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Should Your Company Outsource Its IT to a Managed Service Provider?

Overworked IT teams are a recurring decimal with today’s high-pressure company environments. IT departments have to keep up with a myriad of things: hardware support, systems engineering, network administration, novel, and recurring projects, etc. Sometimes it’s hard to keep them working efficiently.

Add the large bulk of work that comes with cloud infrastructure and applications, and you’ll see why IT staff get stressed and burnt out so often.

Faced with this situation, organizations will typically respond in one of two ways:

•They may expand their IT teams if they have the resources to do so, or

•Outsource some functions to a managed service provider with expertise in the area they are struggling with.       

The first option is costly to implement. Organizations will have to spend time and money recruiting and training staff as they expand and take on more work. It will also cost more to remunerate these ever-growing teams. 

Companies may choose to go the second route, and ship some of their non-core IT to managed service providers, firms which remotely take care of a business’s IT functions. In certain cases, these firms can be full-fledged IT teams for their clients, so that clients don’t have to maintain in-house tech staff.

While managed services cost money to access, it tends to be the less costly option in the long run. This is because it avoids the issues associated with onboarding and strengthening teams by relying on established external experts.

The Cloud and Managed Service Providers

A lot of IT teams struggle to manage their organizations’ cloud infrastructure and applications. This isn’t necessarily because of any severe shortcoming on their part. There’s so much that goes into managing cloud setups; adding this to the already heavy workloads that these teams deal with can only result in greater inefficiencies down the line.

Many businesses are in a haste to move to the cloud. They want the migration process to happen quickly and would prefer to set up and begin running immediately. But they aren’t always prepared for the task of managing cloud infrastructure and environments. They may lack the expertise to run things smoothly from the start, and will often have to spend significant sums to train their existing staff to work with the cloud.

Instead of racking up the extra cost of training and familiarization, they could hire a managed cloud service provider to deal with the process, and manage their cloud setup thereafter.

What a Managed Cloud Service Provider Does

A managed cloud service provider takes care of the following on their client’s behalf.

1. Architecture Guidance

Businesses may need to understand how their cloud solutions are designed, and how they function. They will also want to be certain that those solutions can serve their specific needs. Cloud service providers can take their client organizations through these things.

2. Performance Testing

Cloud performance testing involves a number of tests that help to determine whether there are issues with cloud applications that need to be fixed. These tests can form part of a proactive strategy to mitigate risks and check costs before they become difficult to manage.

3. Managed Security

This encompasses protection against threats to the cloud environment, round-the-clock monitoring, management of upgrades, and cloud policy audits. Managed cloud could come with a managed firewall, managed VPN, managed anti-DDoS, and other security measures that may be available from the managed service provider.

4. Backup and Disaster Recovery

When there’s a disruption to cloud networks, disaster recovery services ensure that data isn’t permanently lost. Mirror versions of original data can be called up and worked with until normal service is restored.

5. Managed Virtualization

Companies will sometimes create virtual versions of hardware resources. This helps them take on workloads that the hardware resources handle, at a lower cost. Working with multiple virtual resources also allows them to achieve more with single hardware platforms. Managed cloud service providers can assist them with managing virtual servers and virtual data centers so that they can enjoy the benefits of virtualization in the cloud.

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Cloud Concerns to Managed Services Providers

1. Lower costs in the long term, compared to handling all cloud concerns in-house.

2. It frees up your IT team to focus on your company’s core functions.

3. Good managed services firms are staffed by tech specialists, whose expertise you can leverage.

4. They can also have a dedicated team that monitors and secures your infrastructure, a contrast to an in-house IT team that divides its attention between numerous competing tasks.

5. It’s also easier to scale your resources up or down. You can request for an increase in resources to meet the rising demand for services at your end and also order for a reduction in capacity when demand falls.

Should You Outsource the Management of Your Cloud Infrastructure?

Your answer to this question will depend on the following things:

1. The size and capabilities of your IT team versus the demands it currently has to take on.

2. Your budget for the short and long term.

3. Your need for flexible resources that you can scale up or down as the situation demands.

If you’re confident that your IT team can handle the extra work of monitoring and managing your cloud infrastructure and applications, you could keep things within your company. Perhaps you might prefer to build your team to accommodate new challenges as you go along.

But if you are concerned about the costs of training people to do the job internally, or the expenses you’ll incur by having your team manage it, you may decide to outsource instead.

If you do decide to let external experts take care of your cloud systems on your behalf, you can depend on Layer3Cloud to help you with this. We provide a range of managed cloud services, including managed security, virtual data centers, and data backup and disaster recovery.

You can find out more about managed services by getting in touch with us here.

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