The days when you had to build an entire company department to run your IT operations are long gone. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) prefer to delegate non-core business tasks to a managed service provider (MSP). This way no matter your geographical business location, you can pick your remote partners from a vast pool of technologically skillful and experienced professionals around the globe. What managed IT services can do for your company is that they give you a competitive advantage to concentrate on business development and core business processes on a lower budget than keeping an in-house expert team.
From my experience working in a bespoke software development company, I learned that the best way to ensure business success is to know what your competencies and capabilities are in regards to your core business. Cultivate and master those, while you delegate tangential tasks, and you have a recipe for success. For example, a financial consulting business would like to focus on delivering excellent quality products and R&D skills, while their IT support, server monitoring and maintenance can be outsourced to an expert MSP.
Below are the top three managed services for your company, regardless of your main business industry.
1. Cloud Implementation
Experts claim that an era of cloud-only technical environments is coming to stay. Among the most popular types of cloud managed services are as follows:
- Public Cloud offers broad cloud computing functions over the Internet and usually come in three main forms. The first variation is Software as a Service (SaaS) which makes the installation of applications obsolete as these are designed to run entirely on the cloud, significantly reducing hardware-related costs. Secondly, there is Platform as a Service (Paas) to support the software development infrastructure and provide version control and compile services. The third type is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) represents complete outsourcing of an entire company’s data center to a cloud provider. The most influential public clouds are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud.
- Private Cloud provides on-demand data and resource distribution across your whole company. Offers the highest security and control management because private clouds require a personal internal network to run. IaaS and PaaS can be distributed through private cloud environments. Many of the benefits included in the public cloud are also present here with additional features such as a higher degree of confidentiality and customization, which makes it a perfect fit for SMEs.
- Hybrid Cloud is essentially a combination of the previous two cloud types and encompasses data and application sharing across an organization. This cloud type allows you to benefit from the agility and swift adaptation to changes in market and client demands as well as business growth.
- Community Cloud specializes in distributing cloud computing throughout several enterprises or a limited number of employees, sharing the same performance objectives, security preferences, and compliance requirements. Its key benefits are that shared information is easily controllable and conveniently accessed from trusted community members only.
If you want to make your company benefit from technological advancements like cloud computing but also want to spare your IT team of menial maintenance and monitoring tasks while paying less, managed services are the answer to your dilemma. MS providers are also an invaluable source of outsiders’ refreshing perspective when it comes to business insights and a company’s growth journey you can embark on together. Nevertheless, make sure your future partner follows and is licensed for established IT quality practices such as the ITIL methodology focused on increased stability, transparent costs and optimized risk management.
2. DevOps Practices
DevOps is a mixture of practices including software development and IT operations with its main goal being a shorter systems development lifecycle through the implementation of enhanced processes. Combining various tasks into one model leads to increased efficiency and velocity of development, speeding up the product delivery time for clients. DevOps is also famous for adopting continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) practices, which are software benchmark models for small and regular software updates.
Usually once a day, the dev team will commit code updates in a repository, receiving immediate feedback from the CI server if there is a code failure that needs to be resolved. In short, CI enhances the whole development process through quick bug inspection and bug fixes while CD plays the role of an automatic transfer point from the CI server to the testing or production environment. Both CI and CD are incredibly important to preliminary bug findings which help prevent merging problems later on.
To name some of the most popular DevOps tools and technologies in 2021 are Git, Docker, Puppet alongside Ansible, Openstack, and Kubernetes. When you consider a partnership with a managed service provider, be curious about the industry-standard quality of their technical expertise and if this is up to date. This is essential because in the dynamic technological world, well working solutions emerge more often than in any other sector and to provide an excellent service, one needs to constantly be on a quest to acquire new technology-related skills. A good DevOps MS can ultimately result in continuous improvement of products.
3. Database Management
Your database is essentially the backbone that keeps your business running and its management requires efficient performance monitoring to preventively identify database structural flaws and minimize the risk of accidental downtime. Many modern and traditional businesses nowadays operate with huge amounts of data. Packed together to form a database (or DB), the whole company’s data needs to be properly managed for daily business operations to run smoothly.
While data is one of the most powerful assets for any company and possesses a huge potential, it is also increasingly important to be able to extract meaning from this data as opposed to just collecting and storing it. Understand what your data entails and manage its properties is one of the key factors to achieve optimal business performance. Commonly, databases are managed using a database management system (DBMS).
DBMS plays a crucial role in keeping data-driven business applications perform optimally and also helps reduce risks involved with data compliance regulations or legal security requirements. А major focus of a DBMS service provider should be to offer thorough and informative efficacy monitoring, including regular reports and security patches according to highest standards. According to your unique requirements, be sure to look for MSPs who are experts in standard relational databases such as Oracle, MySQL and Postgres or non-relational databases like MongoDB, Microsoft Azure, etc.
In the highly digitalized society we live in, it is getting extensively harder to reveal your true value and business capabilities and stand out from your competitors. Last year made it clear that the digital connections are so intertwined with our “offline” lives and work that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between them. Fortunately, the pandemic also showed that we can count on each other for support when needed. The same can be said for the business world, in which a reliable partner can help you elucidate your core strengths and thus play a huge part of your business success.
Author: Aleksandrina Vasileva Aleksandrina is a Content Creator at Dreamix, a custom software development company, and is keen innovative technological solutions with a positive impact on our world. Her teaching background mixed with interests in psychology drives her to share knowledge. She is an avid reader and enthusiastic blogger, always looking for the next inspiration.
Suggested Reading: Top 6 revenue opportunities for managed service providers in 2021