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BTS Q&A

What’s the real value in managed IT services?

Many businesses and organization first consider IT managed services because of a crisis. When a system is malfunctioning, they call in an IT consultant to repair what’s broken. Impressed perhaps by the provider’s expertise, they enter into a managed service plan contract for ongoing assistance.

But, while problem-solving is certainly central to IT managed services, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The true value of managed services is its capacity to innovate new technology, streamline operations and, overall, brings greater IT value to an enterprise. Of course, preventing future IT disasters is part-and-parcel of what a good managed services provider should bring to the relationship.

If you’re focused on making the most of your managed service provider, consider posing to them these questions:

Managed IT services? Cloud services? Or, both? 

A closer look at managed IT services

As an owner or manager of a small to mid-sized business or organization, you’ve probably heard the terms “managed IT services.” and “cloud services.” But if an IT expert isn’t on hand or if you’re too busy with other challenges, it’s likely you haven’t had time to learn about the advantages that each of these solutions offers.

Begin with managed services. With these service plans, a managed service provider (MSP) addresses all issues an internal IT team would normally handle. For example, the MSP would keep hardware up and running. They’d ensure software is up-to-date. What’s more, the managed IT resource would assume responsibility for monitoring your network 24/7. In short, the MSP manages IT challenges and solves related problems with one goal in mind: To free you of IT worries and enable you to concentrate more fully on running other aspects of your business.

Serving as a replacement for — or a supplement to IT members you may (or may not) have on your staff — managed service providers offer you:

A closer look at cloud services

“Cloud” is simply a metaphor for the internet. Cloud computing describes a number of situations where your programs and data are stored and accessed over the internet instead of being located and managed in-house on the hard drives of your office computers.

There are three basic types of cloud computing offered by cloud services providers, or CSPs:

  1. Public cloud computing: With a public cloud, businesses and organizations get their own cloud but one that’s within an infrastructure they share with others. An affordable option, with this off-site solution the cloud service provider is responsible for the security and maintenance of your system.
  2. Private cloud computing: The private cloud is managed by your in-house IT team. While it almost always costs more than a public cloud, a private cloud is often preferred by businesses and organizations that want exclusive access and control over their data.
  3. Hybrid cloud computing: As the term implies, a hybridcloud service offers aspects of both public and private clouds. Part of the clouds is managed off-site, while other portions of it are the responsibility of your own IT professionals.

Cloud services providers bring businesses and organizations a number of advantages, among them:

Managed IT services and cloud services: Benefiting from both

Managed IT services and cloud computing services are not an either/or proposition. Together, they can offer your business or organization access to technology that helps you operate with greater efficiency and compete more successfully.

In fact, as the IT environment continues to grow in complexity and places ever-greater pressure on your internal resources, the time may be right to enlist the assistance that managed IT services and cloud services offer.