What exactly are managed services? Specifically, in the IT environment? In simple terms, managed IT services are IT tasks that are provided by a third-party contractor and that is serviced to a customer. In this arrangement, the managed service provider (MSP) keeps the responsibility for the services and equipment provided. The client pays a monthly fee for receiving these services.
There are a variety of managed IT services, but the main idea behind it is to transfer the burden of maintaining IT from the customer to the MSP. In an effective relationship, the customer benefits from pricing that is predictable, while leaving them to focus on core business concerns rather than IT management chores.
In this post, you can understand more about this increasingly popular outsourcing service.
Uses of Managed Services
So what services are the most commonly used?
- Remote monitoring and management of servers, desktops and mobile devices
- Differentiating offerings
- Cloud services
- Communications area
Remote monitoring and management is one of the most common types of managed IT services. This service is often a basic and foundational service for an MSP.
With the commoditization of basic managed services, many MSPs have looked into differentiating their offerings. One popular direction is managed security services. Customers are increasingly demanding IT security assistance from their MSPs. Many providers are developing security service practices or partnering with security vendors to provide cybersecurity services.
With the increasing demand for cloud computing, MSPs have decided to include cloud services in their list of services. Providers may focus of Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), or Software as a service (SaaS).
An MSP may also decide to differentiate into the communications area. This could be through managed IP telephony services in which the provider assumes responsibility for voice services within a customer account.
Managed Services Contracts
These contracts are important since they often set the terms and conditions outlining how the MSP will work with clients. Another important document is the service-level agreement (SLA). This document identifies what services the provider will provide and how the delivery of services is measured. The SLA might be incorporated into a MSP’s master services agreement.
There are a variety of ways a service provider can charge for a managed IT service. It could be per device, per user, or even an all-inclusive pricing model. Each MSP has their own way of billing their services to clients.
Per-device, for example, might be a remote monitoring and management service with a flat fee for each device that is managed. The price could be adjusted to a per user model if a customer works with multiple devices (laptop, tablets, cell phones).
Meanwhile, the all-inclusive pricing model, establishes a flat monthly fee for all of the IT services that the MSP will deliver to the customer.
Each of these types of pricing models are usually billed at regular intervals; monthly fees being the most common approach. A flat fee is billed on a regular schedule that provides customers with pricing they can predict and budget for.
Reasons to Consider Managed IT Services
- Access to newer technologies
- ROI/cost savings
- Enhanced security and compliance
- Peace of mind
- More efficient and reliable IT operations
- Proactive approach to maintenance
- Free up internal IT staff to work on strategic projects
We hope you were able to learn more about managed IT services and that you can see the benefits of moving your IT to an MSP. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!
Rouse, M. (2018). Managed IT Service. Retrieved from https://searchitchannel.techtarget.com/definition/managed-IT-service