Both additional infrastructure and support come in affordable subscription form today so you can easily scale and always count on a small army of experts to keep your infrastructure in top condition.
Managed Services & IT-Outsourcing explained
As soon as you engage an external party to make use of knowledge or infrastructure, we can speak of a certain form of outsourcing.
An IT outsourcing partner who, for example, only offers Infrastructure as a Service, only carries out installations or 'comes to extinguish fires' does not question your requirements, and just do what you ask. This one will not notice that you might be able to do certain things in a more efficient way. That's not their job in that situation either. The clock is ticking and the problem has to be solved. Infrastructure partners make sure their equipment or service works perfectly and that's where the responsibility ends.
A Managed Services Provider will support you when necessary, but it goes further: he wants to help you sincerely. His main goal is prevention instead of cure. By means of analyses, specialised monitoring tools and experience from countless other environments, proposals will be put on the table that will help you to improve your health. move towards more efficient operation. Lower costs, better uptime and maximum security are the goal. You can consider this partner as a collection of colleagues who, in addition to support, also bring mountains of knowledge, insight and experience for a fixed monthly fee.
What guarantees do they offer?
IT Outsourcing and Managed Services are defined by clear agreements. With Infrastructure as a Service, this is straightforward with uptime and speed guarantees. For support, response times are looked at earlier.
Do you go for a contract that only offers support during office hours, or 24/7? How quickly should you pick up your tickets? Within 1 hour, 4 hours? What type of specialists should be available? Generalists? Level 2 or even level 3 specialists?
At Managed Services contracts it goes beyond mere support. It focuses on prevention and optimisation through monitoring and smart interventions. Your entire environment will be mapped; and if a hard disk threatens to fail, you will be warned to replace it (or have it replaced) in time. Does the server memory fill up regularly? Are there any unpatented security risks...? Your managed services provider will bring everything to light and will come up with solutions that are always handled in consultation with you. As a result, your current IT departments experience fewer issues because problems and security risks are addressed even before they can cause damage.
Which hatch(s) are they taking over?
This is always up to you. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing story. With outsourcing it's simple: You choose which services you purchase, which data you place where and who you give access to.
Managed Services is no different. It is more radical than outsourcing, but no less flexible. It works best if you maximise monitoringBut you can safely keep certain servers or applications under your own (or external) management, completely shielded from the managed environment. For example, if you have an accounting server that is managed by the software vendor, it will remain unaffected by your Managed Services Partner. With building blocks you're going to be able to decide for yourself what you want to put in Managed Services.
One mistake that is regularly made is to think that a Managed Services Provider is sidelining your internal IT department. However, reality teaches us that the IT staff would like to see the extra support coming and more time is freed up for them to focus on further digitisation of the organisation. On Christmas Eve or during your (sick) leave, not being called because a server is down, is a big sword of Damocles that drops out.
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So it is perfectly possible to outsource all or part of an environment, and to have this environment - however diverse or hybrid it may be - monitored and managed by Managed Services.