The Whys and Wherefores of IT Managed Services

More and more organisations are choosing to hire specialised IT Managed Services suppliers showing that these services are gaining popularity. Perhaps you are wondering what exactly Managed Support Services are and whether you should be joining the bandwagon. It is quite possible that the primary reason organisations opt to outsource is that it is cost-effective however there are many other motivations and benefits which are not often mentioned.

Let us consider the needs that a company has when it comes to the provision of adequate IT Support for all their end-users. Typically, they will require at least a helpdesk that is preferably offered 24×7, proactive monitoring to provide alerts prior to the occurrence of issues and administration of all the hardware – servers, desktops, laptops, printers – software, et al. There is plenty more that goes into keeping the IT infrastructure functioning smoothly and all companies will not have the knowledge, time or skills necessary.

Is outsourcing the only course available? Of course not, there are a number of alternatives but one must check the viability of each of these solutions and choose whatever works best for your company. We will take a look in detail at a couple of options.

One method of providing the support is to hire qualified and experienced IT professionals who can manage the entire organisation’s IT set-up. According to research, one IT person is sufficient per 40 personnel. Taking that at face value if a business were to have a one-man IT department in one of their smaller offices with less than 40 employees, they will face the following challenges. It is likely that he will get snowed under by the demands on his time as he faces certain time periods of constant demand. He will be forced to deal with dilemmas where he does not have the requisite know-how. If they do manage to get someone who is capable of handling the entire range of wide and varied IT problems, he will obviously come at a premium cost. There are the additional challenges of a lack of support when he is off on holiday or due to sickness or even when there are two pressing matters that he has to resolve.

Another method would be to partner with an IT company who sends in somebody as and when there is a need and pay them by the hour. This may seem to be an ideal situation however this too has its set of hassles. In this scenario, the arrangement becomes more profitable when the IT partner’s resources spend more hours working on requests and hence, they could unnecessarily take longer to fix something. Additionally, as they are only called in for reactive support, the business find itself many times ending up with its systems going down and having to work against the clock to bring them up again whilst its entire set-up will not be receiving full, proper proactive support. There will be the costs associated with the loss of productivity of all employees affected by the downtime in addition to being billed to get everything back to normal. The total expenditure will end up being much higher than if the organisation had pre-emptively detected and rectified the issue. Also, as it is used only as a break-fix remedy, the supplier will have to wait for something to break prior to fixing it.

So, is there really a better alternative that works profitably for both the supplier and the outsourcer? Yes, we believe that the solution is to work with an IT Managed Services firm. Here, the payment is for a service and not for the number of hours that anyone has spent working for the business. Hence, the company can be certain that speed to arrive at and implement a resolution will be equally of the essence to the service provider as to the organisation when downtime strikes. Also, since they will be continually monitoring the IT infrastructure, quite a few glitches will be prevented before they crop up. The company will no longer be dependent on a single IT staff member’s skill-sets and availability and they will find that their cost-savings will be the sum of having more uptime and reduced over-all spend on the service itself. When the business hands over the job to a specialist, they can rest assured that everything is in the hands of experts who are familiar with all the intricacies involved.

Now that you understand more about the options in the market, you must evaluate them based on your specific requirements and make the choice that suits you best.