In a previous blog we discussed how outsourcing IT management to a Managed Services Provider (MSP) can benefit your organisation by freeing up resources, saving time and money, migrating risk and keeping your systems up-to-date and secure. This blog will discuss the evolution of MSP’s from break-fix services to bespoke business models and how this evolution has opened up IT capabilities for SME’s.
Managed Services – Beginning with the break fix and enterprise
MSP’s began as a reactive “break fix” maintenance service – more often than not for SMEs who were self-taught, had restricted IT resource and unique systems and processes to fit their bespoke way of operating.
As IT functions and accessible technology evolved, with internal IT support desks being supported by MSPs, enhanced and standardised procedures were developed with added value coming from a further proactive approach. Complications and trends in IT infrastructure performance can now be remotely monitored and issues pre-empted.
Technological developments such as Simple Network Management Protocol – initially the provision of large enterprises (due to complexity, network scale and price) – then became mature and cost effective enough for SMEs to benefit from.
This MSP revolution happened over 10 years ago, yet the misconception that full scale or sophisticated managed services is the realm of enterprise level clients still exists. According to Gartner, Inc., nearly half (48 %) of U.S.-based businesses plan to increase their use of managed services. By doing so they hope to overcome some of the barriers to adopting next generation technologies. Why are so many companies turning to MSP’s?
MSP’s have the flexibility to deliver solutions to SME’s and enterprise
SME’s are under increasing pressure to extract as much value as possible from their IT. The advances in technology, such as cloud andSaaS allow MSPs flexibility in the services they can provide. SME’s benefit from the ability to upscale or downscale their support levels dependent upon their requirements at the time. For SME’s the benefits of outsourcing their IT to a MSP are clear:
- Prevents the requirement for substantial capital investment. This reduces the risk linked with high fixed and capital costs of establishing and maintaining network infrastructure and managing software applications
- Decreases the resources (time, people) essential to manage a network and application solution
- Benefit from a MSP’s expertise and IT resources, which are costly to provide in-house
- Flexibility to grow and change your IT technology end-to-end as your business changes
- SME’s can help with the continuing hardware and software planning as requirements and applications change
- Proactive management monitoring, maintaining, fixing and measuring IT performance
- Plan in definitive times for new installation and benefit from guaranteed repair or upgrade schedules
According to Gartner by 2018, more than 40% of enterprises will have implemented hybrid data centres, up from 10% today. With IT becoming more complex and more business-critical, managed services enables a company to stick what it knows best – running its business.
The evolution of managed services from reactive Break-fix to full monitoring and maintenance of an organisation’s IT infrastructure (including software applications, storage, virtualisation, back up, security etc) means that managed service providers such as Prodware, can now offer a menu of services that can be tailored to suit a particular strategy or project – and can be switched up or down with relative ease.
The future of the MSP is in managing the blended IT environment. The reality is that your deployment portfolio is evolving to a mix of in-house, hosted, SaaS and multiple cloud platforms. Managing this mix doesn’t have to be your core competency and can be delegated cost effectively.
Managed services models now have the flexibility to meet business requirements, no matter the size of the organisation or the stage of business growth. Prodware offer a catalogue of managed services, from break-fix, to pre-emptive remote monitoring, to backup and recovery, to upgrades and system health checks – Prodware can also support on-premise, hosted, private and public cloud infrastructures. You can choose the application support level that best suits your business needs.