What are Managed Services?
A commonly used term in the world of information technology, managed services is the actual practice of outsourcing specific management duties in order to improve operational procedures while also reducing operating costs. Containing a wide range of different business practices, managed services can include the outsourcing of specific IT solutions, Human Resources, accounting, customer service roles, maintenance roles, and production support. When these specialized services are being contracted out, the organization or business that is doing the outsourcing is known as the client or customer. On the other end, the entity that is filling the outsourced managed services role is referred to as the Service Provider. Generally, the client will still oversee the entire managed services function and remain responsible for the overall performance of the outsourced service provider.
Here are some of the most common areas of managed services:
• IT Solutions – database management, security, system backup, system and user management, data backup and recovery, Non-stop monitoring, software installation and upgrades, network management storage.
• Supply Chain Management
• Postage – mail delivery, certified mail
• Customer Service
• Human Resources
• Accounting – accounts receivable and accounts payable
The most common type of managed services provider (MSP) can typically be found in the IT sector of a business. Assuming a variety of different IT responsibilities, a managed services provider will continually handle the management of computer related issues and general day to day activities.
With a long list of responsibilities, an MSP will provide services that include:
• Server Issues
• Security Management
• Applications and Networks
• Data Recovery
• New Device Installations
• Data Backup
• Computer Upgrades
• Network accessibility
Typically charging their clients on a fee basis, a managed services provider will provide a specific rate depending on the type of job, amount of computers, and number of staff members. Because some clients require a managed services provider to be onsite on a daily or weekly basis, they will generally charge a flat rate for the time that is spent in-house. For any business that is currently searching for a professional service provider with a good reputation, it’s important to know that these specialized services can become somewhat expensive. This is particularly true if the provider is required to be onsite the majority of the time or if there’s an extensive migration taking place. Although a managed services provider can be relatively costly, outsourcing these services is usually less expensive than having an IT department within your organization. In order to determine whether your company should have its IT solutions outsourced to a managed services provider, you should first analyze the financial differences between an in-house operation and a contracted provider. The majority of the time, outsourcing IT solutions will provide more advantages to small to mid-sized businesses and less benefits to a large company or corporation.