Managed Service Delivery Model
IT managers are under constant pressure to meet operational expectations, security requirements, and performance improvement needs – all while keeping costs down these days. In order to deal with this, they are turning to managed service providers, also known as MSPs and its called Managed Service Delivery Model.
MSPs handle IT services with a holistic approach, which results in a much higher standard compared to what most organizations can achieve in-house. Top-notch providers also give clients on-going maintenance and management of the existing infrastructure, plus service guarantees with end-user support.
Why the need?
Today, IT managers are under immense pressure to meet the performance, operational expectations, and security needs of the business while trying to keep costs down. Most of the financial experts would recommend in these conditions to switch to a predictable cost model, like that of a managed service. A company that provides such services is called a Managed Service Provider (MSP). The best time to mull over speaking with a MSP is when you are setting future strategic goals or deploying new services to your IT environment. Many times, a company’s staff may not be experienced with a new technology or able to maintain new services or applications. Hiring contractors to provide the service may prove to be more expensive and provide less value in supporting your company’s ever-growing performance goals, given a static or declining budget. This is often true for small, medium and large companies equally.
Managed Service models have evolved so much over time, and the seasoned providers have perfected their delivery. It is very effective for a business that:
- Relies on their IT Infrastructure to properly support their daily business operations.
- Do not have sufficiently trained staff or time to formally deal with proper maintenance, updates and repair work.
- Want to pay one monthly, flat fee for services to provide a high level of quality service to the business.
For most business services, IT supports the business engine. From software to hardware and the skills required to keep the service running, a company could invest significant capital in building and maintaining the in-house support staff. However, given the maturity of the managed service models and the shift to virtualization and cloud, the need for on-site IT staff can be limited to the exceptions where operational sensitivity justifies it. To ensure greater IT cost predictability amid uncertain requirements, a company may consider leveraging managed service experts.
MSPs usually price their services on a subscription based model. Based on the services selected, the pricing is usually purveyed on the number of devices with pricing aligned to packages across a range of categories. Some provide customer support on-site as and when required. Basic services often start with a monitoring service, which identifies potential issues, which you resolve on your own. At the other end of the spectrum, service providers offer comprehensive managed services that cover everything from alerts through problem resolution.
Managed Service Delivery Model
When it comes to the delivery model of managed services, it totally depends on the kind of service being managed or delivered. For example, Cloud models typically include three types of delivery models:
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
Below are the things you need to know about each model, as well as the benefits they can bring to the business.
In the PaaS software delivery model, developers rent everything they need to create a specific application and they depend on a cloud provider to give them access to operating systems, infrastructure and development tools.
PaaS is responsible for making web application development simpler. From the perspective of the developer, the process of all the backend management happens behind the scenes. While PaaS seems similar to serverless computing, there are lots of differences between the two.
Some Examples of PaaS include Magento Commerce Cloud, Force.com, Stratos, Apache Stratos, OpenShift, Windows Azure, and Heroku.
SaaS is a software delivery model in which a third-party service provider is responsible for hosting applications and the provider is the one making these applications available to customers through the internet.
SaaS is closely related to the on-demand computing software and application service provider (ASP) software delivery models. Similar to ASP model, this model involves the provider hosting the client’s software and then delivering it through the internet to approved end-users. Some Examples of SaaS include Salesforce, Hubspot, Slack, MailChimp, ZenDesk, BigCommerce, DocuSign, Google Apps, and Dropbox.
With the IaaS delivery model, you get services like virtualization, networking, and pay-as-you-go storage. Users of IaaS offer cloud-based alternatives to on-premise IT infrastructure, eliminating the need to invest a lot in costly resources for on-site operations. Aside from its scalability and flexibility, IaaS solutions can be replaced whenever you need without losing your any investment. Another benefit of the IaaS delivery model is it offers you control over the entire infrastructure. Instead of putting the responsibility on an external IT contractor, you have the ability to oversee and access IaaS platforms if you want to.
Some Examples of IaaS include Google Compute Engine (GCE), Magento 1 Enterprise Edition, Digital Ocean, AWS EC2, and Rackspace.
Finding the right service delivery model is very critical to any business because it helps you achieve a high-quality outcome within a specific budget and time frame. As a business owner or manager, you may decide to start using managed services with one type of delivery model, or you may even find a need for all three. Whichever option you select, remember that it should depend on the complexity and size and need of your enterprise.
Benefits of Managed Services.
Managed services offer a variety of benefits.
Better Cost Control- Cost factors for a business service totally depend on an organization’s requirement for availability and criticality of a particular service. The typical cost components of an IT department, including training, equipment and personnel, are absorbed by the MSP and presented as a fixed monthly retainer to the company. This helps in effectively predicting further costs every month when budgeting. Depending on the future requirements and the speed of the organization’s IT maturity, the managed service can scale to address such scenarios. The biggest benefit is that a company can decide how much to scale based on factors that may include finance.
Improved Risk Management- Every business carries a certain amount of risk and this can be minimized by lowering the individual risk involved with each business service identified as critical. A MSP helps to reduce risk by contributing their own proprietary methodologies and access to modern infrastructure and software. This enables obedience to best practices and minimizes risk involved in the service delivery.
High Availability, Efficiency and Productivity- For an IT Service, they say “time is money”. For optimal company performance, constant availability of a mission-critical IT services are the top most priority for many organizations. While assessing the true cost of downtime is hard, it is always recommended to take proactive steps to avoid the same. At worst, reputational risk will be a factor when the outage comes to the attention of those outside the company potentially eroding public trust. Clients actually experience better performance with minimal downtime when using a managed service.
The MSP is very efficient in delivering IT services in a way that keeps costs low and the time to deploy short while providing a high-quality service to the business.
Future Proofing IT Services- IT departments will always have some funding, technical, security, and operational challenges. As you look for strategies to minimize spend, many organizations effectively utilize AMS to achieve the full benefit of seamless service integration with less worry over resource constraints. MSP’s will always have their staff trained on upcoming and new releases as well as new technologies with the capability to lock-in costs for a multi-year period. By creating more predictability, the business will reduce operational risk and challenges and minimize service disruption.
Managed Service Providers bring not only practical delivery of a predictable service model and cost to quickly and effectively deliver new IT service to an enterprise, but also boost the stability and peace of mind for IT and business leaders alike. The task of delivering new business services to the enterprise while keeping costs controlled is a difficult task in today’s business environment. A managed service is a good strategy to help IT organization be highly resilient, and cost predictable, fiscal year to fiscal year. MSPs complement and do not replace existing staff but rather free those valuable resources to lead and deliver on the strategic IT programs necessary to press forward business goals. In larger organizations, an MSP helps resources to focus on more strategic projects.
As you embark on investing in a new application, consider taking advantage of various managed service offerings to stay on top of IT business needs and minimize unsystematic risks.