What Are Managed IT Services?

Florin Soltan
Florin is a Cyber Security Product Manager at Acronym. He helps organizations protect against digital threats by developing and implementing robust security strategies to safeguard sensitive data and infrastructure.
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How Managed IT Services Help Your Business

At a time when IT environments are growing in both complexity and size, managed services providers (MSPs) possess the specialized tools and expertise to support this growth—eliminating the need to hire additional in-house staff. Yet many wonder exactly what managed IT services are and what they are not.

MSP Explained

Gartner defines an MSP as: A managed service provider that 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 a third-party data center.

In other words, the MSP handles all those tasks that require more time, resources, or budget. These “delegated” services are provided for a set monthly fee according to a service level agreement (SLA). It is an ideal cost-effective solution for small to mid-sized companies that cannot afford to maintain an entire IT department given today’s challenges of widely dispersed, hybrid work locations and devices, coupled with the vulnerability of cyber security threats, not to mention the highly paid IT and security talent that is scarce, or sometimes impossible to find. Read on to learn more…

What Kinds of Managed IT Services Are There?

In the past, managed IT services focused primarily on infrastructure and devices. However, to meet modern IT demands, managed IT services now extend way beyond that to cover any IT management requirements. Managed IT services teams can support all or part of your day-to-day needs, expertly trained in everything from migration to implementation, maintenance, and upgrades. 

What managed IT services include:

  • Monitoring services: remote management and administration of servers, workstations, and mobile devices across your IT ecosystem.
  • Network services: manage the connectivity and performance of your IT network, such as routers, switches, wireless access points, VPNs, and bandwidth optimization.
  • Communication services: enable voice, video, and data communication among the users and devices, such as email, chat, VoIP, video conferencing, and collaboration tools.
  • Cloud services: manage cloud-hosted applications and resources, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
  • Security services: protect your IT infrastructure and secure critical business data from cyber attacks via firewalls, antivirus, encryption, backup, and recovery. 
  • Help desk services: enhance the user experience by resolving technical difficulties with operating systems, portable devices, connectivity, etc.
  • Project-based services: collaborate on an IT initiative to define the framework, schedule, and budget breakdown for a successful project outcome.
What are managed IT services? acronym solutions

Pros & Cons of Using Managed IT Services

As with any business decision, looking at both sides of the equation before making a commitment is essential. And even then, read the contract carefully to avoid hidden costs.

What Are Managed IT Services Advantages

The main benefit of using managed IT services is cost savings, a concern for all organizations, big or small. Other benefits include:

  • Enables you to hire an entire team of IT professionals
  • Provides predictable and flexible pricing based on your needs and usage
  • Fills in the skills gap with affordable, always-available talent
  • Scales up or down as business demands change 
  • Gives access to high-end tools and the latest technologies
  • Frees up internal staff to innovate and work on core business tasks

What Are Managed IT Services Disadvantages

On the other hand, there are some downsides to consider with managed IT services:

  • Loss of control or visibility of your IT infrastructure
  • Reliance on the provider’s policies, procedures, and standards that may not align with yours
  • Communication obstacles, e.g. different time zones, languages, or expectations
  • Additional costs and fees not identified in the SLA

What Managed IT Services Do Not Do

Wait, what? Before you get the impression that managed IT services will do absolutely anything you ask, be aware that they don’t usually manage customer workloads, per se. Your IT team will still manage and control the software applications, data, and business processes that run on your infrastructure, whether it be traditional on-premises, in the cloud, or a mix of the two. 

You will also remain the architect of your infrastructure, in charge of your IT vision and goals, which will naturally be communicated to your managed IT services provider to enhance collaboration. The same applies to planning concerning software upgrades, configuration changes, or other additions. The ultimate business decisions are in your hands.

How To Determine If Your Business Should Hire A Managed IT Services Provider

Now that we’ve answered “what are managed IT services?”, let’s look at how to determine if hiring a managed IT services provider is the right choice for your business. Common drivers for using managed IT services include reaching digital transformation targets, enhancing productivity and scalability, and optimizing costs. But there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether managed IT services are right for you. Only by weighing the pros and cons of each option will you find the best fit for your organization.

To determine if a managed IT services provider is viable for your IT organization, we recommend an assessment of your current IT expenditures, along with the total cost of ownership for infrastructure and other assets. Then, compare it to the flat monthly charge associated with your chosen managed IT services provider. Now imagine what your future state would look like if you had less overhead to worry about, freeing up capital to pursue those digital transformation projects you have been putting off. This could be a win-win business strategy that makes a real difference in staying competitive—especially for companies on a tight budget.

Managed IT Services Are Here to Stay

Hiring managed IT services providers has grown in popularity since 2019 and is expected to continue to climb through 2030. While this trend may have started out of necessity as smaller businesses struggled to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic (and many did, thanks to MSPs), it appears to have gone mainstream, cutting across industries outside of IT, such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and real estate. And, like many other innovations that accelerated during the pandemic, managed IT services are here to stay.

Let Us Help You With Your IT Operations – Contact Acronym Solutions 

Download Acronym’s Managed IT Services Product Summary here.

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About Acronym

Acronym Solutions Inc. is a full-service information and communications technology (ICT) company that provides a range of scalable and secure Network, Voice & Collaboration, Security, Cloud and Managed IT Solutions. We support Canadian businesses, large enterprises, service providers, healthcare providers, public-sector organizations and utilities. We leverage our extensive network expertise to design and build customized, fully scalable solutions to help our customers grow their businesses and realize their full potential. With more than 20 years’ experience managing the communications system that enables Ontario’s electrical grid, Acronym is uniquely positioned to understand the mission-critical needs of any business to deliver the innovative and reliable services that respond to the changing demands of businesses, and support rapid growth and digital transformation initiatives.

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