Managed IT Infrastructure Services: What Are Your Options?

Your organization may be interested in the idea of managed IT, but lack a good feel for which components of your IT infrastructure to outsource. This insight piece will provide an overview of some of the more common managed services tied to IT infrastructure.

Help desk and IT support

This type of service provides a help desk staffed with engineers or other skilled technical personnel, either 24/7 or an agreed upon range of times. This may provide significant advantages over in-house help desks, as overnight, weekend, and holiday coverage is typically an option. In some cases, managed help desk/IT support includes on-site support staff for troubleshooting purposes.

Off-site data storage/secure backup

This offering improves upon your company’s in-house database and file storage capabilities, providing extra space when needed and/or a secure backup of existing files and records. As the amount of digital data handled by companies grows, the need for off-site storage increases as well. InfoTrends research shows that about half of SMBs currently use cloud-based services to store information.

Figure: Does your company use cloud-based services to save/store digital documents, photos, or other content?

Source: U.S. SMB Vertical Market Survey (Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 2016)

Cloud services

Managed IT infrastructure providers also tend to offer cloud services to customers. In other words, they provide customers with access to cloud-based tools like SharePoint Online that eliminate the need for on-site application infrastructure. Cloud services for tasks like document management are growing in demand as customers look to manage their data while minimizing cost and effort.

Managed IT security services

Security is a top priority of businesses, particularly given regulations that impose strict standards for information handling. Managed IT security services can provide organizations with the assurance their data and documents are being adequately protected. Services include email protection, endpoint protection, and vulnerability management.

Mobile management

Increasingly, companies are seeking a solution for managing the growing number of mobile devices within their organization. Mobile management provides control of hardware, including the locking, tracking, and wiping of stolen or lost laptops, phones, and other mobile devices. In some cases, this service includes a secure browser for these devices.

Figure: Do you currently use a smartphone/tablet for work or personal activities? Please select all that apply.

Source: Mobile Devices and the Impact on Print (Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 2014)

Fixed maintenance costs

Managed IT infrastructure contracts may provide maintenance on equipment that is already on site. With these contracts, maintenance costs are fixed and can be incorporated confidently into operating and budgeting efforts.

VoIP, Skype, and unified communication services

Another popular area within managed IT is services around VoIP, Skype, and unified communications. This reflects the growing adoption of voice and video conferencing over the Internet, as well as the benefits provided by a managed IT deployment.

Virtualization

A business requiring virtual machines may want to consider managed virtualization. This type of service includes the establishment, configuration, and management of virtual machines and required operating systems.

Custom applications

This offering provides system analysis, programming, and other technical expertise to undertake the creation of custom applications, or the modification of existing applications in your business. Small businesses are least likely to have this capability in house, making managed application services an attractive option.

3 takeaways

  • Managed IT infrastructure services span many areas of IT, giving organizations a wide array of options.
  • Common managed IT services include those tied to storage, conferencing, security, applications development, mobile management, and IT troubleshooting.
  • These services align with larger technology trends around mobility, security, and business process optimization.