IT Strategy – Why Businesses Are Turning To Managed IT Services

Partnering with an IT Managed Service Provider can offer business owners a way to limit risks and increase productivity.

Running a business is hard work, but thankfully there are a lot of tools that can help make it less burdensome. Managed Service Providers are an IT service provider that manages and assumes responsibility for delivering a defined set of services. In short, Managed Services Providers give businesses back their staff that would have otherwise been tied up in time-consuming IT projects.

A Brief History of Managed Services Providers

Amazon Web Services broke into the market first in 2006 providing simple computer and storage services. Now the Managed Services Provider market has grown, with nearly 50% of large businesses on the market relying on Managed Services Providers. While Amazon has held a majority of the market, others are steadily making progress. Amazon holds 31%, while Microsoft Azure claims 9%, IBM maintains 7%, and Google comes in at 4%.

Three Categories Of Managed Services Provider Services

  1. Infrastructure as a Service
  2. Platform as a Service
  3. Software as a Service

Understanding each type of Managed Services will aid you in deciding which one (or which ones) best fits your business.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides the client with virtualized computing resources. This is an alternative to an on-premises data center. IaaS focuses on offering a data center, servers, storage, and network hardware. Through these, the IaaS handles the business’ detailed billing, monitoring, log access, security, load balancing and clustering, storage, backup, replication, and recovery. An example of IaaS is Amazon Web Services, who provides businesses with a virtual IT that offers networking features, computers, and data storage space.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides the client with hardware and software tools. Typically, applications hosting and Java development can cause businesses to lose critical time and storage space. PaaS gives your company the opportunity to bypass having to install in-house hardware and software that are required to run these applications. This leaves your business to focus on creating and running these programs instead. An example is Microsoft Azure, which allows your business to deploy various applications and continues to monitor them to ensure load balancing and provisioning.

Similar to PaaS, Software as a Service (SaaS) hosts software to save companies the time and storage that it usually takes to install and run these applications on their computers and in their data centers. What makes this different from the PaaS is that it provides software that customers access through the internet. An example is Google’s email application, Gmail, which allows businesses to access email through a browser instead of having to host it themselves.

What Does This Mean For Your IT Department That You Already Have In Place?

These services will not replace your IT department. Instead, they complement each other, giving your IT department the reprieve and support that it needs to work more efficiently. This also means less work for your IT staff on weekends or at night as the use of a Managed Security Service Provider offers your business-critical cyber protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.

How Should You Decide Which One To Go With?

A Managed Services Provider will be responsible for a valuable portion of your business, so you shouldn’t take this decision lightly. It’s important to shop around when making this decision – pay attention to what other customers are saying about each one before selecting it for your company. Making a bad decision, such as deciding on a specific Managed Service Provider solely based on cost, can come back to haunt your company.

Two Main Reasons Why Businesses Hire Managed Services Provider:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Backup and Disaster Recovery

With all the recent cyber threats such as Ransomware, Spectre Bugs, and Meltdown, it’s easy to see why businesses feel vulnerable – cybercrimes are estimated to cost the world 6 trillion dollars annually by the year 2021. Using a Managed Services Provider is one of the best ways to protect your company. Managed Services Providers can monitor your data and identify threats before they have the opportunity to cause significant damage to your business.

Similarly, businesses turn to Managed Services Providers to get peace of mind, knowing that they have a reliable backup and disaster recovery system in place, should they ever need it. It’s reported that 44% of businesses estimate that they could lose over $10,000 in just one hour of downtime. By the year 2020, the world will have 50 times more data than it does currently, which means that what we are struggling to protect today is minuscule compared to what we need to be prepared to defend in the future. With help from a Managed Services Provider, you can be protected today and prepared for our future.

You have enough to worry about as is – using a Managed Services Provider offers your business everything from security to storage space. It also gives you back your IT staff that would otherwise be tied down by various projects, that can now be handled by the Managed Services Provider. Remember that Infrastructure as a Service will provide you with an alternative to on-premises data center while handling your business’s detailed billing, monitoring, log access, security, load balancing and clustering, storage, backup, replication, and recovery. Platform as a Service will provide you the hardware and software tools to allow you to bypass installing in-house hardware and software and instead focus on creating and running these programs instead. Lastly, Software as a Service will provide you with a software host, saving you crucial time and storage.

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