IT Managed Services – an overview

IT Managed Services – An overview of common services offered

Last time, we talked about the general concept of Managed Services.  We compared it to Time-based billing.

Now we’ll discuss IT Managed Services.

Traditional break-fix IT support firms will bill by the hour regardless of what they are asked to do.

IT Managed Services firms bill by the service.  Most often, they include a bundle of needed services in an agreement for a flat monthly fee.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes to manage and support these services – they Just Happen.

In IT Managed Services, the IT firm aligns with the client’s goals at all times.

IT Managed Services

Services that are typically included in a service agreement include:

  • Patching.  Patching keeps workstations and servers up-to-date with the latest security patches.
  • Virus protection.  This keeps systems protected from viruses, spyware, ransomware and others  with the oversight needed to ensure everything is working as designed.
  • Firewall management.  Keeping an eye on firewalls and keeping firmware updated and rules in check is extremely important.
  • Server maintenance.  Proactive maintenance plans include file cleanup, hardware review and firmware updates.
  • Monitoring.  High-level network hardware and software monitoring alerts the IT team to problems before they cause downtime.
  • Backup management.  Critically important and often overlooked, this usually includes scheduled disaster recovery testing.
  • Reporting.  High-level roll-up reports that can only be created by comprehensive management systems include summaries of the state of all IT systems in use.

Top-tier service providers add:

  • Unlimited helpdesk/support desk.  Unlimited means no overages within the specified scope of support, ever.
  • Virtual CIO/Strategic consulting.  The most valuable service can transform how a company functions through well-planned IT.

IT Managed Services are good for the client because they connect the IT service provider’s profitability to efficiency. These providers deliver reliable and efficient services at a fixed cost.

Break Fix vs IT Managed Services

(The graph above shows the stabilizing effect on cost that IT Managed Services provides over a period of time.)