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IT Managed services

IT Managed services

Sean Andrew-Cotter - Thursday, February 16, 2017

IT services comes in a variety of flavours but rendered down to 2 main options: Managed service model and break/fix service model.

Below are definitions of both models:

Managed Service model
A managed services provider (MSP) is most often an information technology (IT) services provider that manages and assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to its clients either proactively or as the MSP (not the client) determines that services are needed. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Managed_services)

Break/fix model
Break-fix is a reactionary business model that relies on the repair of an IT system only when computer equipment fails, the network stops functioning or software programs are not working. (https://www.reference.com/vehicles/break-fix-d8c6702d98f1bd4a)

With the break/fix model an issue is identified by you, the customer, and you call for a technician to fix the problem. The tech shows up when available and spends some time understanding your environment (since he/she has not seen your infrastructure for months) and then attempts to fix. In the meantime your device is down. Staff cannot use it. Eventually the device is repaired or replaced. Who knows how long it takes and at what cost.

IT (Information Technology) or IS (Information Systems) has moved from being “nice to have” to being critically important for all business activities.

IT can no longer be seen solely as a business expense but as as set of business tools that will allow your staff work more efficiently and productively.

This efficiency is enhanced by the IT team understanding staff activities and access to information requirements. As an example, you have mobile staff and they require access to information only provided on a PC at the office OR staff need to work from home and require a phone and PC as if they were at work. For both of these scenarios IT staff require a good understanding of the software and hardware involved and how staff use it and then look for efficiencies and productivity enhancements. A solution may be to develop a secure web site with the needed information or may require a VPN is designed for staff to access the company network. Deciding this will depend on understanding the whole picture and future needs.

A great conversation that I had with a staff member once:

Staff: "Why are we replacing the equipment? It has never been a problem."
Me: "That is the point. If the IT team is doing our job, you as a user should almost never see infrastructure equipment broken."

This is an example of preventative measures to reduce downtime and increase staff's positive feelings toward technology. This is an important component of a managed service. As a customer, if you see us working frantically then something has gone really, really bad. Otherwise you should not see us. Our work is done regularly behind the scenes; every week or so depending on your requirements.

Your managed service provider is a partner and thus makes decisions to keep your equipment working effectively and performs proactive activities to keep equipment and software working efficiently. The MSP performs regular maintenance remotely without interfering with staff's day to day work. MSPs generally also take care of the following:

  • software licencing including antivirus
  • hardware inventory
  • warranties
  • backups
  • disaster recovery
  • security
  • ...

Some questions to ask yourself regarding your current IT model are:

  • Are key employees focusing on IT instead of your business?
  • Are the solutions proposed by your IT resources getting progressively more complex and expensive? Are you even getting solutions?
  • Does this cycle of endless financial demands seem “out of control”?
  • Is financial planning for IT becoming increasingly difficult because controls do not exist and the spending seems like an ever moving target?
  • Is your current IT model reactive and reactionary and causing undue downtime?
  • Do you need help choosing the right Information Technology direction to take for your business?

Our fixed fee managed service model alleviates unexpected IT budget shock; just predictable service with a pragmatic price.

Give our sales team a call at 807-346-7260 and they can help you with an IT Managed service solution that fits your needs.