff. This also allows you to leverage your existing IT staff, thereby saving them time and payroll expenses. Since the service providers take care of the IT infrastructure, round-the-clock monitoring is not required. This is an added advantage as you do not have to pay for maintaining an IT staff.
The benefits of using a managed services provider are particularly apparent when you consider all the costs. For one, there is no need for maintenance staff to monitor your servers. Round-the-clock monitoring is typically required for in-house staff as well as special software such as e-mail monitoring, which can cost quite a bit. Furthermore, since your data is hosted off-site, the management of the site can become rather costly since it includes server downtime, etc. The benefits of outsourced software are that all these costs are eliminated, since it is hosted offsite and managed internally by the managed services provider.
Using third-party providers has additional benefits as well. For example, a managed services provider can reduce your overall investment. Using a third-party provider means you don’t need to purchase any additional hardware or software and the outsourced team is located in a different geographic location. For companies that use their IT infrastructure for a long period of time, this can be extremely important. In addition, because the third-party provider is located in a different location, the IT staff is not required and there is typically no need for training.
There are numerous benefits of outsourcing your managed IT needs. However, before you make the decision to outsource MSP, you should research the company thoroughly and meet with the managing agent to discuss how their managed hosting will benefit your organization. Make sure you are comfortable with the contract offered as well as the cost that will be involved. Lastly, understand that there is a certain level of cyber awareness that must exist in order to be successful at combating the issues of online identity theft.