Is your company managed services ready?

17 September 2020, Stanislaw Panow

IT operations are playing an increasingly important role in the business activities of companies in almost every industry and size, which is often not even perceived in this form. But there is much more to the IT operation of a medium-sized company than computers and the Internet: file and application servers, databases, the internal company network, options for remote access, etc. And, in addition, securing all this hardware and software in accordance with the own guidelines as well as the legal and regulatory requirements. The additional department-related digitization projects are putting further pressure on an IT department that has grown.

IT service providers with their managed service offers promise relief from all the unloved, complex and time-consuming tasks. Best of all, at lower costs than what is incurred internally. But when customers start looking for a managed services provider and when MSPs sign contracts with customers on this basis, the misunderstandings are usually inevitable.

Standardized IT services catalog for managed services

Companies often first look for relief for a precisely defined task, to which others are gradually added. The IT service provider should be able to provide these services in a standardized manner and on a large scale, and therefore more cost-effectively. It is particularly tempting for medium-sized companies to choose the ones they need from a range of standard services in the modular system.

However, it is usually the case that the modules are not congruent with the services previously provided in the company - not even with comparatively simple IT services, since they simply have not been developed for the individual needs of the company or have not grown with the company's requirements. The purchased services are designed for optimal operation for a large number of customers and therefore only cover the lowest common denominator.

Service level agreements as a guide for managed services

Companies want to be able to rely on the Managed Services Provider (MSP) and its services just as they did on their internal IT department. The corresponding SLAs (Service Level Agreements) should create guidelines for this. Often, however, there is a lack of experience with SLAs and meaningful key figures for IT operations within the company.

IT status assessment and IT analysis: categorize and evaluate IT

With their experience from many projects and a standardized approach, IT service providers support you as part of a comprehensive IT analysis in recording, structuring and organizing all IT services so that they can actually be provided as a managed service . Such an IT status report with the itpilot® methodology makes this possible. This gives both sides a guide for a tried and tested categorization and evaluation of IT services at the same time. This not only makes the scope of the respective services clear, but also their importance for the business.

In addition, itpilot® provides an overview of the technology currently in use. This puts the negotiations about the services to be provided on a solid footing and the offerings from IT service providers become transparent.

Know IT costs and personnel deployment

Internally, too, the procedure has nothing but advantages. Since key figures such as resources used, IT costs and personnel deployment can be collected for IT services, the structured recording often makes it clear for the first time what the individual IT services cost. This also makes the value of internal IT visible. With clear IT service categories and proven recording tools such as itpilot®, companies can also identify interdependencies between the individual IT services. Based on this knowledge, it is possible to decide which clusters of services should be grouped together and operated under one responsibility so that agreed SLAs can also be met - or how service providers and internal IT can share responsibility.

Develop IT strategically with key IT figures

Finally, the modeling of the entire IT and the allocation of key figures also creates the basis for the strategic further development of IT: Where are the biggest gaps at the moment? How can the greatest success be achieved quickly with little effort and where does the expertise of a managed services provider complement the internal resources in a particularly useful way? When these questions are on the table, both sides are already well on the way to a long-term, partnership-based relationship - or to put it another way: on the way to co-managed IT services.

Image source / video: Alexander Huber