What are the levels of managed IT services available?

The Australian managed IT services market is booming: According to IDC, the cloud managed services market will continue to expand at a 20% compound annual growth rate through 2022, when it will be worth $2.86 billion.

Why are managed IT services in such high demand? In short, they take the heavy lifting out of day-to-day backend operations, letting businesses focus on what they do best. IT is rarely a core competency for many organisations, but it plays a central role in modern business. Connected networks, software platforms, cyber security, data management – these all fall under the purview of IT. Managed service providers (MSPs) offer expert support that's more dependable and affordable than hiring a dedicated in-house team.

There are many different offerings and service tiers to consider when working with an MSP. Be sure to choose the right coverage for your needs. Managed IT services typically cover these three service levels:

1. Low-level support

The most basic coverage you can receive from MSPs includes remote monitoring and support services that help ensure your IT infrastructure runs as smoothly as possible. The vendor essentially watches over your IT environment, flagging potential issues when they arise. It's often the customer's responsibility to make any changes to address those concerns. The goal with these managed IT services is to keep the lights on and avoid any performance problems that disrupt business operations.

Basic support services help flag potential issues and avoid costly business disruptions.Basic support services help flag potential issues and avoid costly business disruptions.

Even at this basic level, managed IT services offer a great deal of value to businesses. Monitoring IT infrastructure is a 24/7/365 job, and many organisations simply do not have the personnel or resources to keep an eye on critical networks, systems and databases around the clock. Working with an MSP reduces operational risk and helps keep the business running smoothly at all times.

2. Value-added services

The next level up in the managed IT services framework incorporates additional solutions that provide more hands-on support for distinct functions. With value-added managed services, MSPs will proactively maintain IT environments by installing software updates, fixing security vulnerabilities and improving operational performance wherever they can.

Value-added MSPs also often directly manage certain tasks beyond core IT functions. For instance, they might handle all disaster recovery processes for an organisation. IT service desk and scalability planning are other common services provided by mid-level vendors.

In these instances, managed services providers may offer specialised expertise and infrastructure that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to acquire. They may have a large data center footprint with multiple facilities and failover sites to support data recovery and cloud hosting. Customers get the benefit of those resources without needing to purchase, install and maintain everything themselves.

Managed IT services are often far more affordable than hiring an in-house team.Managed IT services are often far more affordable than hiring an in-house team.

3. Fully outsourced IT

Businesses that take advantage of the highest level of managed IT services essentially offload all of their IT functions on to the MSP. Their entire IT footprint is monitored and maintained by a remote team. Despite the extra cost of such services, they are still far more affordable – not to mention more reliable – than tasking an in-house team to oversee everything.

Outsourcing IT operations may give some business leaders pause because of the perceived loss of control, but dedicated MSPs have an incredible amount of experience and specialised expertise with various technology platforms and can offer much better performance than less-experienced IT staff.

At this level, MSPs may also provide sophisticated solutions like data analytics, cyber security and software-defined network management services.

The right partner will function as an extension of your business, continually taking whatever steps are necessarily to improve core operations, minimise downtime and support your staff.

Biztech's managed IT services provide a wide variety of offerings to meet the needs of any organisation. Contact our team today to find out what approach is the best fit for your business.