The Benefits of Managed Services (How Outsourcing Can Help Your Business)

Managed Services

Managing IT systems internally is a challenge on multiple levels for any small business that tries it. Competing interests, undefined priorities, multiple endpoints, not to mention addressing emergencies, add up to an IT department that is constantly reacting and fitting in needed work on top of their already busy workload.

One solution is utilizing a managed services framework. Managed services address the above challenges and help businesses organize, plan, budget, and administrate their IT infrastructure more efficiently. 

Alone, a managed service company is a potent asset, but when it is a member of the Amazon Partner Network, that management tools and skills become even more potent. Here is how working with a managed services company can help your business:

Easier Scalability

Most in-house IT shops are a study in the art of juggling. Pressures from different departments, priorities that often are shifted on a whim, and putting out fires requires staff to jump from crisis to crisis constantly. The staff ends up overworked, stressed, and often in over their heads.

Managed services maintain a bird’s eye view and can shift resources to meet existing and emerging needs, drawing from a pool of specially trained experts. When you want to expand or roll out new technology, a managed services operation can allocate the needed resources without overworking or stressing existing employees.

Experienced, Expert Management

Creating a predictable, accurate, and affordable management structure is one of the most acute challenges for any in-house IT operation. Often, IT staff grow their knowledge and experience with the company, which can lead to trial and error, runaway costs, and functional but not optimum systems until that staff can master what they are learning on the job.

Managed services provide a structure to all of that because the employees have “been there, done that.” Essentially, the client benefits from managed services IT employees having already mastered what the client’s employees will have to learn from scratch. That has immediate and tangible benefits.

Benefits from Managed Services IT Employees

More Predictable Costs

By relying on IT professionals that have already learned and implemented what your business wants to do, costs are more easily able to be estimated. Even better, the estimates are more accurate because managed services staff are not guessing what hardware, software, training, and troubleshooting will be needed.

Linear Growth

Most growth for small and medium-sized businesses is “as needed,” usually after a crisis. Managed services provide a structure for both planned and unplanned growth. 

Projects are planned and implemented strategically rather than adding components or systems on the fly as they become necessary. 

A managed services team still has to address the inevitable crisis that pops up, but everything else is mapped out, prioritized, and completed within a general project management framework, versus just keeping the “squeaky wheels” happy.

Superior Expertise

You hire a mechanic to work on your vehicle because that is what they do. You listen to your doctor because they are trained in medicine and presumably know what they are doing. Managed services teams are no different. 

A managed services team comprises trained professionals that specialize in your infrastructure needs. They get placed with you because of their expertise. Other experts are consulted and brought in if your needs deviate beyond their scope of expertise. 

By doing so, you eliminate trial-and-error approaches to most infrastructure challenges. You are also guaranteed to have people who understand how your IT and development systems function. There is no learning on the job or guessing, which reduces the chances of errors significantly. 

Better Prioritization

Internally managed IT forces employees to react to immediate needs or system issues, fitting work in when possible or immediately necessary. Prioritization of work goes by the wayside in favor of addressing who needs immediate help. Employees get pulled in different directions, creating a confusing assortment of work competing for the same resources.

Managed services still deal with the occasional crisis, but work is prioritized based on an agreed-upon framework. There is also a structure that governs special requests that reduce pulling employees in different directions. That structure lets your management determine what needs to be increased in importance rather than employees responding to front-line demands.

Consistent Security and Documentation

Consistent Security

With small to medium companies, crises often obscure processes. Practically speaking, disregarding processes in security and documentation means vulnerabilities get created and security threats get ignored. The lapses are often not discovered until it is too late, data is lost, a breach has occurred, or a system has broken down.

Managed service protocols are unyielding. Because a third party manages those processes, deviating from them is more difficult because it is part of the services the management company offers and guarantees. You cannot, for example, change security permissions without first having a meeting about the changes and getting official authorization.

The same applies to documentation. Because part of the job of a managed services company is to make things easier, documentation is a priority. That way, if internal staff must step in at any point, they have a roadmap on which to rely.

Managed Services Make IT Management Easier and Affordable

By partnering with a managed services company, you get planned, prioritized, and organized management. That saves you time, money, and staff resources and eliminates a lot of the stress of traditional IT management.

Perhaps, though, the most significant benefit of working with a managed services company is peace of mind that support is always there, even in a crisis.