The Managed Services Provider (MSP) industry is booming. In a recent forecast from IDC, a market intelligence group, outsourced business services and managed service groups are expected to earn more than $1 trillion in 2018. This growth is expected to increase in the future, as more and more small and medium-sized businesses turn to managed services.
What Are Managed Services?
For many, the term “managed service” is poorly defined. Even users and providers will struggle to agree on an adequate definition. The scope and expectations of work and service can differ.
It is generally agreed that a managed service is proactively outsourcing business processes and functions. A business will contract with a Managed Services Provider (MSP). The provider takes responsibility for the processes and function. They work like an outsourced resource, or even an additional employee, for the business.
The goal for the business using managed services is to improve operations and reduce expenses. By working with an MSP, they share the cost of the service with the other businesses that have a contract with the provider. The provider delivers scalable resources as needed for the business. The business doesn’t need to keep the added expertise and expense on hand.
For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the provider delivers necessary skills and expertise. They can stay up to date on the latest technology and techniques. The MSP can leverage industry best practices rather than forcing the business to “make it work” like many companies will do. It adds value that few companies can offer by themselves.
A Look at the MSP Industry
As the MSP industry has grown, the scope of work that can be covered by an MSP has also increased. Today, you can find managed marketing services, managed supply chain management services, managed media services, managed communication (or business-to-business integration) services, and more. We’ll focus on two of the more prevalent managed services – managed print services and managed IT services.
Managed Print Services
Managed print services leverage the expertise and technology of the provider to improve print and document services. This will typically start with an analysis of the print workflow and environment. The provider will look to optimizing organization deliverables in print and document services. Printing is monitored to ensure continued optimization and eliminate problems before they happen.
Managed print services cover the maintenance, upkeep, and supply for the printers. New machines may be purchased or leased. Opportunities to leverage better technology, like apps and digital services, will be reviewed. The office layout will be analyzed to reduce the time and effort required for printing. Other times, a document management system will be implemented to digitize document services.
Managed IT Services
Today, managed IT services are fueling the growth of the managed services industry. Businesses rely more and more on technology. The threat of cybersecurity continues to grow. Managing IT and technology is both expensive and difficult. Businesses are turning to managed IT services to reduce internal costs while improving services.
Businesses using managed IT services benefit with reliable network management. The provider will assess the company needs, then customize and develop a solution to meet those needs. This might include data backup, network improvements, a change in software, and streamlined IT processes. Proactive network monitoring will ensure technology doesn’t interrupt workflow.
IT security is another area that managed IT services can provide benefit. The network monitoring will allow the MSP to address threats quickly, often implementing a solution before data is compromised. Spyware and virus protection is another area the provider can help. Managing security patches and identifying unsupported devices on the network ensure the business is always protected.
Overcoming Business Challenges with Managed Services
More companies are finding the solutions offered by managed services to be a competitive business advantage. Companies utilizing managed services see rapid benefits, including:
- Applying resources to more profitable work: Rather than supporting operations, employees can move to profitable work that delivers a higher return.
- Managing business costs and budget: Depending on the services contract, the MSP gives the business a predictable cost. This can lower expenses and simplifying budgeting.
- Providing scalable expert resources for projects: As business needs increases, managed services provide scalable resources. For a growing business, this is a critical benefit.
As companies look to increase value for customers, they are embracing managed services. They provide small and medium-sized businesses with the power and capability of a much larger company at a lower cost.
Managed Services in the Future
The MSP industry is rapidly growing. While managed services are embraced especially by small and medium-sized companies, even larger businesses and enterprises are leveraging MSP in business operations.
Explore how managed services can benefit your business. Contact CDS Office Technologies and talk to their experts today.