Managed Services – What’s it all About
How Many Managed Services Have I Used Today?
As I got up this morning and jumped in the shower that was the first one, as the water company kindly provided water for the shower, and the electricity company provided the luxury of heating that same water. A short time later, I took a freshly pressed shirt from its packaging, you see my dry cleaners drop off five freshly washed and pressed shirts to me every Thursday evening! Once dressed at 07:45am sharp I went out to the front door and jumped in a taxi, which took me directly to work. I have a managed services contract with the water, electricity, dry cleaners and taxi companies to provide me with all these consumption based services. This allows me to focus on my core skills, which I am still adamant lies somewhere in the IT industry! There are many other services I use throughout the day including mobile phone, television, food, cleaning services and the list goes on.
The idea I am trying to project here is that managed services is nothing new and has been around for a long time. The readily available nature of these services prevent me from having to dig a well in my garden for water and having to build and fuel a generator to provide energy for various uses around my home. IT managed services has been around for a long time also and can be considered any IT service that we manage on behalf of our customers. This IT service could be their email system, anti-virus, online backup, helpdesk or a combination of the above. Indeed Ergo is the complete IT department for many of our customers, and that is the managed service we provide to these customers. Cloud services are just another form of IT managed services providing infrastructure, application or a platform as a managed service.
Taking infrastructure as an example and specifically Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) where typically virtual server(s) are presented to a customer with the associated network memory and storage enabling them to build services for their users and/or customers. Just like a managed service, IaaS always has a contract and associated Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) to protect both the customer and the service provider. The electricity and water companies also in theory have SLA’s with us, the public customers.
Managed Services Mean Different Things to Different People
It’s all a matter of perception! Everyone is jumping on the cloud band waggon for the potential economies of scale and monetary savings. Companies are opting for cloud as a way of alleviating IT as a headache in their business and as a platform for growth as part of their business strategy providing new routes to market. Many of these companies were not thinking “I need a managed service”. Cloud has clouded the IT managed services world and pulled a subtle marketing veil over managed services offerings, many of which have been around for years. The image of an IT managed service often congers up images of outsourcing the entire IT department out to a large conglomerate IT organisation with highly streamlined and efficient processes, but this is no longer the case either.
Ergo is an example of a local IT provider who meet and interact with our customer as required on an intimate and local level whether we are providing their complete outsourced IT department model or just a simple backup service to one of our data centres in Dublin or Cork.
Managed services can mean different things to different people and is possibly a misunderstood term. Most companies use a little managed services whether they admit to it or acknowledge it is a different story.
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