'Managed Services' has become somewhat of a buzzword, with article headlines urging companies to move towards what they call the ‘modern model’. But underneath the entire buzz, for many of us, the question still remains– what are managed services and what are they good for? This is the question we at Certes will aim to answer clearly and in enough depth to give you a better grasp of how managed services work and the pros and cons for both clients and providers.
In a nutshell, a managed IT service is an information technology task provided by a third-party contractor for a client organisation. Managed services can be tailored to almost any business requirement within IT. Managed Services frequently comprise running applications, databases, data recovery and back-up, network management, storage, security, and monitoring. However, not all managed services are technology-based, despite that being the most widespread use of the term. At its most basic level, a managed service is an outsourced business need which may even cover things like marketing and transportation.
A managed IT service comes with a service-level agreement (SLA), which is the contract between the service provider and the customer. The SLA identifies what services the provider will supply and how successful delivery of services will be measured.
Within this model, the client owns or has direct oversight of their organisation or system. The managed services provider (MSP) is the service provider delivering the managed services. The client and the MSP enter into a contractual, service-level agreement that defines the performance and quality metrics of their relationship.
What are the benefits of Managed Services?
Pros and Cons of Managed Services
On the whole, managed services are a great asset to any modern organisation, with opportunities to benefit in a multitude of ways. An MSP can lead to significant reductions in costs. Most providers will charge an upfront fee and then an ongoing fixed monthly fee, which provides clients with a set monthly expenditure, making financial planning much easier. Outsourcing managed services also allows business owners to reduce the cost of employees working in-house as well as the technology, tools, and other resources needed to handle the tasks.
Secondly, the managed service provider will bring the knowledge, expertise and experience in their service offering that will enable increased accuracy and decreased risk and liabilities, especially since they have to ensure compliance with government regulations and various industry standards.
Third, the MSP will have the tools, technology, and resources required to improve efficiencies by streamlining procedures and various processes. This can then lead to increased transparency and better understanding, which will then provide a foundation for stronger decision making based on factual, real-time statistics and information.
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