Managed Services is today's strategy that people and organizations have adopted to improve service delivery without direct involvement in daily operations. It is a scenario where supporting services are left to someone else to manage instead of being run by the owner, it gives someone else the task of developing most of your strategy, plan, execution and continuous management of the services that you would normally have to do.
Managed Services is a practice that has become very successful in many industries like Real Estate where it is know as "Serviced Apartments", a situation where a tenant only cares about his family's welfare while a Service Manager takes care of every other utility that the apartment requires such as power, water, repairs & sanitation. To ensure the Service Manager delivers satisfactorily, a certain level of agreement is agreed upon by both tenant and manager.
Managed IT Services - "Service Manager" Approach to IT
Managed IT Services operates the same way as Serviced Apartments, you can refer to it as "Serviced IT". Managed IT Services is where an Information Technology (IT) services provider or Managed Services Provider (MSP) manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to its clients either proactively or as determined by the provider. The key concepts of Managed IT Services are
- manages & assumes responsibility - all or assigned IT related issues are the responsibility of the MSP
- defined set of services - usually based on a Service Level Agreement signed by both parties
- proactive or determined - services can be tailored to the client or as determined by the MSP
Why Managed Services
Most businesses are set up to operate in specific sectors such as banking, oil and gas, trading or education, but at the core of every business is Information Technology. Information Technology drives everything that we do today, from basic typing, printing, email & phone calls to major business tools like customer relationship management, human resource management, payroll and accounting or to the very advanced tools such as business analytics and big data trends, it has become almost impossible to operate a successful business without a strong Information Technology infrastructure.
Despite the fact that information technology is an enabler for businesses, many are still unable to invest sufficiently in the time, infrastructure, personnel or research & development that is required to deliver the right level of IT for their business, this is because the focus of the business is not primarily IT.
Adopting a Managed IT Services approach is becoming an IT best-practice for businesses to get the highest level of IT that can support their business without making the huge investment in infrastructure. Companies now engage Managed IT Service Providers because it allows the management of the company to focus on the core of their business while the MSP manages all the supporting IT services.
This has been largely successful because services available through a MSP are very broad and advanced since MSPs cater to a large set of clients ranging from small businesses to large enterprises with different needs, MSPs therefore operate a large portfolio of services that their clients can take advantage of. MSP services are also relatively cheaper when compared to the investment that businesses have to make for the right IT infrastructure and personnel; this is because MSPs can make one investment in IT infrastructure and reuse the same infrastructure to support multiple clients since this cost can be distributed among their many clients.
MSPs also deliver higher levels of IT service because this is the very nature of their businesses. MSPs are set up with only one purpose - to be the IT Department of other companies - with this mindset, MSPs invest as much as 95% of their time and resources in research and development of new IT strategies that can adequately support their clients.