What ‘Managed Services’ Really Means

You’ve probably heard the term managed services. Odds are you would be hard-pressed to define it and you aren’t alone. It may seem like a poorly-defined concept, but rest assured that it’s not just meaningless tech talk. Many businesses rely on managed services to make the most of their IT infrastructure. The question is: does your business need it? To find out we have to define exactly what managed services is first, so here’s what the term actually means.
What Are Managed Services?
The term managed services refers to outsourcing certain processes and functions of your IT infrastructure to a third party — a managed services provider (MSP) — in order to increase efficiency. What exactly these MSPs do will vary depending on the needs of the client.

An important part of managed services is making sure that you’re actually benefiting from the arrangement. After all, it wouldn’t make much sense to pay for outsourcing if it’s just costing you more in the long run. In order to do this, you’ll need to determine some baselines for normal operating performance. Your MSP will be responsible for maintaining this baseline allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

What Does A Managed Service Provider Do?
So far the definition is still a bit vague, so let’s get into specifics. Managed services is typically offered alongside other IT solutions such as tech support and networking, but it’s not quite either of those things. A few examples of what your MSP may be responsible for are:

  • Monitor networking equipment
  • Backup and recover data
  • Manage mobile devices
  • Archive emails
  • Manage anti-virus solutions

These are just a few examples. The exact details depend on the arrangement you come to with your MSP.

The most important thing to note about managed services is that you still own all of the equipment and systems. Your service provider just ensures that everything is operating as efficiently as possible.

What Don’t They Do?
An MSP usually doesn’t purchase or install hardware for you. That’s still your responsibility. Physical repair or replacement of hardware is also left up to you in most cases. Remember though, these are just guidelines. Every MSP is different. Some will be more flexible than others in going beyond the traditional arrangement.

Does Your Business Need Managed Services?
Managed services can help you make the most of your information technology. Like any other service, it isn’t strictly necessary, but it’s a good idea to work with an MSP when you have a lot of different complicated equipment. On the other hand, if you are a relatively low-tech operation it may not make as much financial sense. Ultimately, if you often find yourself frustrated trying to make sense of your IT infrastructure then you should at least look into managed services.

Whatever you do, make sure you find a managed services provider that can meet your needs as a business. Atlantic Communications Team has been providing businesses in Central Florida with affordable, flexible IT solutions — including managed services — since 1984. We also offer a variety of complementary IT solutions including basic PC support, networking, and cloud computing. Please, contact us today to learn more about our IT solutions.