The Managed Services Assessment: What It Is and Why You Need It
How well is your IT infrastructure supporting your business requirements and objectives? That’s a difficult question for many small to midsize business (SMB) owners to answer. Few SMB leaders have the technical savvy to evaluate the reliability, security and performance of their IT environment. If systems are up and running and users can access applications and data, there’s a tendency to forget about IT and focus on more pressing problems.
However, a reactive approach to IT is a recipe for disaster. Many critical IT issues — such as failed backups, security vulnerabilities, network slowdowns and poorly performing equipment — are difficult to pinpoint. It may be possible to ignore these problems today but ultimately they will impact your business.
A managed service provider (MSP) can help you identify IT issues, remediate them and keep everything in tip-top shape. For a monthly fee, an MSP performs a variety of services designed to optimize your IT environment and minimize the risk of downtime and data loss. Remote monitoring, preventive maintenance, help desk support and vendor management are among the services that may be bundled into a managed services plan.
However, the managed services assessment is one of the most valuable services an MSP performs. Best-in-class MSPs will assess your environment before they begin providing services, and perform regular reviews throughout the relationship.
The managed services concept has been around for several years, and its value proven in organizations large and small. However, if you don’t have a handle on the current state of your IT environment, you may have trouble connecting the dots between the cost of a managed services plan and the value to your business.
That’s where a managed services assessment comes into play. A managed services assessment combines business consulting services with an evaluation of your IT infrastructure. The consultants will ask a lot of questions about your business processes, pains and priorities. They will also assess your IT environment from both a technical and business perspective.
A managed services assessment will answer these kinds of questions:
Are your systems performing optimally or would fine-tuning improve performance?
Is any critical component within your environment near capacity or at risk of failure?
Are all operating system and software patches up-to-date?
Does your IT environment meet the standards and regulatory requirements of your industry?
Are your security systems adequate given the scope and severity of today’s cyber threats?
Is critical data backed up, and can it be recovered quickly if needed?
How quickly can you access skilled personnel if an urgent problem arises?
Do you have the resources in-house to effectively handle the day-to-day maintenance of your IT infrastructure?
Once the assessment is complete, you should be able to answer the question that started this post. You should also have a clearer understanding of any technology investments that need to be made, and how much it will cost to properly manage and maintain your environment. And because you now have baseline data, you’re in a better position to measure the long-term value of the managed services plan.
IronLogix performs thorough assessments of our customers’ environments in the context of their business needs and objectives. We will help you identify pain points and security gaps, and develop a strategic plan for optimizing your IT environment.
Technology has evolved from a collection of equipment that can reduce costs to a strategic asset capable of delivering measurable business value. Let IronLogix evaluate the current state of your systems and take steps to ensure you’re on solid footing.