How to Adopt a Managed Services Mentality
Businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to streamline processes and reduce expenses without sacrificing quality or reliability. Utilizing managed services is increasingly becoming the preferred option to do that, but adopting a managed services mentality takes a bit of preparation and patience and trust. Especially when your employees are used to having to fend for themselves when it comes to IT support.
Technology evolves quickly, and it can be challenging to stay on top of the latest and most productive ways to work. Managed services providers (MSPs) deliver access to highly skilled IT experts at a fraction of the cost of hiring and retaining an IT team. For small and medium-sized businesses, adopting a managed services mentality can provide peace of mind that you have the expertise you need to work efficiently and cost-effectively to keep your systems running smoothly.
The market for outsourcing or augmenting IT with managed services is growing at a rate of more than 13% a year as more companies than ever adopt a managed services mentality. Some industries are accelerating their use of managed services even more. For example, nearly a third of financial institutions are using managed services.
What is a managed services mentality?
A managed services mentality is a proactive and trustful mindset and approach to managing your technology infrastructure. Rather than waiting until something breaks and then fixing it, you place trust in an MSP that will constantly monitor your infrastructure for anomalies for you, then to prevent potential issues from growing to disrupt your business, employees, or customers. In short, you turn it over to "the professional” to ensure everything is operating efficiently and securely.
Managed services are also a way to reduce your workload. A managed services mindset means you allow yourself to trade the worry, time, and resources you’d expend dealing with the underlying infrastructure — an activity that is not profitable but necessary — for time to focus on revenue-generating activities and operations. In other words, a managed services mentality empowers you to do what you do best and lets the managed service experts do what they do best.
Benefits of adopting a managed services mentality
Adopting a managed services mentality, of course, means hiring a MSP you can trust, one that provides significant benefits without you having to worry about them, too. Besides reducing the stress and frustration of managing IT, the right MSP can deliver peace of mind with respect to:
· Infrastructure management: Businesses can improve reliability, resiliency, and availability of IT to reduce downtime. With managed services, you get 24x7 protection to help you deal with problems as they arise no matter when they occur. In fact, with managed services, advanced monitoring and management tools mean there’s a high likelihood any problems will be resolved before you even notice.
· Scalability: Businesses can more easily scale resources to adapt to changing business environments — growth! —and customer behavior.
· Predictable costs: Managed services come with a fixed cost, depending on the level of service and support you choose. You know upfront what your costs will be, making it easier to budget and forecast expenses. In most cases, companies turning to managed services significantly reduces their capital IT spending while providing even better service than before.
· Best-in-class expertise: Few save the largest businesses can afford to employ a staff of experts that specialize in all the nuances of IT infrastructure. MSPs have these experts on staff and amortize costs among clients to save you money. This also eliminates the frustration of finding, hiring, and retaining skilled staff — a challenge that seems to grow bigger every year.
· Increased efficiency and productivity: You get a customized solution that streamlines your business operations and frees up employees to focus on your core business. You also get an improved business continuity plan to help your organization continue operating efficiently in case of a disruption.
· Compliance: Today’s regulatory environment is complex: consumer privacy laws, financial data, credit card data, health data, and more. For business owners in eCommerce, retail, education, healthcare, financial, and legal services especially, compliance is essential. A trusted managed IT service provider like Sagiss will make sure your technology and processes comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
· Support for remote work: Nearly two-thirds of U.S. employees are working remotely at least part of the time. Centralizing management of your IT infrastructure with an MSP allows employees to have access to the same tech experience regardless of where they are working.
· Improved security: Many of today’s cyberattacks focus on exploiting unapplied patches and updates. An MSP will make sure your hardware and software configurations are current to protect against these types of attacks.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of using managed IT services is the assurance that your technology is working at peak efficiency to help you meet your business goals. You get a team of IT professionals that stay on top of everything and are available to upgrade your systems to meet evolving needs.
This helps future-proof your infrastructure and identify potential problems before they cause trouble. You get a comprehensive road map to help transition your business to the tools and tech you need to remain competitive into the future.
Encouraging and reinforcing the managed services mentality
Few businesses would say “no” to a list of benefits like that, yet shifting to a managed services mindset takes some proactive work. For example, you need to prepare your employees about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Some may worry about their jobs and you need to put their minds at ease. Moving to an MSP is rarely about eliminating jobs, it’s about improving your capabilities.
So, you need to educate your workforce on the benefits of managed services and demonstrate how this provides additional help and support. A big part of successfully launching managed services is getting your team to trust the process.
This requires transparency.
You will want to have an open dialogue with your team and regular meetings. Everyone should have a clear understanding of the processes moving forward, including documentation of procedures for who is responsible for specific tasks and who to call about problems.
For example, you might opt for co-managed IT services. In this case, you would utilize your internal IT resources to address typical service desk issues and let your MSP handle everything else. You may also choose fully managed IT services. In either case, your team needs to know your expectations in working with an MSP.
Depending on which route you take, you want your employees to have an understanding of the various services you choose, including:
· Service desk: Technicians are available to help with daily tech needs, including onboarding uses, deploying systems, managing systems and software, and troubleshooting problems for remediation.
· Network monitoring: Network traffic and resources are continuously monitored for anomalies. When concerns arise, technicians access the network to diagnose and fix network issues.
· Network documentation: With IT resources growing and becoming increasingly complex, it’s important to document your network for rapid response in case of issues. This also helps identify gaps or shortfalls and speeds up disaster recovery.
· IT asset management: IT asset management (ITAM) plans for the procurement, deployment, and retirement of your business tools, including managing hardware and software licensing. This ensures you have the tools you need and know when it’s time to upgrade systems or move to new solutions.
Types of Managed Services
There are also several different types of managed services that MSPs provide. For example, you may choose managed IT services, managed security services, managed cloud services, or a virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO).
Managed IT services
Fully managed or co-managed IT services monitor your network, manage your assets, and can help troubleshoot and fix problems.
Managed security services
Managed security services provide a multi-layered approach to securing your networks. Next-generation antivirus, network firewalls, web content filtering, email security, and end-user training as just a few of the services that help keep your users and your network safe.
Managed cloud services
Public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, or multicloud? Azure or AWS? Microsoft 365 or Google Suite? There are a lot of options available and the wrong choice can get very expensive.
Managed cloud services can customize a best-fit solution for you and equip you with the collaboration and productivity tools you need for all of your business needs. Plus, you get cloud services that are right-sized for your organizations so you’re not paying for capacity you don’t need but maintaining the ability to scale at any time.
One route some organizations are taking these days is to add a virtual Chief Information Officer. Rather than hiring and paying your own CIO, you get the benefit of a vCIO to provide comprehensive consulting on tech and business issues. This option of adopting a managed services mentality gives your business direct access to a trusted technology advisor to help guide your digital transformation and meet business goals.
Why choose Sagiss as your managed services provider?
Several companies today offer managed services, but most do it as an add-on to other products they offer. Sagiss has specialized in managed services since the company started. This provides deep expertise in MSP operations and best practices. It’s one of the key reasons so many companies in north Texas have turned to Sagiss for managed services.
When you choose an MSP, you’re trusting them with your infrastructure and sensitive information about your business, employees, and customers. To earn your trust, Sagiss goes through a third-party audit and certification on its managed service operations.
MSP VerifyTM certification
MSP Verify certification ensured compliance with the MSP Alliance standards, regulations, and best practices. Less than 1% of MSPs achieve a AAA Cyber Verify rating. Sagiss is among those elite MSPs and cloud service providers that have achieved the AAA Cyber Verify rating.
SOC 2, Type 2 report
A SOC 2, Type 2 report assesses internal controls for safeguarding client data, including data governance and risk management. This proves that an MSP has the proper control and best practices in place.
Knowing you are partnering with an audited and certified MSP can also help employees feel comfortable that you’re working with a top provider. Contact Sagiss today to learn how adopting a managed service mentality can help your business grow.