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The Theory and Purpose

The basic theory behind the value of the service is that as a company grows and relies more on their technology, calling an IT company to resolve problems becomes cumbersome and costly. Some companies begin looking to have some proactive IT management mixed into their current strategy. There are many levels of monitoring and review in a proactive strategy. The overall goal should be to utilize the proactive activity to reduce the amount of reactive issues and business risks.

Alternatively, some companies opt to hire an internal IT person. Managed services, when done properly, should offer companies a cost effective solution that reduces reactive problems and helps the client plan for future issues and business changes. Using economies of scale and through best practices developed and refined across a base of clients, a good managed services approach should certainly be more cost effective than hiring internally and deliver better results.

Variations of Managed Services

While the definition can be somewhat vague, the variations are also sometimes confusing. Listed below are some of the more common “managed services” offering that a person may come across. While some would argue that the most basic offerings are not managed services at all, they are included if only to illustrate how much variation exists.

Monitoring Only

A monitoring only package is the least expensive and least effective of any managed services approach. It probably should not be considered managed services, however, many MSP’s use it as an entry level service at a low cost. Once an alert occurs, the IT support company calls the client to schedule the necessary resolution at an additional fee. This method may shorten the response time by an IT company but does not do much to make a real positive change for the client.

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