The managed services market is expected to grow by double digits through 2015, according to industry estimates. The ability to pay as you go, get hardware, software and service bundled for a monthly fee and stay abreast of ever changing technology has made it appealing to businesses of all sizes.
Amid its growing popularity is a realization that not all managed service solutions are created equal. Nor should they be. A company’s size – and often its complexity – often determines the type of managed services it needs. Here’s a guide to what businesses should expect in a managed service solution based on their size:
Very Small Businesses
Best for: 5-15 users
How it works: A hybrid of private and public cloud services best serves the smallest of businesses. At this level, businesses can host all of their applications and do not need to keep it all private. They can leverage public cloud offerings such as the popular Salesforce.com, Microsoft 365 and others to get results they need with little expense. A hybrid allows businesses to get access to a shared calendar, email and basic business applications off-site and not worry about back-ups or disaster recovery. Help desk support, in particular, becomes critical for these businesses because they typically have little to no IT professionals to troubleshoot for employees. The network infrastructure and support are delivered for a monthly fee based on the number of users.
What it should include: Network infrastructure, full remote help desk support, quarterly onsite support, back-up and disaster recovery.
Average monthly cost: $1,000-$1,800
Small to Medium Businesses
Best for: 15-70 users
How it works: Businesses with servers in need of an upgrade are best served by moving to managed services. But even those with some existing infrastructure can leverage it and expand their resources through managed services. Although companies of this size typically have some IT staff, they benefit from help desk support to troubleshoot for employees. That allows the internal IT staff to focus on internal IS systems and overall IS strategy. In many cases, businesses of this size also need some customized assistance to allow them to keep some applications on-site for performance. A medical clinic, for an example, could host its imaging software off-site, but it will be able to download and read the files faster with it on-site.
What it should include: On-site or off-site network infrastructure, some hosted applications, full remote help desk support, regularly scheduled on-site support with dedicated technician, back-up and disaster recovery solution.
Other considerations: The business may already have an infrastructure in place and may have a need to keep some applications on-site.
Average monthly cost: $1,800-$5,000
Medium to Large Businesses
Best for: 100-800+ users
How it works: Typically a custom solution, this often includes integration with customer help desk resources using the company’s specific ticketing system. While companies can have IT staff, they often opt for having a managed services technician provided for on-site support one day a week and triage phone support that escalates to a help desk and then an on-site technician.
What it should include: On-site or off-site network infrastructure, hosted applications, full remote help desk support, regularly scheduled on-site support, back-up and disaster recovery solution.
Other considerations: This caters to businesses that have an industry specific line of software and are looking to integrate everything from voice and video to e-commerce, accounting, and document management.
Average monthly cost: $5,000-$15,000
No matter the size of the business, managed services allows organizations to remove the burden of day-to-day IT tasks, reduce overall IT costs and ensure employees have the tools to be productive in our increasingly mobile marketplace.