Maintaining your IT infrastructure in-house can be a costly and resource intensive operation. According to IBM, it accounts for 70% of most organisations’ IT budgets yet offers little in return for business development. In addition, keeping up-to-date with technological advancements means increased capital expenditure and the need to continually invest in staff development.
Moving to managed services, either at a third-party data centre or in the cloud, can be a better solution. A managed service covers the remote monitoring and management of your hardware, software and network. It also includes the updating and patching of operating systems, problem resolution, alerts and incident prevention. At the same time, the service provider becomes responsible for maintaining availability and improving performance.
Service providers are also able to take on additional management tasks, such as disaster recovery, security and data backup and recovery, as well as providing expertise and technical support. With all these services on offer, let’s take a closer look at how they can benefit your organisation.
1. Cost reduction
As a service provider’s infrastructure, operating costs and human resourcing are shared across their many clients, they work with economies of scale far more efficient than what can be achieved in-house by an individual organisation. As a consequence, they are able to supply their services to those organisations at rates which are far more affordable than an in-house alternative. Essentially, this means that companies which use managed services can make significant reductions on their IT spending.
2. Lower capital expenditure
Given a choice, most companies would prefer to spend their capital on projects that will bring a return on investment and generate profits. IT expenditure can be expensive and moving to a managed service, either in the cloud or on dedicated servers, reduces the need for that investment. In addition, the financial resources needed to pay for hardware and infrastructure is shifted to operating expenses, which is far more flexible.
3. Superior expertise and better service
Managed service providers operate under tight rules. They are required to meet industry standards, comply with regulations and provide customers with service level agreements (SLAs). At the same time, increasing competition from other providers means there is no room for complacency. With both the carrot and the stick to motivate them, most service providers are fully incentivised to develop the sophisticated tools, procedures and governance needed to offer a reliable service.
In addition, they have a wealth of experience most internal IT staff do not have. Working for a multitude of clients, services providers will regularly come across issues that most in-house IT staff will rarely face. A problem that can fluster in-house teams can be easily resolved by an experienced service provider; indeed, in many situations they’ll see the signals and prevent them from happening in the first place.
The conclusion here is simple: services providers have the experience, skills and knowledge to provide more stable, dependable and secure IT environments than most in-house teams. Your levels of service are better and your risks are much reduced.
4. Expertise on tap
Employing highly skilled IT staff to manage your infrastructure can be a costly affair, especially when ongoing training is added to the bill. That’s if you can find or afford people with the necessary skills. The alternative route, of buying in consultants on an ad hoc basis, is also as risky as it is expensive.
Opting for managed services eradicates the problem completely because the responsibility for human resources becomes that of the service provider. Service providers have the financial resources and offer the career opportunities to attract the best personnel for the job. This, in turn, enables them to provide customers with expert, 24/7 technical support as and when it is needed.
As a result, not only do you get expertise on tap from your service provider, you also get the option to redeploy your own staff away from management tasks and onto initiatives which will be geared towards improving your business.
5. Increased efficiency
Managed services are industrial in nature; providers follow international standards, standardise their practices, and employ both analytics and automation in the management of their services. This means the services you receive from them will be much more efficient than what you can expect through managing your systems.
6. Reduced risk
Managed services offer organisations a reduced risk when it comes to security, compliance and business continuity.
Globally, IT security is an increasing problem and the pace at which threats develop means it can be difficult for in-house teams to stay on top of the issue. Managed service providers, however, are obliged to put in measures to reduce risk and so there is much focus on making sure staff have the up-to-the-minute skills and security intelligence to deal with problems as they arise. At the same time, they have the automated technology in place to monitor, detect and prevent intrusions, they take responsibility for patch management and will backup data.
Should the worst happen, services providers are far more geared up to help clients with disaster recovery, helping them restore data and get mission critical apps back online quickly enough to meet their recovery time objectives.
7. Staying state of the art
As mentioned earlier, investing in IT is expensive and this means many organisations are stuck with older technologies on which to run their systems – it’s not only the NHS who still use Windows XP! For managed services providers, it’s crucial to regularly update their infrastructure to newer and better technologies.
This means, as a customer, you get those new technologies and all the business-related benefits that come with them (big data analytics, mobility, scalability, etc.) but without the capital expenditure.
As you can see from reading this article, moving to a managed service provides organisations with a multitude of benefits. It reduces costs, frees up IT staff, takes away many of the day to day headaches of managing your infrastructure and gives you access to state of the art technologies and exceptional IT expertise.
If you are considering managed services, check out our cloud hosting and managed dedicated server hosting pages. Alternatively, call us on 0800 862 0890 and we’ll be pleased to answer any of your questions.