Managed Services

Comprehensive Guide to Managed Services

What is a Managed IT Service?

A Managed IT Service is when some or all parts of your IT function is outsourced to a specialist company, known as a Managed Services Provider or MSP. The MSP takes full responsibility for the service, including the provision of monitoring, maintenance, resource planning, and support. Managed IT Services are provided on a subscription fee basis, usually paid monthly, which covers service management and support.

Typically, businesses and nonprofit organisations choose Managed IT Services for convenience, efficiency and performance. By gaining a team of experts, the stress of managing IT disappears. Costs are brought under control, as there’s no longer any need for specialists on the payroll. ‘Key man’ dependency is eliminated, as an MSP offers a complete team rather than a single individual. And the quality and performance of crucial information systems often dramatically improves, as it is in the hands of highly qualified IT experts.

Managed Services is growing in popularity for these reasons. Over many years, it has evolved into multiple distinct forms, covering everything from full management of an entire IT infrastructure to select components and services.

Specific disciplines have emerged, including managed security for detecting and responding to cyber breaches, managed backup and disaster recovery, and specific line of business applications delivered as a Managed Service. Common to all Managed Services is the advantage of delegation to experienced and specialised providers. This helps get the job of IT done better and faster.

Common Business Drivers

Motivators that drive the decision to outsource part of or all IT services to an MSP routinely fall into three categories:

  1. Realigning the focus of internal resources
  2. Allowing business focus on strategic objectives
  3. Bringing on board scarce IT skills rapidly (an example is Digital Transformation initiatives)

Successfully using a Managed Services Provider starts with clear objectives. Know what you want to achieve with a technology partner and share it with your Managed Services Provider. Shared goals deliver optimal performance.

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Benefits

Partnering with a Managed Services Provider delivers a range of benefits and advantages. These include:

Business and IT performance starts here. A good IT operation is aligned with the business. Clear on strategic organisational goals, the IT department enables the business by delivering technology in support of defined outcomes. A good Managed Services Provider takes the time to understand and connect with your business. Long-term success depends on it.

We execute the following activities to achieve business alignment:

  1. Roadmap
    Effective roadmaps incorporate business goals, current IT state, future IT state, and the priority of the future state (based on business requirements). The roadmap is time-defined, providing a clear path from present to future, generally with a time horizon of between 12 and 36 months.
  2. Quarterly Check-In
    A regularly scheduled meeting with your MSP covers strategic and operational performance. It assesses the roadmap, current issues, service performance, and raises any change requirements. This meeting is essential for progress tracking and in support of decisions that guide service delivery.
  3. Staff User Feedback Survey Report
    While executives and engineers design and deliver Managed Services, users have unique insights into performance, useability, and suitability. Gathering user feedback is instrumental for service improvement.

Ben Franklin once said, ‘Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.’ Franklin’s time preceded computers; IT problems are a modern certainty in the workplace. Managed Services Providers offer wider experience and skills to deal with issues rapidly and effectively.

Management Is Key

As a Managed Services Provider, the delivery of quality IT systems is our sole concern. We manage all aspects, so your systems are always performing optimally.

Systems management is delivered with multiple techniques, including:
  • Systems Monitoring and Alerting – Automated systems constantly scan for potential or actual problems, notifying support team members so rapid action is taken.
  • Patch Management – Your software is updated, and security patches applied as soon as compatibility with all systems is assured.
  • PC Life Cycle Management – Computer equipment can become obsolete fast. We establish realistic life cycles for your business, including planned replacement criteria and cycles.

With a Managed Services Provider, you’ll receive support that enables better productivity and business performance. Our support is guided by four principles:

  1. It’s unlimited – Your staff have the freedom of directly accessing support whenever required, without seeking approval. With a fixed price model, we’re incentivised to identify and eliminate root causes.
  2. Service Level Agreements – The SLA defines all response times, so you know what to expect.
  3. Problem Management – We identify and report on recurring issues and unresolved items to avoid repeating mistakes and eliminating workarounds.
  4. Change Management – Change is a reality in IT service management. We manage change by providing reasons, quantifying impact, providing ‘rollback’ mitigation, and calculating anticipated downtime.

A Managed Services Provider delivers protection for your technology systems. Should disaster strike, your MSP has you covered.

Business continuity starts with an IT Health Report. This combines system-generated information with expert interpretation; beware automatically generated reports.

  • Backup Management– The business must define data assets and specify protections. Your MSP provides the necessary structures and mechanisms for effective backups in line with your policies. Backup configuration considers downtime tolerance, restore intervals, archive periods and the appropriate location and media for backup storage.
  • Security Management– Security is an ongoing challenge. Your MSP manages your security technology, including external protection (such as firewall, email security, web security, and antivirus software) and internal protection (insider threats and breach detection).

Your Journey with Us

As a leading Managed Services Provider, Techware’s key objective is supporting business growth through strategic delivery of world-class IT services and support. We start with discovery, roadmapping, and implementation. Then we seek continual improvement through ongoing support, optimising staff productivity and underpinning high-performance business.

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Your Team

At Techware, we believe the difference lies not so much in what we do, but how we do it. As your MSP, our mission is to put you in control, equipped to make informed technology decisions in support of clearly aligned business goals.

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