Components of Managed Services Companies should consider

March 22nd 2016

Managed services are famously a means for companies to save money on non-core activities, but how big a part of the decision making process is cost? Are convenience and the ability to access hard-to-acquire skill sets just as important?

“Every business has a limit on available time and resources. They would prefer to focus on activities that will help the business to grow and become more successful,” said Roisin Cahill, chief organisational officer and director with IT Force. “The convenience of being able to outsource to a good managed services provider removes the headache of having to manage non-core activities.”

When a company engages with a managed services provider, they expect to be able to access specialist skills, expertise and experience regardless of the skills shortage that currently exists in the ICT arena. This is seen as a basic and important component of the managed service.

However not all managed service providers are created equal, according to Cahill, who said it’s important to shop around.
“Companies generally compare the costs and offerings of three suppliers before making their decision. When doing so, it’s important that they compare like-with-like when looking at costs, because not all managed services are the same and not all service offerings are equivalent across providers,” she said.

“Some companies focus exclusively on costs. But it’s not the cost of the managed service that’s crucial – it’s the costs of getting it wrong. We are often contacted by companies looking to switch providers, either following outages and disruption to their businesses, or because they are not getting the service that they had expected to get and feel they will be better treated with us. Value for money is a better measurement than cost when making a decision on outsourcing to a managed services provider.”
IT Force offers a suite of services under the name Guardian 365. A key part of these offerings is the ability to scale them up and down as demand dictates. This flexibility is important to the company’s customers, according to Cahill.

“One of our key strengths at IT Force is our ability to tailor our service offerings to clients. Some of the offerings are core to the provision of any managed service, but many of the offerings can be selected or omitted as needed by the customer,” she said.

“When working with clients, we allow them to pick and choose what service offerings they need at that time. The price that they are charged is based on the services they actually select, and they can add or subtract offerings thereafter as required. We don’t operate a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model.”
Part of this flexibility means that companies can choose to outsource all or part of their IT needs.

“We are flexible with our clients and offer a personalised and tailored service based on their specific and unique requirements. Some clients fully outsource their IT needs and others partially outsource. We also provide interim staff to customer IT departments,” said Cahill.

“We have even been asked to provide hybrid offerings whereby the IT is outsourced and there is also a staff member on site. We have found that this flexible approach appeals both to small and medium-sized customers who want to outsource, and to corporate clients who may need to supplement their staff or engage us to complete specific projects.”

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