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The Complete Guide To Managed IT Services

by Rajesh Haridas, 19 July 2022

In this comprehensive guide, we have tried to answer all the questions that our clients have, and which you too may have, on Managed IT Services.

We cover everything from what an MSP is, the details and types of Managed IT Services, who the service is ideal for, how you should choose an MSP partner, to the more advanced Cloud Services and Cybersecurity Services offered by MSPs.

But that’s not all. We have added links to best practices, how to select a vendor and included links to cheat sheets and templates.

We want this to be your Ultimate Resource Guide to all things in Managed IT Services.

Enjoy!
 

Table of Content

  1. What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?
  2. What are Managed IT Services?
  3. Why should you consider outsourced Managed IT Services?
  4. Is outsourcing IT Services bad?
  5. What factors should you consider when looking for Managed IT Services?
  6. Why choose Managed IT Services over the Break/Fix Model?
  7. What kind of companies should consider Managed IT Services?
  8. What are some examples of Managed IT Services?
  9. How flexible are Managed IT Services?
  10. What are Managed Cloud Services?
  11. What are Managed Infrastructure Services?
  12. What can I expect from a Microsoft Azure Managed Service?
  13. What is AWS Managed Service?
  14. What Are Some Of The Different Types Of Managed IT Service?

What is a Managed Service Provider (MSP)?

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a company that provides IT services to businesses.

They are responsible for the maintenance and management of the IT infrastructure, as well as the provision of IT support to the users.

An MSP typically delivers services such as:

  1. Network management
  2. Application Support
  3. Infrastructure Management
  4. Security Management
  5. Email Management
  6. Server Management
  7. Customer Support

They do this via ongoing and regular support. Plus, active administration on customers’ premises, in their MSP’s data center (hosting), or in a third-party data center.

 

What are Managed IT Services?

Managed IT Services are essentially offered by firms that provide IT support to businesses. 

These firms are also known as Managed Service Providers [MSPs].

The services include anything from managing email servers to providing customer support. 

Managed IT Services help businesses by taking on the burden of managing their IT infrastructure, freeing up time and resources that can be better spent on other tasks.

Think about this.

Would you learn all tax laws and get certified so that you can file your company tax, or would you hire a CPA to get it done faster, efficient and cheaper?

For most medium size companies, the answer is simple. Any Managed IT Service will save you time, money and also give you peace of mind.

But if you sign up with a good Managed Services company, it can help you grow your business.

Some examples of Managed IT Services include: 

  1. Email server management
    Read: 2021 Email Server Security Best Practices | AT&T Cybersecurity
     
  2. Data backup and recovery
    Read: Data Backup Best Practices In 2022 - Business Security
     
  3. Application support
    Read: Improving Application Maintenance | Deloitte US
     
  4. Customer support
    Read: Customer Service Checklist: 15 Best Practices
     
  5. Network Management
    Read: Network Security Best Practices and Checklist - Information Security Program
     
  6. Security Management
    Read: 15 Cybersecurity Best Practices to Prevent Cyber Attacks in 2022
     
  7. Infrastructure Management
    Read: Data Center Checklist for Infrastructure Best Practices
     
  8. Business Continuity Services
    Read: How to Create and Leverage a Business Continuity Checklist for Emergency Planning


 

Why Should You Consider Outsourced Managed IT Services?

Outsourcing IT seems to have got a bad name, somehow.

Outsourcing IT Services is not dissimilar to outsourcing the manufacture of bread, or food, or clothes or things which you pick off the shelf from the supermarket.

In fact, many activities in your home, or office, are actually outsourced.

Modern life is all about outsourcing.

For example, as a family, you don’t bake bread at home each day.

You rely on a company to provide the ingredients, the machines, the manpower, and the expertise to produce the bread. 

The same is true when outsourcing IT Services. 

One company relies on another expert company to provide the hardware, software, manpower, and expertise to produce and manage the IT Services.

Subscribing to Managed IT Services help firms by 

  1. Providing them with a team of experts who can manage all of their IT needs. 
  2. Helping businesses to focus on their core competencies and leave the IT management to professionals

 

Is Outsourcing IT Services Bad?

Good or bad, is a human judgement, a perspective, a label which we inadvertently or consciously, put on things.

Intrinsically, there is nothing good or bad with anything in the cosmos.

In the early days of the industrial revolution, there were those who cried against the outsourcing of manufacturing to factories and machines. 

They said it would lead to the loss of jobs and the decline of skilled workers.

And they were right, to a certain extent. There were mass layoffs as companies switched to cheaper, automated production. 

But there were also new opportunities created as factories sprung up across the country, providing employment for millions of people.

Today, we are on the brink of another industrial revolution, one that is being driven by technology. And once again, there are those who resist change.

They say that outsourcing IT services will lead to the loss of jobs and the decline of skilled workers. 

And, once again, they are right, to a certain extent. There will be mass layoffs as companies switch to cheaper, automated solutions.

But, as with the last industrial revolution, there will also be new opportunities created. 

The Industrial Revolution was inevitable and swept everyone and everything in its wake.

The same will happen with the Tech Revolution, regardless of the labels we assign to it and our fears against it.

For those who are willing to embrace change, there is a world of opportunity waiting.


 

What Factors Should You Consider When Looking For Managed IT Services?

When looking for Managed IT Services, consider the following factors. 

  • Does the company have a good reputation?
    A quick research for reviews and testimonials of a firm will help you get sense of what others have experienced with the company.

    You can look at third-party websites such as TrustPilot, BBB, or other review sites for this.

    The company website too is a good source but ensure that the testimonials there are verifiable.

    Additionally, speak with two references that the company gives you to gauge their quality, value, rep, etc.
     
  • Does the company offer the services that you need?
    Take a look at their website and see what they offer in terms of services.

    Compare this to what you need. Does it match?
     
  • Are the services affordable?
    Get quotes from a few different companies and compare their prices vs deliverables.

    Check out their processes, tools in addition to the price.

    Price often disguises shortcuts - ensure that you see these with additional questions on processes.
     
  • Is the company easy to work with?

Contact them and ask a few questions to get a sense of their customer service.

Make a list of common problems that you encounter and ask them how they would deal with it.

Once a company meets all of these criteria, to your satisfaction, take a call. 

Read Checklist for Partners

  1. How to Choose a Managed IT Services Provider [Checklist + Questionnaire]
  2. Eight-Point Checklist: Choose a Cloud or Managed Services Provider - Computer Design & Integration

 

Why Choose Managed IT Services Over The Break/Fix Model?

There are a few reasons why Managed IT Services might be a better solution than the break-fix model. 

  1. With Managed IT Services, you have a team of IT professionals working proactively to prevent issues from arising. This can save you time and money in the long run.
  2. If an issue does arise, you have a team of IT professionals available to quickly resolve the issue.
  3. You can get a higher level of security and uptime for your critical systems with Managed IT Services
  4. With Managed IT Services, you have access to the latest technology and tools, which can help improve your overall IT infrastructure.
  5. Managed IT Services typically include regular maintenance and updates, which can help keep your IT infrastructure running smoothly.

As your business grows, so do your IT needs. 

You need a partner that can keep up with your demand and help you manage your technology. 

That's where Managed IT solutions come in. At Consltek Inc, we provide a wide range of services to help you manage your IT infrastructure, including:

  • 24/7 monitoring and support
  • Help desk support
  • IT strategy and planning
  • Cloud Services
  • Security Solutions
  • Disaster recovery and backup
  • Business Continuity Services

With Managed IT Solutions from Consltek, you can focus on running your business, while we take care of your IT. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

 

What Kind Of Companies Should Consider Managed IT Services?

There is no one answer to this question, as every company is different and has different IT needs. 

However, companies that benefit from Managed IT Services include those that:

  1. Have a complex IT infrastructure
  2. Rely heavily on technology
  3. Do not have in-house IT staff
  4. Have an IT staff that’s overwhelmed
  5. Focus on growth using IT 
  6. Wish to remove themselves from routine IT issues plaguing the firm
  7. Are growing rapidly and needs a partner to assist with the IT
  8. Îs undergoing digital transformation and needs help with implementing new technologies

Managed IT Services can be a great solution for companies that want to focus on their core business and outsource their routine IT needs.

At Consltek Inc, we believe that any company that relies on technology to do business should consider Managed IT Services.

Companies of any size qualify.

The big reason for the growth in Managed IT Services is that the traditional model for IT Support, which is Break/ Fix, is becoming increasingly outdated. 

Managed IT Services is a better model than Break/ Fix, because it provides proactive support, 24/7 monitoring, and regular maintenance. 

This avoids downtime and actually saves you money.

 

What Are Some Examples Of Managed IT Services?

Mitch works for a small business that is growing rapidly. 

He and his colleagues are constantly working on new projects and expanding the company's reach. 

As his business grows, so does the need for reliable and efficient IT support. 

Mitch found that his small IT Team could not keep pace with the growth

The team was behind on a lot of stuff - patching, network management, server management, intrusion detection and more.

The reason: The IT was firefighting and had to prioritise several times a day on what they should focus on.

Mitch felt that the IT team’s main focus should be on business growth and not sweating out the small stuff.

He was wondering how to solve the issue - hire more folks in IT, or to outsource it?

That's where he decided to investigate Managed IT Services.

This is what his initial research threw up.

  1. Managed IT Services are provided by firms that offer IT support for businesses. These firms are called Managed Service Providers [MSPs].
  2. MSPs are experienced and knowledgeable in all things IT, and can provide your business with the support it needs to grow and succeed.
  3. With Managed IT Services, you can rest assured that your IT needs are in good hands. 

The MSP will work with you to ensure that your systems are running smoothly and efficiently, and that your data is safe and secure.

Managed IT Services is the perfect solution for businesses that need reliable IT support. 

With the help of an MSP, you can focus on what you do best - growing your business.

Mitch decided that MSPs were the way to go. He plans to speak to a few of them, get their pricing and take a call.

Read

  1. Managed Services Case Study | Deloitte US
  2. IT Managed Services - Five Case Studies
  3. Managed Services Agreements Coverage Cheat Sheet

 

How Flexible Are Managed IT Services? 

When Vick decided to explore MSPs for his firm, this is what he found.

MSPs are very flexible and tailor their offerings to the specific needs of their clients. 

  1. They work closely with their clients to understand their business needs and objectives
  2. Then design a customized plan to meet those needs. 

MSPs are always looking for ways to improve their services and make them more responsive to their clients' needs.
 

What are Managed Security Services?

When John decided to outsource the security of his company to a managed security service provider [MSSP], he had no idea what he was getting himself into. 

He quickly learned that the MSSP was responsible for

  1. Round-the-clock monitoring of his security devices and systems
  2. Alerting him about potential security breaches and their severity
  3. Advise him on how to handle the threats

After speaking with a few partners he chose one and was happy to see the following done.

  1. They set up a strict schedule and checked in on the firm’s security multiple times throughout the day. 
  2. If there was ever any indication of a security breach, John was the first to know about it and be advised on the actions to take

John knows that he made the right decision and is confident about his firm’s readiness to handle threats.

Read:

  1. 7-Point Checklist for Selecting a Managed Security Services Provider
  2. 98 Security Cheat Sheets - Cheatography.com
  3. https://www.wavestone.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Wavestone-Executive-Cheat-Sheet-Managed-Security-Services.pdf

 

What Are The Benefits Of Hiring A Managed Security Services Provider [MSSP]?

When Julia started her job as a security analyst, she was excited to finally be working in the field of her dreams. 

She realized, however, that the job was not as glamorous as she had imagined. 

There was a lot of paperwork and monitoring to do, and she often felt like she was just chasing her tail.

One day, Julia's boss told her about a new service they were thinking of offering to their clients: managed security services. 

Julia was intrigued and decided to look into it.

She found that there were many benefits to using an MSSP

Her research showed that the managed security service provider (MSSP) offers 

  1. 24/7 monitoring and management of security devices and systems for clients
  2. Day-to-day threat management
  3. Data protection 
  4. Ongoing compliance 
  5. Managed firewall
  6. Intrusion detection
  7. Virtual private network [VPN]
  8. Vulnerability scanning 
  9. Anti-viral services

In terms of benefits, Julia figured that

  1. This would free up her time so that she could focus on more important tasks as this was the paperwork that bogged her down.
  2. Additionally, it would allow her to provide her clients with a higher level of service
  3. This allows businesses like hers to focus on their core operations instead of worrying about the security of their premises. 
  4. The MSSP's team of experts would always be on hand to offer support and advice
  5. Plus, take immediate action in the event of any security breach.

Read

  1. https://13layers.com/resource/madison-county-kentucky/
  2. Cyber Security - Quick Reference Guide

 

What Are Managed Cloud Services?

Angel, who heads the IT, at a 100-person non-profit firm, has read a lot about the cloud.

  1. The cloud has revolutionized the way businesses operate. Businesses are not tied to on-premise infrastructure and expensive hardware any more.
  2. With the cloud, businesses can be agile and scalable, and manage their costs more effectively.

She also knows that the cloud is complex and daunting for businesses that are not familiar with it. 

For her firm, she chose outsourced managed cloud services.

Her research showed her that: 

  • Managed cloud services providers offer partial or complete management of a client's cloud resources, so that businesses can focus on their core competencies.
  • Whether it's migrating to the cloud, configuring resources, or optimizing performance, managed cloud services can help businesses get the most out of the cloud. 
  • And with the cloud constantly evolving, managed cloud services can help businesses keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

Angel opted for a cloud services provider and is happy with her decision. 

Her IT staff is freed from daily hassles and work closely with the Managed Service Provider to handle all the cloud related work - data management, security and more.

If you're looking for some help managing your cloud, consider using a managed cloud service provider.

It could make your life a lot easier!

BTW, Consltek Inc also helps folks like Angel and many small businesses like hers with managed cloud services.

Read: 

  1. Cloud Security Checklist - PCI DSS GUIDE
  2. The Ultimate Checklist for Adopting to Cloud Managed Services - Ziffity

 

What Are Managed Infrastructure Services?

As the world increasingly moves online, the need for reliable and managed infrastructure services becomes more and more important for businesses.

Infrastructure Managed Services [IMS], provides the tools and resources necessary to keep your online presence running smoothly and efficiently. 

Some companies need to manage their IT infrastructure. It hires a service [IMS] to help it do this. 

The IMS team was responsible for keeping the lights on and the wheels turning. 

  1. They make sure that the network is up and running, the servers are online, and the data is secure. 
  2. They are the backbone of the company and the unsung heroes of the IT world.
  3. The service was very proactive and helped the company to administer and manage its technology, information and data in a very efficient way. 
  4. The service was also very helpful in keeping the company's employees trained and up-to-date on all of the latest technology and information.

Read:

  1. IT Due Diligence Checklist for Evaluating Managed Service Providers
  2. The Managed Services Checklist
  3. HCL Customer Leverages NetApp AltaVault for Next-Gen Cloud Backup

 

What Are Some Of The Different Types Of Managed IT Services?

The different types of Managed IT Services are:

  1. Help Desk Services: Provides support to users of IT systems and services. Helps users resolve problems and issues related to IT systems and services.

    Read:

  2. IT Service Management: Offers support to IT organizations in planning, designing, implementing, and managing IT systems and services.

    Read:

  3. IT Support Services: These services provide comprehensive support for all aspects of your IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, networking, and security. They can help you troubleshoot problems, keep your systems up-to-date, and protect your data.

    Read:

  4. Infrastructure Management: Supports organizations in managing and maintaining their IT infrastructure.

    Read:

  5. Security Management: Helps organizations manage and protect their IT systems and services from security threats. This can include things like firewall protection, intrusion detection, and malware removal.

    Read:

  6. Storage Management: Helps organizations to manage and store their data and information. Also helps you recover from data loss.

    Read:

  7. Remote IT Support: Helps businesses with access to expert IT support staff who can help resolve issues remotely. This is a convenient and cost-effective way to get the help you need, when you need it.

    Read:

  8. Cloud Services: Cloud services provide businesses with a flexible and scalable way to store, manage, and access data and applications. This can help businesses save money on infrastructure costs and make it easier to scale up or down as needed.

    Read:

  9. Backup and Disaster Recovery: This service helps businesses ensure that their data is safe and can be recovered in the event of a disaster. This can be a critical service for businesses that rely heavily on data.

    Read:

  10. Managed Print Services: This type of service helps businesses manage their print infrastructure, including printers, scanners, and other devices. This can help businesses save money on printer costs and improve efficiency.

    Read:

  11. Networking Services: These services manage and monitor your network and infrastructure, and provide support and maintenance when needed.

    Read:

  12. Email and Collaboration Services: These services manage your email and collaboration systems, and can help you stay connected with your team.

    Read:

  13. Desktop and Mobile Device Management: These services manage your desktop and mobile devices, and can help you keep them up to date and secure.

    Read:

  14. IT Consulting Services: These services provide expert advice on all aspects of your IT infrastructure, helping you to make the best decisions for your business.

    Read:

  15. Application Management Services: These services help organizations manage and monitor their applications, ensuring that they are always up-to-date and compliant with security standards.

    Read:

  16. Compliance Management Services: These services help organizations manage and monitor their compliance with security standards, ensuring that they are always up-to-date and compliant.

    Read:

  17. Disaster Recovery Services: These services help organizations recover from disasters, ensuring that their data and systems are always up-and-running.

    Read:

Most MSPs like Consltek Inc, offer the majority of these services. Do check with your partner if the service you need is available with them.

Conclusion

In this guide, we have covered the most oft questions on Managed IT Services. 

We have also provided you with lots of resource links on how to choose a provider, best practices in a specific topic, cheat sheets and templates.

If you do have questions for which we don’t have the answers, do feel free to write to us.


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    Keep Stress Out With Consltek's Managed Security Services For Healthcare

    Step into a world where IT headaches are a thing of the past. Consltek’s Managed Security Services are a haven for healthcare businesses with 100+ staff in the US, offering a sanctuary of security and efficiency.

    Imagine a realm where your network is not just secure, but thrives with our Managed SASE Services. Feel the pulse of your healthcare facility strengthen with our Secure, Managed SD-WAN, enhancing your network's heartbeat with unmatched performance and reliability.

    Dive into the ocean of possibilities with our comprehensive solutions for Networks & Connectivity. Let us guide you through the transformative journey of Cloud Virtualization Services, where your IT environment blossoms into a garden of maximum efficiency.

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    Embrace the warmth of our comprehensive IT Help Desk, a nurturing presence for all your IT inquiries. Let us safeguard every device in your facility with our Managed Endpoint Services, ensuring a fortress of security and functionality.

    Experience the peace of mind that comes with our expert Server Management, a guardian ensuring your data is always safe and accessible for seamless healthcare service delivery.

    Navigate the complex seas of compliance with ease, thanks to our expert Governance, Risk & Compliance services. With us, you're not just meeting standards; you're setting them.

    Liberate yourself and your IT team from the chains of mundane IT management. Focus on growing your business, sleep with the serenity of the stars, and shine like a champion with Consltek Inc.

    Reach out to Consltek today, and step into a world where your IT worries dissolve into a distant memory.

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