Many of the companies that turn to a managed services provider for management and remediation have become accustomed to the “firefighting method” of tracking and responding to events. With the more mature toolsets available to managed services providers, events causing user problems are instantly and automatically reported, allowing remediation to start immediately. Many times, the efficiency gains through managed services are so great that businesses are surprised by the extent of the inefficiency of their prior system.
Not only can a managed services provider track and begin remediation of a known event more quickly and efficiently than the business could in the past, but through the robust tools available to managed services providers, many events can be headed off at the pass. Managed services organizations are able to determine that a failure is imminent in many cases, thereby allowing remediation efforts that will actually prevent the failure from occurring in the first place, which clearly reduces downtime and risk for the client company.
Managed services clients are able to realize an added benefit that they may not even have considered: Because the managed services provider’s tools are constantly monitoring the performance and capacity of the client’s file system space, database size, network bandwidth and more, all of that information is captured and held as historical data. The client has access to this data and can use it to analyze trends in performance or capacity associated with a specific device or database and to make educated, informed decisions about future IT capacity and performance needs as a result.
Managed services providers often provide clients access to stored historical data through a client portal. Clients can see service tickets, when they were resolved, what the resolution was, and performance information both historically and in near real time. What few clients think to request is a custom dashboard for various members of the business’ executive staff. A CEO, for example, might want a green light on his desktop to indicate that all systems associated with an ERP system are functioning normally; if he sees a yellow light, he knows he needs to call someone to drill down into what’s happening. Customizations like these that are beyond the standard reporting can be created to match the needs – as high level or as granular as desired – of various executives inside the client organization and are an amazingly powerful added benefit of the data a sophisticated managed services company is able to capture and synthesize.
When client companies’ IT staffs are too busy with firefighting responsibilities, patch management is one of the things that tends to fall to the back burner. This can leave an organization at risk for downtime, security vulnerabilities and incidents that a vendor may not support when patches are too far behind. Managed services providers can not only manage patches so that they remain up to date continuously, but they typically can provide a user with a patch management SLA spelling out the details of this little-known, but valuable service.
There are a lot of little things that make a big difference in the efficient management of a company’s IT infrastructure, but unfortunately, many of these fall through the cracks in most organizations due to a lack of time and resources. When a client company engages a qualified managed services provider, another surprise benefit comes in the form of periodic reviews. Managed services providers will constantly be on the lookout for anything that might put the client’s IT environment at risk, and mitigating that risk is their job. Devices that are nearing end of life, OS upgrades that need to be done – these can be discussed in periodic reviews and determinations made about how to resolve them before they become an issue. Additionally, managed services providers can help clients create a well-defined list of which technology products – hardware and software – are tied to business-critical functions so that different service priority levels can be assigned on a true needs basis.
Six Surprise Benefits of Managed Services
Six SurpriseBenefits ofManaged Services
#One:IncreasedEfficiencyProblems are instantly andautomatically reported, allowingremediation to startimmediately.1
#Two:ReducedDowntimeand RiskDetermine that a failure is imminent inmany cases reducing downtime andrisk.2
#Three: Capacity Planning Information The client’s file system space, database size, network bandwidth and more is captured and held as historical data.3
#Four: Custom Dashboards Customizations that are beyond the standard reporting can be created to match the needs of various executives inside the client organization.4
#Five:Up-to-Date PatchManagement Managed services providers can manage patches so that they remain up to date continuously.5