Call it the business environment wrought by the Great Recession or call it a paradigm shift in technology. The upshot is that companies are taking a much closer look at procuring more and more of their IT services through colocation, cloud computing, or managed network services.
Just what makes managed IT services so attractive? To some, it’s a way to put the monkey on somebody else’s back. To others, outsourcing wins the make versus buy cost tradeoff. For many other business, there is so much volatility in the economy that it just makes sense to pay as you go.
Cloud computing fits the pay as you go model perfectly. You know that running your own data center involves buying lots of equipment, installing it in racks located within an environmentally controlled room, and then managing a continuous stream of patches, upgrades and trouble tickets. It’s also a balancing act. If you buy too little in the way of processing or bandwidth, you run the risk of being unable to serve an unexpected surge of customer orders. Buy too much and it sits there unused, but costing just the same.
When you “rent” in the cloud, you have an almost unlimited pool of processing power, storage and customer bandwidth to draw from. There is an expert staff that keeps everything running smoothly 24/7 without your involvement at all. Best of all, you pay for what you need while you need it. Scaling up or down can be done rapidly. There’s less pressure to correctly predict short term business activity when you can adjust on the fly as needed.
Hosted business telephone is another huge growth area for managed IT services. It’s come about for the same reasons that pushed cloud computing in to the limelight. Any business that needs more than a few handsets and outside lines finds itself becoming a small independent phone company. The cost of a PBX system to manage all the in-house and outside connections can run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. You traditionally connect it to all those desk phones through its own network and then have staff to manage the moves, adds and changes.
Once enterprise VoIP became feasible using converged voice and data networks, the dedicated phone network was no longer needed. The IT staff could manage the phone equipment too. But why pay for equipment at all? Just extend your LAN with a SIP trunk to a managed service provider and that expensive central switch, the staff needed to keep it running and all the outside phone trunks become something you can rent by the month.
Do you have a dedicated remote data center for backup storage and disaster recovery? It’s a form of expensive insurance you can’t do without unless there’s an equivalent alternative. That alternative is encrypted cloud storage. You have the protection against outages without having to buy and maintain the asset that gives you that protection.
IT departments have also been expected to manage WAN bandwidth, even to the extent of creating their own MAN and WAN networks using dedicated point to point lines. All that grief goes away when you use managed Ethernet and MPLS network services. The service provider has the responsibility of keeping the packets flowing, even in the middle of the night.
Is your company ready to consider managed IT services as an alternative to doing it all yourself? Perhaps you just want to shop for the best deals on these managed services. Either way, get availability and pricing for competitive Managed IT Services now and see how much you can save.