All modern businesses have ongoing IT tasks that they must manage regularly. They need to keep all equipment up and running, ensure cybersecurity measures are in place and up-to-date, host and monitor applications, and a host of other activities.
However, businesses have different resources and capacities, so small and middle-sized companies may lack the ability to manage their IT tasks in-house effectively. That’s where the various types of managed services come in to help.
Managed services offer a range of remote IT offerings and responsibilities from specific on-demand response to round-the-clock coverage of IT duties. Businesses can leverage the different types of managed services to reduce their in-house IT workload and fill gaps left by existing IT skills and roles. These services are available from on-premises IT and private cloud storage.
What are Managed Services?
Managed services enable businesses and organizations to outsource IT tasks to a third-party vendor on a subscription or contractual basis. Companies can use these services to ease their in-house IT workload, supplement teams unable to meet IT demand, or replace in-house teams altogether.
Managed service providers (MSPs) help ensure 24/7 coverage of IT duties and contribute specialist knowledge and expertise.
Apart from reducing in-house overhead, these services can also increase IT efficiency within the company and improve regulatory management. However, for companies to ensure compliance with industry, national, and international regulatory requirements, they must ensure that potential MSPs enforce data protection privacy standards and meet other relevant regulations.
Managed services encompass many duties and responsibilities but typically include:
- Remote management and monitoring of hardware and infrastructure
- Security services like monitoring, threat hunting, penetration testing, and incident response
- Communications support such as IP telephony services
- Configuration, management, and monitoring of cloud services. They can render these responsibilities within or without managed cloud services
Five Types of Managed Services
Each of the types of managed services in IT from MSPs work hand-in-hand with your IT systems and streamline your workflow into optimal productivity and efficiency. A managed IT services company offers many services according to your business’s needs and requirements. Below are five primary types of managed services:
1. Managed IT Support
Beyond specialized services, it’s possible to implement IT support via staff services. It is an especially critical area since problems of varying severity occur daily. Depending on the size and capability of your current staff model, it may not be possible to address all issues immediately. Sometimes, existing solutions lack long-term stability.
However, managed IT support services can help. MSPs implement these support services, similar to other types of managed services but with one difference – the support is at the staff level.
One benefit of managed IT support is filling employment gaps in organizations. But there are many other advantages of hiring these services that go beyond the scope of employment. These include:
- MSPs have a wide range of knowledge and experience from IT experts and career specialists. It means that they can deploy strategies and solutions to elevate performance across the board.
- Cost savings is another benefit of managed IT support. Since the company does not hire, train, and maintain a traditional staff, it can cut its operational costs.
- The proactive addressing of IT problems before and when they arise reduces performance issues and downtime and increases efficiency.
2. Managed Cloud Services
These services include the management and control of a cloud platform, starting from a company’s migration to optimization and security. Below are the four areas of cloud computing services:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Function as a service (FaaS)
The demand for managed cloud services is increasing due to the increased adoption of cloud business models that need accompanying support. These services fit a similar model as managed IT support but operate on a cloud environment.
Managed cloud services offer remote assistance with various things, including IT troubleshooting, cybersecurity, data monitoring, network building, and responsive support. Businesses can augment their infrastructure and staff in areas lacking while providing a proactive approach and support to their framework.
For instance, a cloud-managed service handling data monitoring can help the company monitor its bandwidth use. The rapid adoption and evolution of the cloud environment have left this managed service type in high demand.
3. Managed Network Services
Managed network services refer to networking functions, applications, and services that enterprises outsource to MSPs to operate, monitor, and maintain remotely. These services range from simple network access and transport services such as local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) lines to new software-defined WAN connections and virtual network services.
Beyond network access or transport services, managed network services also include:
- WAN optimization
- Network administration
- Unified messaging
- Virtual private networks (VPNs)
- Managed security firewalls
MSPs primarily host managed network services in their data centers, where they also host virtual network functions. They typically offer these services with service-level agreements (SLAs) for clients, referring to contractual arrangements spelling out the quality metrics and performance under which the MSP will provide managed network services.
The advantages of managed network services include:
- Minimizing operational risk: Companies transfer much of the risk to an MSP who has access to the latest technologies. It also reduces the risk of investing in expensive tech and service personnel.
- Reduce and control expenses: MSPs give companies a breakdown of their expenses based on their IT needs, giving them a measure of control and prediction and turning them into fixed cost expenses.
- Enhance security: Theywork with experts to strengthen network security.
- Streamline productivity: The most significant advantage of working with an MSP is that it allows business leaders and IT teams to focus on other critical areas.
4. Managed Communication Services
MSPs offering managed communication services integrate voice, video, and data services into one IP network. These services cover unified communications, email, and Voice over IP (VoIP). It means that a company’s traditional calling center can have additional features, including phone, instant messaging, web, fax, and email.
Businesses adopt managed communication services to give them a competitive advantage in their industry. It also gives them a zero-cost advantage when it comes to the maintenance of tech infrastructure. Other benefits include:
- MSPs design the services to assist companies in deploying advanced technologies with lower costs and less risk
- Offers extensive communication capabilities designed for all types of businesses – independent of scale
- Connects people instead of devices
- Closely integrates communications with business processes
- Delivers presence and preference information and helps to ensure that business communications reach recipients quickly and effectively
MSPs connect communication devices (such as phones and PCs) and applications (such as calendar or videoconferencing) to give companies access anytime, anyplace. They also support open interfaces to enable the addition of other types of applications.
5. Managed IT Security Services
Anything related to online safety and security falls under managed security services. These services include malware protection, patching and maintenance, and application compatibility. The managed security service provider (MSSP) can accomplish these services and more either in-house or remotely, depending on the choice of the client company.
MSSPs provide outsourced management and monitoring of security systems and devices. They offer the following services:
- Managed firewall
- Intrusion detection and prevention systems
- Vulnerability and compliance management
- Virtual private network
- Security Incident Event Management (SIEM) tools
- Incident response and event investigation
- Security intelligence
Businesses use MSSPs to offload their IT teams’ tedious work of monitoring and managing numerous security incidents and events daily. Companies have the option of selecting between fully-managed and co-managed security services. The former is perfect for budget-conscious businesses that lack the internal resources to learn and manage the latest security technologies.
Co-managed security services are perfect for companies that own an array of the latest security technologies but are short on the internal security (human) resources needed to manage these solutions round-the-clock.
WHY Managed IT Services?
Companies need technology to operate effectively. As reliance on IT grows annually, so should the means and resources to support it. Unfortunately, many businesses (primarily small- and mid-sized companies) have limited resources to manage their ever-growing and evolving networks effectively.
Small IT teams can quickly get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work needed to keep everything running smoothly, securely, and up-to-date. Hence, it’s easy to fall behind essential things like backups, patches, security, and updates, which significantly increases the company’s odds of facing IT outages and other issues that negatively impact their business.
Imagine the resultant substantial productivity and revenue losses if a company’s email server, financial setup, customer relationship management system, or network went down.
The different types of managed services also change the overall philosophy of how businesses deal with their technology. They shift from break-fix repair cycles that rely on waiting until servers, systems, networks, or other critical devices fail before rushing to get them up and running.
Businesses operating under managed services focus on prevention rather than reaction. They monitor and resolve issues before they disrupt management, employees, and clients.
Managed Services Benefits for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses
In today’s technology-focused era, businesses can live or die by the availability and quality of their IT infrastructure. People run entire companies electronically, and only a few (if any) wouldn’t suffer immense losses if their IT systems and networks encountered a significant issue.
Below are the benefits of hiring managed services:
- Freed-up resources and renewed emphasis on core business. Business owners and internal IT staff are better off focusing on revenue-generating and enhancing tasks like creating cutting-edge apps and services or product development. MSP services handle routine maintenance and monitoring tasks, freeing IT staff to do other things.
- MSPs are true partners sharing risks and responsibilities. They deliver contracted services and measure, analyze, report, and optimize IT service operations to support business growth and sustainability.
- MSPs give clients access to expertise, world-class tools and technologies, and best practices.
- MSPs offer the benefits of a fully-staffed, full-time IT team at a fraction of the cost.
- With managed services, businesses no longer need to worry about data losses or system problems.
- Managed service providers decrease a company’s overall IT support costs.
Investing in IT is essential because technology drives the modern enterprise. IT support is a vital business function because even the smallest of networks require some level of support. However, for various reasons, IT support is not always easy to attain.
Luckily, MSPs are available to offer businesses the vital infrastructure and types of managed services they need to keep their data safe and systems and networks running smoothly.
If you have not yet embraced IT support for your business, it’s never too late to implement IT best practices with the help of a reliable services provider like ITX Tech Group. As a top managed IT services company in Madison, WI, we are happy to help businesses like yours achieve healthy operational postures through our range of support services. Connect with us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Types of Managed Services?
The five main types of managed services include managed IT support, managed cloud services, managed network services, managed communications services, and managed IT security services.
What is Managed Services in IT Industry?
Managed services refer to when a business outsources some of its IT functions to a third-party vendor called a managed service provider (MSP). The outsourced functions range from basic services like keeping IT equipment to full IT team outsourcing.
What is the Difference Between Outsourcing and Managed Services?
Managed services are a longer-term proposition where a company hires an external organization for comprehensive IT support. Outsourcing means the company brings in someone to handle specific issues on a temporary basis.
What Does Managed Services Include?
Managed IT solutions provide many services, including:
- Remote and onsite management and support of hardware and infrastructure 24/7/365
- Networking and infrastructure
- Security and compliance
- Cloud services
- Communications support
- Disaster recovery
Why Do We Need Managed Services?
The growth of IT reliance necessitates companies and organizations to increase the means and resources to support it. Unfortunately, many businesses may lack either the time or resources (or both) to manage their evolving networks and systems effectively.
Therefore, rather than risk falling behind on essential things like backups, updates, patches, or security, companies opt to hire a managed services provider (MSP) to prevent IT outages, data losses, and other issues affecting regular business operation.