IT departments are finding new ways to become leaner and nimbler while increasing their efficiency, and one way they do this is by outsourcing operational tasks to vendors who specialize in this domain.Specialized vendors perform operations at scale, and this allows them to offer these services at rates far lower than keeping them in-house.
A managed IT service business will be able to maintain your IT infrastructure in the cloud, optimize your ERP and CRM applications through regular updates, and ensure that the third-party integrations are performing as they should through automated test scripts. They can also offer support for all the IT solutions you use and be on call 24/7 to resolve critical issues.
The main aim of the support service is to ensure system stability and business continuity at lower costs. Managed IT services go beyond that and offer optimized performance and advisory based on software expertise and industry experience.
What are the benefits of using managed services?
IT teams: Engines of growth, not support staff
There is a huge amount of time, effort, and investment that goes into hiring and running a full-fledged in-house IT team. If the bulk of time of these resources is deployed in mundane, system maintenance tasks, it will lead to sub-optimal use of their talents that also has the side effect of morale in your team.
IT teams are most productive and motivated when their work is directly aligned with business goals. But it has the opposite effect if they are forced to split their time among multiple tasks and many of them are support level ticket resolution activities.
Managed IT service ensures reliable delivery of mundane IT functions while your IT team focuses on adding value, making the team an engine of growth and not just support staff.
As businesses take on increasingly sophisticated and cutting-edge solutions, there is a need for identifying, hiring, and managing specialized talent. As there is greater demand for such professionals, it is difficult for businesses to find the right people who fit their needs. And the cost of hiring these specialists is becoming prohibitive.
Using a managed IT service instead of building the capability in-house can save you countless hours while ensuring that there are no challenges in running your systems due to a lack of resources. Outsourcing some of the IT functions to a managed services partner (MSP) will also make it a cost-efficient process.
Reduce cost and build predictable budgets
Choosing to work with a managed IT service firm will help you reduce your IT spends while ensuring optimum performance of your systems. If you choose a partner who offers a subscription-based model for the services, you will be able to predict costs and manage your budgets more efficiently.
Follow industry best practices
The cost saving is just the tip of the iceberg of benefits. The top managed services partners come with domain expertise and valuable insights after working with multiple firms in the same industry vertical. They can share best practices and make recommendations that will help prepare your business to take advantage of the latest trends and technologies while avoiding costly mistakes.
Questions to ask a managed IT service provider
Where is your helpdesk located and what is coverage like?
Asking for the locations of help desks is important for businesses of all sizes. For enterprise businesses, it is critical to ascertain whether the managed IT service provider has offices spread across different time zones to provide 24/7 coverage.
It is also good to work with a partner who has offices in the same locations as your branch offices in different countries. Not only will this help build connections with the branch office, but the service provider will be well-versed in the local landscape and advise you about industry trends and regulatory changes.
What services do you offer?
Managed IT services firms who have relevant expertise, especially if you are using Azure cloud and other Microsoft solutions, will be able to offer you advisory services to help you improve your systems and deliver better value to your clients. Check if the partner is just offering to support your systems or if they can go beyond basic support.
Do they have the expertise to adjust their offering to suit the specific needs of your business? Or are they giving you a standard solution that will force your business and personnel to adjust to their limitations?
The other big question is the business outcomes of your engagement. Are they able to align the metrics to your business goals?
What experience level does the team have?
It is not just about how many years of experience the team has. It is also about their track record. Have they been able to deliver on expectations in the past or have they been forced to hand over the project mid-way for someone else to step in?
Our teams at sa.global have been a part of many project rescue and turnaround operations that helped our clients to get their cloud solutions to perform as they should.
You also need to gauge the capacity of the firm. Are they able to deploy dedicated resources to manage all your systems? This is especially critical for enterprise businesses that need help in managing multi-country IT application deployments. If the managed IT service provider has a small team that is catering to a growing list of clients, you can expect the quality of the service to go down in a few years. There may also be instances where the service provider may not be able to support you at a critical time.
What is the service transition process and governance model?
For a managed IT service partner to deliver operational excellence, the most important aspect is the understanding of the business. You need to ask them about their experience in your industry and then gauge through discussions if their team has a sufficient understanding of the unique needs of your business.
You will also need to check if they have a thorough and documented transition process and governance model to ensure a smooth hand-over and business continuity.
How much will your managed IT services cost?
The first step in determining the cost of managed IT services is for you to decide which parts of the IT function you would like to outsource and which processes and systems you would like to keep in-house. With this in place, you can ask the partner to perform an audit of your systems to give you initial cost estimates.
sa.global provides managed IT services to businesses that are using Azure cloud and other Microsoft applications. We offer fully made-to-order operations support and a fully managed service of your applications across different geographies, languages, and service levels.
What makes sa.global an ideal managed IT service partner:
- Over 30+ years of industry experience
- 100% focused on Microsoft applications
- Advisory approach to offer guidance and support
- Presence in 25 countries and implementation experience in 80 countries
- Direct access to Microsoft engineers
- 11-time Microsoft Partner of the Year award winner
Find out more about sa.global’s managed services offering.