At Work

Managed Services: The New Normal for IT Delivery

Over the past few years, PCs have become cheaper and more affordable, changing the economy around computers both for personal and business use.

This change has created a challenge for IT providers, as labor costs for fixing broken equipment began to exceed the cost of a brand new PC.  This equation led the IT industry at large to adapt a new trend for PC support, in order to stay in business.

Enter: Managed Services

In response to the financial issues affecting the longevity of IT companies, programmers have developed Remote Management Software for providers.  This software gives IT providers a powerful tool for diagnosing and remediating issues with PCs, and moves the company into the Managed Services Model for IT Delivery.

Through Managed Services, labor needs by tech companies are reduced, and troubleshooting time for issues at many times are eliminated.  Additionally, issues are identified oftentimes before the PC becomes symptomatic.  The Managed Services model replaces the Break/Fix model, and labor costs no longer weigh as heavily on the company’s bottom line.

Reduction of Labor

The use of the Remote Management Software greatly reduces labor from troubleshooting, remediation, and monitoring.

With the introduction of 24x7x365 monitoring of critical devices within each PC, troubleshooting is eliminated from problems that arise from hardware.  Instead of waiting for a PC to become symptomatic, the moment a hardware event is logged, the IT provider is alerted to the issue along with the diagnosis.  This means that if a Hard Drive, Power Supply, Fan, or one of many other internal components fail, technicians know the problem immediately.  Additionally, monitoring of temperatures, fanspeeds, and other critical working systems lets techs know if there may be some dust build-up in the PC, or if the PC is in a poorly ventilated area.

Additionally, once a problem is identified, the labor needs to fix the issue can also be reduced significantly.  Under managed services, techs can push out scripted tasks to any of the PCs that are managed either on a schedule, on an event, or manually.  For example, a script that cleans temp files and defrags hard drives can be run once per month in the early morning hours – the remote management software can even power on some PCs in order to get the job done.

More complicated scripts can also be run, such as removal and installation of antivirus software, pushing any third party software, or performing any task that can be scripted in either a batch or script file.  Simply write the script or use one from the remote management software, and it is ready to push out automatically to all of the managed PCs whenever it needs to run.

Finally, the addition of full monitoring to IT support saves a lot of time in diagnosing issues.  Usages for CPU, memory, processes, disk space, performance, temperatures, etc., are all gathered and placed into readable graphs.  This helps immensely when diagnosing a recurring issue with a client.  You can effectively go back in time to look for any patterns, click on the part of the graph that you are interested in, and find out what processes are doing what, and how many resources are being used.  The event logs are tied into this graph, making diagnostics incredibly powerful.

Contracting your Support

The Managed Services model has a very low cost compared to the labor that would be needed to support your clients.  When you are starting out as a Managed Service Provider, each device may cost $2 – $3 per managed device per month.  That’s a very low overhead for such a powerful solution.  Consider adapting this model to your IT company, and offering contracts to your clients for full remote support.

Many IT companies bundle in services such as Antivirus, Cloud/Local Backup, Email Hosting, and more into their managed service contracts.  By incorporating all of these services into your contracts, you are able to provide a high value service at a much lower cost than the standard break/fix model of IT delivery.

Under the model of Managed Services, IT providers are given the tools they need to thrive, and support is streamlined making the service hold a high value for clients.