Despite its multiple benefits, the widespread adoption of managed IT services has stalled in recent years. A part of the explanation for slower adoption of managed services is fairly simple. Potential customers don’t have a clear definition of what “managed services” means in the 2016/2017 landscape, and the MSPs themselves have not properly made a compelling benefits-driven case for their services. Platforms such as software-as-a-service have changed what managed services mean, as much of the computational and storage requirements have shifted away to the cloud.
In 2107 and beyond, managed services will see an increase in attention as companies look to find competitive advantages through cost savings and streamlined operations.
Consider these core benefits of the managed IT services approach:
IT department managers always have a keen eye on budgets, and moving some work to managed services can prove to be cost effective. It removes physical hardware or software investments and can offload maintenance costs. In past years, the cost savings might have been enough. In today’s world, they are the minimum benefit of managed services, and companies are expecting to see more in the form of gains in revenue and efficiency.
With the fixed monthly payment plans common to most MSPs, IT departments can transparently view costs over the length of the contract, allowing them to budget for other projects more effectively.
Thankfully for IT professionals, not many companies reduce staff after teaming up with an MSP. Instead, there’s a shift in focus. The department can move towards projects that are strategically critical for the company, which provide a win for the business while keeping the staff’s skills sharp and satisfaction high. Perhaps the MSP takes on security or application monitoring, two technical and time-consuming functions.
This shift in focus for the IT staff is an especially valuable situation when they concentrate on a project that requires their in-depth knowledge of the business and industry, where they can use their expertise from working with other departments to guide a project.
Security and Reliability
The data centers and network infrastructures of MSPs are run by 24x7x365 management and under the tightest security protocols. Companies that choose MSPs can rely on them for secure and reliable platforms, and do not need to manage in-house infrastructure or various cloud platforms.
Timely and reliable delivery of services is the cornerstone of the MSP offering. Companies choose to leverage the MSP’s tech investment to protect their data and business, by ensuring services will run smoothly even in the face of a disaster.
Efficiency of Operations
Managed services are ideal for functions that require a considerable amount of time and energy and can benefit from automation and removal from day-to-day IT management. MSPs also have at their disposal various tools that help them to find and resolve problems quickly, so small problems can be caught quickly before they escalate. The result is decreased downtime and a reduced chance of damaging the customer experience, as patches and updates occur on a tight schedule and problems are proactively identified.
Another benefit of managed services is the creation of various converged systems. These are likely accessible remotely, so at-home staff can access all of the same apps and platforms as the IT staff at the main office.
Companies are turning to MSPs for management of email hosting, CRM applications, storage, backup, monitoring, and other functions that are critically important and are safeguarded by the scale and reliability offered by the MSP. Movement to this model will continue as companies focus on the all-important customer experience and devote IT to revenue-creating initiatives instead of many of the back-end needs that are ideal for the managed services approach.