Operational efficiency is becoming a critical factor in determining business survival in the tenuous market conditions created in the wake of the global pandemic. It is now essential for organizations to have a robust operational network in place, especially one that is resilient to cyberattacks and other possible disruptions. This is especially true for organizations with limited resources, as it’s that much easier for them to overlook network management in favour of focusing on core business activities.
But this tendency can immediately put organizations at a much higher risk for breaches or other forms of cyberattacks. Managed IT services could be the only viable way out.
In 2019, the global managed services market was valued at $185.98 billion. This figure is expected to reach $356.24 billion by 2025. More importantly, according to a study by SWC, 81% of organizations recognized IT as a strategic enabler for their businesses. This finds resonance in the popularity of managed services, which has enjoyed a reported growth rate of 12.5 percent between 2017 and 2020.
What is Managed Services?
Managed IT services can be understood as the outsourcing of certain, or all, functions of IT to a third-party services provider. These providers are often referred to as Managed Service Providers or MSPs. Managed Service Providers typically provide different tiers of services, from basic IT equipment service and maintenance to full-fledged IT team outsourcing. Companies typically engage Managed Service Providers to complement or entirely replace in-house IT teams to take care of day-to-day IT maintenance, operations, service desk requests, cybersecurity requirements, and more.
Managed IT services often offer round-the-clock monitoring of your business network, take over the responsibilities for day-to-day operations, management, maintenance, and repair of your infrastructure. Their approach relies on predictive maintenance and proactive problem solving. Managed Service Providers typically work with stated service level agreements, in which they commit to solving problems remotely or in-person within a stipulated timeframe, and often offer one-call resolutions.
Here are some possible advantages of Managed Service Providers:
Minimized Downtime and Significant Productivity Increases
System failures and shutdowns can literally stall progress in its tracks, and make for frustrating customer and employee experiences. Managed IT services draw on a host of high-end network and security tools and strategies that may not be available to you as an individual organization because of prohibitive costs. This ensures a smoother workflow and operational experience, where your employees can focus more on the task on hand and deliver higher levels of productivity and efficiencies overall.
Enhanced Security and Compliance
Security is now a critical need for all businesses, irrespective of size. Unfortunately, the skills and resources required to build truly resilient business networks and operations don’t come cheap. While multinational corporations can afford to pour in billions to ensure stronger defenses, smaller businesses cannot afford to do the same. In the wake of a series of high-profile breaches, compliance plans are also getting stricter, with higher fines and penalties attached for non-adherence. To make matters even more complicated, most employees are now working in a semi-permanent work-from-home scenario that makes endpoint security prone to more risks.
Managed service providers can help companies strengthen and extend in-built network security and resilience to secure endpoints and ensure that your data remains safe both at rest and in transit – no matter where employees access it from. MSPs can help you not only comply and keep up with mandated policies, but keep up with new regulations as the industry evolves and your business expands. They can also help you standardize policies in-house as well as come up with mandatory regulations and security protocols for all suppliers and contractors to prevent supply chain attacks.
Efficient and Reliable IT Operations
In-house IT staff typically end up being overburdened with service requests and sometimes lack the bandwidth to keep up with endless cycles of service patches and requests to focus on designing and protecting the overall network. You can easily enhance their capabilities through the services of managed service providers.
If in-house IT staff are beleaguered with patch cycles, migrations, and service requests, they cannot devote their full energies to the work that actually needs their attention and creative energies - projects and company-level tasks.
Cost Effectiveness and Return on Investment
A long-term partnership with a reliable MSP can provide increasing scalability and flexibility and latency for your business to grow. It will help you keep your costs predictable, manage outgoing expenses, and improve return on investment.
Scott Young is the president of PennComp LLC, a Managed IT Services Houston company. Being a CPA, Six Sigma Master Blackbelt, Change Management Certified and Myers Briggs Qualified, Scott's expertise is reflected in PennComp as a leading IT company for computer services and network integration. PennComp utilizes Six Sigma methodologies and practices in their service delivery and offers state-of-the-art monitoring and management tools to their clients. His blog can be found at penncomp.com/blog.