Managed Services is the modern alternative to old-school computer break-fix services. Managed Services focuses on proactive monitoring and management of computers instead of waiting for devices to fail and then scramble to fix them. It’s a philosophical change in the way that businesses manage there computer desktops, servers, network and IT infrastructure.
With Managed Services all size and types of businesses outsource their IT operations to a company known as a Managed Services Provider (MSP). This is usually done under a subscription model. The objective of Managed Services is to remotely manage, monitor and protect company data with a solid long-term MSP partner. This allows your business to focus on growth and doing what it does best, providing their products and/or services.
What are the responsibilities of an MSP?
The Managed Services Provider assumes responsibility for remote monitoring, management, proactive maintenance and problem resolution. This is usually performed on all IT systems, desktops, laptops, servers as well as the local computer network.
We have found that over time if you fall behind in keeping up with maintenance items such as backups, patches and security, etc., odds greatly increase that you’ll face an IT outage that will hurt employee productivity, result in a loss of data or in revenue losses.
Why break-fix services is fading?
The Break-fix model focuses on repair and not on prevention. It also relies upon the customer to find and report problems, instead of specialized software platforms doing so.
A managed services platform can monitor, detect and alert on many failure conditions. This is much more efficient than the break-fix methodology. It uses technology to manage technology. It enables smaller problems to be caught and resolved before turning into larger ones. In addition, repairs are handled faster and more efficiently.
For example, hard drives use technology known as predictive failure (or S.M.A.R.T. failure) to tell you a failure on hard disk is imminent. With break-fix you do not have anyway to know that a hard disk is going to fail. This can result in unnecessary data loss and unplanned system downtime. On the other hand with Managed Services a S.M.A.R.T. failure would trigger an alert to the MSP well before hand. This would allow the MSP to backup the data and replace the bad hard disk with less downtime and no data loss.
How can Managed Services help your business?
With proactive network monitoring and maintenance, patch management, and desktop optimization performed on a regular basis, you will notice a tremendous difference in operations. You will reap the benefits of preventing fires, rather than fighting them. These are some of those benefits;
- Increased operational efficiency and less downtime by discovering and fixing problems before they can negatively affect your business.
- Reduced operating costs with a flat-fee subscription model allows for cost-effective access to enterprise-level support.
- 24/7/365 computer and network monitoring provides an additional level of comfort, security and peace of mind.
- IT vendor relationship management, such as those related to the internet, phones and web. This saves you time for other more important tasks.
- This allows you to focus on running your business, and not on technology.
Which Managed Services plan is right for you?
Managed services providers usually price their services on a flat monthly fee. Pricing is usually based on the number of devices and on the services included. Some providers offer on-site support at an additional charge.
Basic services often start with a monitoring service, which provides notification of problems and resolution at an additional cost. At the upper end, service providers offer fully managed services that cover everything from alerts to problem resolution.
Most managed services cost less than traditional break-fix services, especially when factoring in the true cost of downtime. Remote monitoring and maintenance as well as the prevention of major issues allow a managed services provider to be more efficient than a break-fix company who is constantly visiting customer sites and fighting fires. Therefore the managed service company can offer better service without charging more.
Which methodology are you using?
If you answer “no” to any of the following questions, it appears you are utilizing a break-fix methodology and may benefit from a managed service methodology.
- Do you find out immediately if your data back-up fails to run?
- Do you know if your server and desktops anti-virus stops functioning correctly and are no longer protecting your systems?
- Are you aware of which PCs are running out of disk space or memory, affecting user performance?
- Do you know which of your computers are behind on security patches?
- Do you only speak to your computer repair company when something breaks?
- Are you aware of which equipment on your network is aging and might need replacing in the near future so you can budget for that?
If you have any questions on Managed Services please call Pro-Tech at (732) 702-5400. Pro-Tech is a Managed Services Provider that can review your network and determine whether your infrastructure and your network is running at peak performance. After the analysis, a written report will tell you what steps you can take to improve your network. Please visit our website homepage for a list of other IT services we offer.