Business communications have rapidly evolved from copper landlines leading to office desk phones to cloud-based communications infrastructures for a distributed workforce. The network is significantly more complex than before, often including multiple technologies and providers to manage, all while keeping security risks in check. It frequently requires specialized expertise beyond what many internal IT teams can or want to handle with their existing workloads.
For many organizations, the answer is to outsource the responsibility. Even better, they outsource to a single provider, a Managed Service Provider, who can streamline the network and manage and maintain it for their customers. Deloitte reports that IT outsourcing spend is expected to increase 22% from 2019 to 2023, surpassing $500 billion.
There are dozens of Managed IT Services available for those ready to outsource complicated, expensive or outdated business IT systems and processes to Managed Service Providers. Managed IT Services offerings range widely and are continually expanding. Some of the most common vary from data center and IT infrastructure services to security and network communication and collaboration services.
According to Gartner, “A managed service provider (MSP) delivers services, such as network, application, infrastructure and security, via ongoing and regular support and active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center.” MSPs are highly skilled with specialized expertise related to their service offerings, enabling their customers to focus on their core business and leave the development, monitoring, and maintenance of those services to the MSP.
Information Technology is an essential business area, yet it is also highly complex and only getting more so with a distributed workforce and a constantly evolving tech stack. Managed IT Services can help fill the knowledge gaps within an IT organization while reducing overhead costs and improving efficiencies and communication. Read about the different types of managed services and whether they’re right for your organization.
One of the fastest-growing Managed IT Services is managed communication services. What do these services include, and why are so many organizations outsourcing them to MSPs instead of managing them in-house? This article will highlight what they are and their benefits to help decision-makers better understand what they stand to gain.
As companies move more business processes and systems to the cloud, security becomes a top priority. Developing a cloud strategy involves leveraging the cloud to enable current and future capabilities and keeping the architecture secure. Discover an MSP’s role in cloud strategy optimization and the five benefits they can bring.
The cloud has changed how organizations operate, offering greater flexibility, efficiency, scalability, and productivity. Instead of managing expensive, on-premise servers and software, much of which is rapidly aging, they can save resources and gain incredible functionality with cloud-based services. Even with increased security risks, 57% of organizations are moving their workloads to the cloud, and 70% are using the cloud plan to increase their budgets in the future.
Many factors drive the cloud revolution, but one of the most significant benefits is the ability for people to communicate and collaborate when and where they want across multiple devices. No longer relegated to a desk, employees can work efficiently from anywhere with the right enabling technology. But remotely accessing the systems, data, and people they need to be productive is just one side of the IT challenge. The cloud brings increased security issues that most organizations aren’t prepared for or equipped to manage. A single, Managed IT Service Provider can ensure reliable communication and secure access to business systems, streamlining cloud management.
Getting a wide range of network expertise from one provider brings a host of benefits such as building a customized network infrastructure with expert consulting, design, procurement, deployment, integrations and licensing. With only one point of contact for communications, collaboration, cloud computing and connectivity, your IT team will spend less time and money managing it or multiple vendors for more significant ROI.
There are several essential components of managed technology services to look for when evaluating MSPs. The following managed services will ensure greater reliability, scalability, and security for your cloud-based network:
Managed connectivity is a more straightforward way to manage your network and make sure it’s always up and running, whether you have a few locations or dozens across the country. Instead of managing and paying different vendors for each site and monitoring multiple networks, your MSP can provide the proper connectivity and continuous network monitoring, taking quick action if an issue arises.
The first step is to reduce the risk of problems happening. Your MSP should assess your current network, identify vulnerabilities, and develop a plan that strengthens and simplifies your network while improving service quality and reliability. Many MSPs rely on partnerships to provide network services, such as broadband wireless connectivity, but they manage these providers for you and offer consolidated billing.
With so many applications running on the network and increased demand, bandwidth can become an issue that slows business operations and productivity. Managed SD-WAN is an excellent way to manage bandwidth issues cost-effectively. Your MSP should be able to prioritize essential network traffic and reroute it when there are Internet lags.
Not all SD-WAN solutions are the same, making it essential to understand which managed SD-WAN services they provide. For example, each location will need its own circuits, you may want to choose your carrier, and you will likely want consolidated provider billing — one invoice per location. For security reasons, your SD-WAN solution must use the latest encryption technologies and other security protocols. It’s also beneficial for you, as the administrator, to have a portal to view network traffic and bandwidth.
Speaking of security, IT must ensure remote workers can access the network without compromising network security or delays. Managed security can either have a built-in SD-WAN or act as an extra security layer over your SD-WAN so you never have to worry about risks like employees using public WiFi or personal devices.
Managed security routes traffic through a private network to the nearest gateway location. Employees only need to click a button, and they get near-instant access to the company’s cloud-based applications they use every day. The best Managed Services providers will offer flexible administration, enabling you to choose which employees need the added security and whether it will be available 24/7 or on demand.
As mentioned, partnering with a single Managed Service Provider that will consolidate the various partner service providers onto a single invoice is a massive time saver and ensures you won’t miss a payment. But more than that, Technology Expense Management is a best practice to avoid overpaying, paying for services you aren’t using, and unauthorized contract renewals. With full transparency into your technology spend, it’s easier to spot issues early and resolve them quickly.
Some Technology Expense Management services stop there. However, it’s best to work with an MSP that can automate invoice validation – not just identifying issues but automatically resolving them through dispute resolution and bill payment. A modern system will cross-check every invoice against services provided to identify inconsistencies at the line-item level. With a few clicks, you can resolve issues, saving you significant time and costs. It will also alert designated team members when a contract is up for renewal.
A complex network often means multiple portals and screens to monitor each application’s health and usage. This burden can be a barrier to proactive monitoring. A Managed IT Service Provider will offer comprehensive network monitoring and management services through a single pane of glass. You will be able to see your entire network without bouncing between systems or pinging each device to identify a problem.
Network monitoring and management require cloud-based redundancy, so even if there is a failure somewhere, you still have complete visibility into the network. Real-time reporting will help you spot issues quickly, but if you want your MSP to take care of it for you, they should offer 24/7 monitoring, alerting and restoration no matter the network service, device or provider.
Remote work has changed how businesses communicate and collaborate, putting pressure on IT teams to develop solutions that ensure connectivity, bandwidth, quality, security, and accessibility. What are the best ways to manage such demands? Read the blog to learn more.
SD-WAN is a critical component of Managed IT Services. This webinar will cover how to choose the best Managed SD-WAN and Connectivity solutions for your organization, how to implement them correctly the first time, and best practices for ensuring your network is stable and accessible for all users.
Gartner says the expanding digital footprint and decentralized cybersecurity control are among the top cybersecurity trends. SASE solves at least one headache: ensuring secure access to business data and applications for a remote workforce. Learn where SASE is headed and how to optimize it for your organization.