Why Managed Services: Proactive Maintenance and Management
In order for one methodology to replace another, it has to provide more value than the one that came before. In terms of IT support, managed services can deliver far greater value than the familiar break/fix method. In this series, we’ll explore the value that managed services contribute to a business, starting with their proactive nature.
How Do Managed Services Work, Compared to Traditional Support?
In order to fully appreciate how managed services provide a business with value, let’s consider two scenarios, side-by-side.
Jack’s job requires the use of a computer to accomplish his tasks, as does Jill’s. If Jack experiences computer issues, he relies on a break/fix IT arrangement. Jill, on the other hand, leverages managed services.
Comparing the Experience of Break/Fix Against Managed Services
Let’s say that Jack’s computer encounters an issue in the middle of the workday, just as he was making progress on one of his responsibilities. Once Jack realises what has happened, he calls his computer guy and explains his situation. Now, his computer guy has a few clients with appointments ahead of Jack’s, so Jack will have to wait a few hours before his computer guy will get there. Once he finally arrives, the company is billed for a relatively simple fix.
As it happens, Jill’s workstation also encounters an issue, also while she was being productive. Once Jill realises this, she reaches out to her company’s managed service provider and explains the situation. The managed service provider then remotely logs in to immediately take control of the workstation and troubleshoot the problem, identifying the problem and allowing Jill to resume her task. As this fix was covered under her company’s agreement with the managed service provider, Jill’s employers won’t have to make any payments beyond the usual monthly subscription fee.
Proactivity is Central to Managed Services
As Jack and Jill each carry on in their work, Jack is much more likely to encounter issues, while Jill rarely notices any problems at all. This is because Jill’s workstation, like all the workstations in her business, is remotely monitored by the managed service provider. The managed service provider uses this monitoring to prevent glitches, malfunctions, and incompatibilities before Jill is even aware that she could have a problem, with no onsite visit needed from the provider.
As Jack’s computer guy is paid each time that Jack or his coworkers call upon them, that computer guy has no motivation to help prevent issues from occurring, or recurring. This means that Jack frequently finds his day interrupted - often by the same issue as before - and needs to call the computer guy back in for another (probably expensive) visit.
Thanks to their respective service agreements, Jack and Jill each have a very different workplace experience. Jill is able to accomplish more than Jack can, simply because she has an expert team looking after her IT from a distance. (We’ll discuss this more in the next part of this series.)
Applying and Installing Patches and Updates
The same can be said of any updates that either need. Jack will need to rely on the company’s internal IT resource (assuming there is one) to keep track of any patches or pending updates that need to be applied. If this resource is too busy, these updates could slip through the cracks and go undone. If the resource does manage to get around to Jack, Jack will again be unable to work as the solutions install.
Again, on the other side of the coin, Jill’s managed service provider is committed to keeping track of the solutions that Jill and the rest of her company use, and maintaining them as need be. This includes keeping an ear to the ground regarding patches and updates, and putting forth a best effort to avoid interrupting Jill’s productivity. This is often accomplished by the managed service provider remotely accessing and applying needed updates and patches after hours when there is nobody there to interrupt.
Stay Tuned for More Information About the Value of Managed Services!
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