Managed IT Services (from Hilltop’s perspective).
The buzzword “managed services” (or managed IT Services) has been used by many IT companies to mean different things for over 15 years. But what does managed services actually mean and how can you tell if an IT support company is just using the phrase as a marketing tool, while in fact disguising “flat-rate” IT support as “managed services”?
Hilltop’s definition of “Managed Services.”
At Hilltop, we believe a Managed Service Provider (MSP) needs to have a service approach that unifies technology management and business strategy. Managed services from a technology management standpoint allows organizations to outsource their IT operations to a service provider that assumes ongoing responsibility for networks, devices, monitoring, issue resolution, security, data storage, assessments, and management of select IT systems and functions.
Managed services from a business strategy standpoint allows organizations to team with C-level IT leaders and strategists, also known as virtual CIOs (or vCIOs) and certified IT project and program managers. These professional resources can provide assistance with activities such as big-picture project planning; IT budgeting, technical implementations, consolidations, provide strategic advice that enables competitive advantage, and leveraging IT to enter new industries or marketplaces.
Hilltop regards the combination of technology management and business strategy as “true” managed services. Our services are comprehensive and strategic, unlike other MSPs who do not provide any business strategy at all (and quite often don’t even get the technology management part right).
Will an Managed IT Services plan save me money?
In theory, managed services can lead to cost savings. However, cost savings are valued differently depending on your business model and how you view and utilize your IT. Is your business’ success tied to your ability to be speedy and agile with your customers? Does the cost of even a minimal amount of system or communication downtime equate to financial losses for your business?
Many organizations choose managed IT services to gain cost savings and predictably in terms of recurring IT support costs. Managed services are typically priced on a per-seat and/or per-device basis, with different “packages” priced at different levels. Better MSPs include some type of regular on-site proactive management included in their packages, while some MSPs only provide onsite customer support when absolutely required — and some offer none at all.
At Hilltop we believe cost savings come from an organization’s ability to leverage the tools, solutions and expertise of managed IT services offer across the board. The right mixture of best-in-class technology management, certified IT expertise, and powerful solutions such as the Cloud can all contribute to significant IT cost savings.
Beware of the Cloud trap…
Managed IT services (from the provider perspective) has always been, at least in part, about saving customers money. However, as the “Cloud” is being increasing used as a buzzword in most IT-related discussions in relation to managed services, we have found that many businesses are now looking at the managed services model with the Cloud at the epicenter as being the primary way to reduce costs.
In a nutshell, the Cloud is a great solution for the appropriate scenario, but should not be thought of as the singular savior of IT wallets