What are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services are IT tasks provided by a third-party. Service providers are responsible for IT services and equipment, and customers pay a monthly fee for their services. It transfers the burden of maintaining IT from the customer to the service provider. The customer benefits from predictable pricing and the ability to focus on their core business rather than on IT management. Managed IT services contain service delivery commitments which are expressed as ‘service levels’ that the supplier has to follow when delivering their services.
The use of the following IT services are common in this model: monitoring and management of servers, desktops and mobile devices, IT security and cybersecurity, cloud services, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Communication services such as managed IP telephony, email hosting, monitoring networks, backup and recovery, data storage and CRM, as well as maintaining HIPPA compliance, are also common in this model.
The Advantages of Managed IT Services
Downtime is one of the most frustrating situations in a corporate environment. When a computer crashes or when there is something wrong with the network, employees cannot perform their duties, resulting in a decrease in productivity which most businesses cannot afford. An ISP manages networks around the clock. When there is a problem, you will know immediately and can fix it before downtime occurs and productivity is lost. Managed IT companies do not only fix problems, they also perform regular maintenance checks to ensure there are no issues. Prevention is better than a cure.
- Simplify managing your business
You are in business to perform a service and make money, not to worry about monitoring IT services and networks. The right IT provider offers email and web hosting, data storage, and server and network maintenance, in addition to other IT services. With the right provider by your side, you have the reassurance that control of your network is in capable hands, meaning you can concentrate on your business. If you have an internal team or IT staff, they can focus on developing new projects and initiatives that improve your business, instead of dealing with network issues.
- Expand your expertise and capacity
Many businesses depend on small in-house teams or consultants. It does not matter how good they are; they will always lack the same depth of knowledge and experience a larger team can offer. The right MSP has highly trained, qualified staff who are up to date with certifications. A more extensive staff complement also has greater flexibility and responsiveness. They monitor your networks 24/7, so there is always someone to help you. If you have a big project, you also have the flexibility to outsource help if that is what you require. There is no need for you to hire a new permanent staff member.
- Streamline your budget
It is challenging to predict IT costs. Systems and computers can fail and break at any time making setting budgets problematic. On the other hand, internal staff can be expensive to hire and train. Most MSPs offer fixed monthly rates, which include regular repairs and maintenance. MSPs will also help you plan for future upgrades, so you can determine when to invest in new technology, rather than facing unexpected capital expenditure.
- Maintain compliance
In today’s everchanging marketplace, you can find yourself in the dark when attempting to understand changing regulations and compliance. Various industries have changing rules and regulations for IT systems. If you work with managed services, they will help you maintain compliance and keep you ahead of the game.
- Secure your business
The protection of personnel files, financial data, and customer records from the ever-increasing threat of hackers, is imperative. Additionally, protection against hardware failures, human errors, and natural disasters is vital. Because you need to focus on running your business, you do not have time to constantly watch for threats, or perhaps you do not have the expertise to recognise threats before they happen. That is why you will benefit from utilising managed IT services. They work to prevent risks and maintain recovery in the event of data loss or a breach.
Their services are tailor-made to accommodate:
- The location of your sensitive data.
- Who has access your data.
- The types of devices, systems and networks that have access to your data.
The Disadvantages of Managed IT Services
- Physical presence
One of the most significant drawbacks of MSPs is that they work off-site. If there is something that malfunctions, you might need to resolve it yourself or wait for a technician. If you choose a local MSP, they may offer onsite support. However, their service can be costly.
Reputable MSPs are expensive. You will have to pay upfront fees calculated on the size of your business and your technical needs. But remember that you will save in other areas, like technology, that you do not have to purchase.
MSPs can never cover all your IT needs. They traditionally support applications like Microsoft Office and Google Chrome. If you need support on any other software that is not part of their service, you may need to engage another provider, or you are on your own.
You must evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of paying for an MSP. If you frequently need IT support or are spending too much time fixing technical issues, the MSP model might be the perfect fit for you.
What is Staff Augmentation?
Staff Augmentation means you temporarily engage an external resource with your team. Usually, this is a highly qualified person, focused on the specific task at hand and may come in to improve on the work you have already done. If you ask yourself, ‘Why not permanently hire people for the project?’ The answer is simple: you will not need them permanently. Staff Augmentation does not include any service level agreements. It is about outputs, and the pricing is tied to hours worked.
The Advantages of Staff Augmentation
The model enables a higher level of productivity because developers focus on one project at a time. You have 100% of their attention, and they follow your vision for the project. It encourages higher levels of motivation and dedication.
- IP Rights Security
All the IP rights of the project belong to you, from the moment you begin working with dedicated developers.
You have flexibility because you gain access to a vast talent pool of IT professionals. These professionals range from front-end developers to product owners and scrum masters.
All your administrative expenses are covered because you do not have to worry about office space, workstations, and other facilities. You pay the fee, and the vendor takes care of all their own needs. It is also expensive to employ people. With the augmentation model, you save money on infrastructure, employee benefits, training, and a host of other expenses that accompany employment.
- Reduces time spent on recruitment
You do not have to waste precious time recruiting the perfect fit for your team. You have the choice to select from a vast pool of experts and replace them as and when necessary.
The Disadvantages of Staff Augmentation
- Perfection does not exist
You will never find the perfect team with the ideal knowledge at a reasonable price. Augmented staff might need additional experience to complete your required tasks. Training people takes time and money, and you need to repeat the process if you replace a team member. If your internal team processes are flawed, the additional expense of staff augmentation may harm the in-house team or your company workflow.
- You remain responsible
The control and responsibility for your development and quality control are in your hands. Although you are hiring top-quality resources, it does not guarantee the success of a project. The outcome is your responsibility.
- Higher labour costs
In essence, staff augmentation involves higher labour costs. Teams must add overheads and margins to their expenses. Even if you hire individuals, it entails higher administrative costs and some risks. As a long-term solution, the cost disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
- ‘Staff Creep’
Over time, teams become used to just hiring resources. The consequence is a gradual ‘staff creep’. The continuous addition of contractors means they become embedded in the team as high-cost permanent staff, and because there is no link between staff augmentation and service level agreements, their value is never measured or known.
- Loss of Company knowledge
Your team will lose control over what knowledge is available within the company. As contractors become embedded in the team, the organisation becomes dependant on the information and capabilities they accumulate. Without a service level agreement – that includes documenting knowledge and transferring it – contractors can and do hold teams hostage, ensuring they remain on the payroll indefinitely.
How can experteq help?
In an evolving technology landscape, you need modern support that provides a high standard of IT service quality. Most organisations lack the full ability to design, build, support or operate all the technologies in their workplace environment. Speak to a trusted supplier like experteq about your IT needs. experteq does not believe in replacing client IT teams; they believe in Augmenting them. They believe that sharing information is the most effective way of encouraging organisations to embrace new technologies, processes, and functions.
experteq Managed Services’ goal is to be the right IT advisor for clients and partners. They make this possible by building a framework that transforms traditional managed service structures into an outcome-driven service capability. Their complete reimagining provides a closer collaborative engagement with their clients and partners and ensures both value and continuous improvement to business outcomes. Contact experteq to discuss your individual needs so they can tailor a solution just for you.