How to choose the right managed services partner: The ISG difference

Managed services now play a leading role in many companies’ most critical infrastructure assets. Migrating from on-premises equipment to an environment that is maintained and updated by a team of dedicated experts comes with an array of advantages, and is spurring adoption across numerous industries.

According to the most recent estimate from MarketsandMarkets, the global managed services market – including offerings related to data center, infrastructure and networking services – is on track to reach $242.45 billion by 2021. As growth in this market continues and competition among providers heats up, it’s imperative that your business selects the best partner to support its needs. Here are a few things to consider in that realm:

Service offerings that align with your corporate goals

It’s imperative that organizations choose a vendor with the right service portfolio. Above all, the services supported by this provider should meet your company’s needs across the board, including both current and future projections.

Migrating to a managed service provider environment comes with a wealth of benefits. Migrating to a managed service provider environment comes with a wealth of benefits.

Robust customer support

It’s also important to weigh the customer service capabilities your solution vendor is willing to provide. For instance, is support available any time of day? If a service issue emerges, how quickly can the provider respond? How active is the vendor with their clients?

“An MSP should offer remote and onsite support,” CompuData recommended. “You should be able to speak to an IT services technician at any time to correct any issue.”

Support for compliance needs

Depending upon the industry in which your company operates, finding a compliant managed service provider can be absolutely essential. Rules like the health care industry’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or the retail sector’s Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, for example, are crucial, and any managed service options must align with these guidelines.

ISG: Breaking the managed service provider mold

When it comes to managed service providers, no two solution vendors are the same. As an enterprise network stakeholder or executive decision-maker, this is one of the most critical choices you’ll make for your organization.

“When it comes to managed service providers, no two solution vendors are the same.”

Thankfully, here at ISG Technology, we understand you have unique requirements and must find a provider that can help you check off every box on your list.

ISG comes to the table with robust experience, helping clients in a range of different industry sectors reap the kinds of benefits that managed services can provide. We also have policies and processes to align with several different security standards, including HIPAA, PCI DSS, GLBA, SOX, FERPA and more.

In addition, because data security matters regardless of the industry, all of our solution environments are protected with robust safety measures. This includes firewall management capabilities, anti-virus and anti-malware, content and URL filtering as well as data backup to ensure that your most critical information and assets are always secured.

Our team works to proactively measure your available service resources in a way that provides the most value for your company. Here at ISG, we are dedicated to providing everything you need to support your IT needs. To find out more about our managed service offerings, contact ISG Technology today.

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How managed services help you address your most pressing business challenges

More and more businesses are turning to managed service providers for their business and IT needs. When a managed solution is adopted and integrated into a company’s existing infrastructure, it enables the organization to shift certain responsibilities to an outsourced, expert team. This offers considerable advantages, especially when it comes to addressing some of the most pressing company pain points.

As this approach continues to become more popular, the market for managed services considerably expands. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global managed services market will reach $242.45 billion within the next four years, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 11 percent.

But how, exactly, does outsourcing specific IT functions benefit today’s businesses? Let’s delve a little deeper to find out:

IT budgeting: An across-the-board challenge

No matter what industry an organization operates within, ensuring that users are being supported with the proper resources while aligning investments with the overall budget is an ongoing battle. As new technological capabilities emerge, it can be tempting to adopt these to help improve productivity and efficiency. However, it’s often difficult to fund these endeavors, especially when these are taken on in-house.

“Managed services allow businesses to eliminate significant up-front costs.”

Many IT strategies require the use of specific hardware and software, which can be very expensive. This, coupled with costs related to staffing, training and other required support can drive up prices even further.

Managed services, on the other hand, allow businesses to eliminate significant up-front costs while still utilizing the most advanced equipment maintained by a staff of experts. The solution vendor is responsible for the purchase of technological components, and its knowledgeable, trained employees update and manage these resources for the business client.

“Ultimately, an MSP will offer a much more extensive level of support for a fraction of the cost,” My I.T. Pros pointed out.

What’s more, the savings enabled by utilizing managed services can be put to better use internally. These funds can be shifted to support other areas of the business, providing financial backing for other important pursuits. This not only addresses the challenge of IT costs, but enables the organization to do more with its available budget.

Bridging the skills gap

A main driving factor behind companies’ decision to adopt managed services revolves around the level of internal expertise within the organization’s staff. Especially within smaller businesses, it can be difficult to find employees with the right IT skills. Some corporations simply don’t have the funds to bring on highly trained  IT workers. The average salary of a systems engineer with a bachelor’s degree hovers around $85,000 annually, according to Sokanu.

As opposed to hiring an individual to fill this role, the business can turn to an expert managed service provider. This vendor provides access to a talented staff at a significantly lower cost. In this way, companies large and small can help cost-efficiently bridge any knowledge gaps that might exist.

Managed services ensure that IT resources are expertly managed by knowledgeable, talented experts. Managed services ensure that IT resources are expertly managed by knowledgeable, talented experts.

Managed service support from ISG Technology

From aligning with available budgets to helping ensure mission-critical platforms are managed by knowledgeable experts, managed services can be a considerable boon for companies in every industry.

When it comes time to adopt managed services, it’s best to work with an experienced service provider that can address your organization’s most important challenges with an array of available solution options. ISG Technology helps ensure that your staff members have all the tools and support they require while keeping your IT costs down.

Our Managed Services – including Backup-as-a-Service, Network Management and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service – can improve agility, eliminate silos and protect sensitive data. To find out more, contact ISG Technology today.

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3 ways managed services provide access to the most advanced IT tools

An increasing number of businesses are turning their focus to managed IT services. These solutions, when maintained and updated by a team of trained professionals outside of the core business, can offer numerous benefits, including cost savings, enhanced security and access to a growing number of advanced tools.

Those are just a few of the reasons businesses across many industries have adopted managed services as part of their critical IT infrastructure. As a result, the market for these solutions has been on the rise – MarketsandMarkets reported that by 2021, the global managed services sector will reach a value of $242.45 billion, a considerable increase over 2016’s $145.33 billion.

One of the most attractive advantages of leveraging managed services is the ability to access some of the most innovative, state-of-the-art IT tools and components. Let’s take a look at three ways managed service providers make this benefit possible for today’s enterprises:

1) Leveraging advanced infrastructure as a market differentiator

As the market for these services continues to grow, competition among solution vendors will only ramp up. Currently, there are more than a few service providers existing in the marketplace, with more breaking into the sector every day.

This not only creates more options for business decision-makers, but also helps ensure that companies have access to the most advanced infrastructure tools possible. In order to compete, solution vendors utilize their modern infrastructure components to differentiate themselves in their industry vertical. The most advanced tools become feathers in the caps of service providers, helping them grow their client base.

“The most advanced tools become feathers in the caps of service providers.”

“[A]s customers seek to adopt these new capabilities, managed services offerings must adapt too,” wrote MSP Alliance contributor Charles Weaver. “Offering higher value advanced services not only helps to overcome the potential revenue loss, it also helps MSPs differentiate and grow their businesses more profitably by providing greater customer value.”

In this way, having the most up-to-date infrastructure that takes advantage of the newest network components and management strategies enables service providers to make a name for themselves in a growing marketplace. Best of all, clients get to utilize the most advanced equipment possible.

2) Bridging internal technology gaps

One of the top reasons businesses adopt managed services is to leverage innovative solutions in a way that works with the assets the company already has in place. Managed service providers can provide technology that integrates with the enterprise’s infrastructure, helping to bridge any caps in capability or functionality that might have existed previously.

This is especially pertinent as vendors expand their reach, offering access to an increasing number of advanced solutions. In today’s market, an array of critical processes can be outsourced, allowing enterprises and small businesses alike to create a holistic technological approach.

“[W]hile companies are increasingly relying on outside providers for part of their IT needs, MSPs generally complement rather than replace internal IT,” noted CIO senior writer Thor Olavsrud. “Instead, especially in larger companies, bringing an MSP into the mix frees up existing IT staff to focus on more strategic projects.”

This is a considerable boon, not only for the service provider, but for its client partner as well.

Managed service providers can offer access to advanced tools that might otherwise have been too expensive for businesses to implement internally. Managed service providers can offer access to advanced tools that might otherwise have been too expensive for businesses to implement internally.

3) The most cost-efficient IT resources

Building upon this is the fact that managed services can help even the playing field among businesses of different sizes, providing access to advanced tools that might otherwise be out of reach for smaller organizations. Many solution providers offer innovative solutions at an incredibly cost-effective price, enabling businesses to eliminate the need for up-front investments while supporting predictable IT costs.

This benefit is especially powerful for small businesses, but can be a significant advantage for organizations of all sizes.

“Some small businesses just don’t have the capital to purchase new hardware,” Netswitch pointed out. “Instead of figuring out whether you want a lightning-fast server to work with your databases or your web hosting, you get access to high-end servers working in a distributed resource environment. This gives you an even better performance boost. You avoid paying the overhead for expensive servers while still reaping the benefits.”

This only scratches the surface when it comes to the advanced IT tools offered by today’s managed service providers. To find out more, contact industry-leader ISG Technology and check out our managed service solutions today.

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3 Reasons Your Company Can Benefit From a Managed Help Desk

Businesses now use more technologically advanced tools than ever before. These IT systems form the backbone of some of your company’s most mission-critical processes. However, if one of these resources should go down, or if employees aren’t sure how to use them appropriately, your organization may not be reaping as many benefits from its IT solutions as it could be.

This is where the enterprise help desk comes into play, and becomes such an important part of the company. This critical resource provides a place for employees to reach out to when problems occur, and enables the IT team to be in the know about the latest issues it needs to address.

Traditionally, the help desk was staffed by a business’s own IT employees. However, many corporations soon discovered that this was not ideal. Now, more enterprises than ever are turning to outsourced, managed help desk services, such as those offered by ISG Technology. There are a number of advantages a managed help desk can bring. Let’s take a look at how this could benefit your organization:

1) More time for your core team

With a team of experts handling help desk calls, your internal IT staff no longer has to worry about the red phone, so to speak. An outsourced service shifts the responsibility of help desk calls off your IT department’s plate, giving them more time to focus on other, mission-critical initiatives.

“An outsourced service shifts the responsibility of help desk calls off your IT department’s plate.”

There are a number of new IT trends and advancements taking place every day. If your IT team is busy answering help desk calls and chasing down solutions, they may not have the time they need to institute these innovations within your company. Without the burden of help desk calls, though, IT teams have the resources they need to investigate and educate themselves on the newest strategies, and can bring these to the attention of the executive boardroom.

2) Considerable cost savings

One thing that holds many organizations back from adopting a managed solution are perceived concerns about cost. An outsourced help desk solution, like many managed services, can actually help an organization save considerably, particularly when it comes to staffing, equipment and training expenses.

Outsourcing your helpdesk means that an expertly resourced team takes on this responsibility. In this way, your business can save time and money and need not worry about things like training, the necessary hardware and software, a space for the help desk team or hiring new staff members to support it.

“For small organizations, the manpower needed to answer phones with enough extra help to account for vacations, sick days and turnovers could even double your payroll,” market expert Business.com stated.” Add this to the space, equipment and training necessary for adequate support and help desk activity can suddenly take up a large portion of your budget.”

An affordable managed help desk, however, can help eliminate these expenses, ensuring expert support at a fraction of the cost.

A help desk service is critical to business, and is even more impactful when handled by outsourced experts. A help desk service is critical to business, and is even more impactful when handled by outsourced experts.

3) Focused user support

The priority of any help desk is to solve any and all issues that come its way. This means that providing an enjoyable experience for the caller can sometimes fall to the wayside, especially for internal staff members.

An outsourced team, on the other hand, doesn’t just offer top-notch, knowledgeable IT support – these experts are also trained in client support. This means that every request to the help desk is met with a quick and courteous response, providing the best experience possible for your employees.

To find out more about how a full-service help desk solution can benefit your company, contact the experts at ISG Technology today.

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Managed Services Solve Multiple Challenges

Industry: Finance

In the past, all of OSBC’s file and email servers were kept in the office of the institution’s director of IT, but eventually OSBC outgrew its in-house approach:

Challenge

  • It had high data security requirements, putting a premium on safe handling of data and regular monitoring of infrastructure.
  • Its building was normally shut down on weekends to save power and energy. Accordingly, temperatures inside the server room could rise to almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit by Monday morning while the air conditioning was off.
  • Overall, the OSBC needed professional IT services that were economically feasible and wouldn’t require building their own data centers from scratch.

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Top 3 reasons why companies choose managed services

When it comes to managing complicated IT infrastructure, businesses in every industry need as much support as they can get. Business complexity is generally frowned upon in the technology world, because complication within the networking infrastructure can lead to headaches for administrators down the line. Investing in managed services can help decrease this kind of complexity and give IT managers peace of mind knowing their networks are in good hands. But why?

It’s clear that small, medium-sized and large businesses are turning to outsourcing IT. According to a report published by MarketsandMarkets in early 2015, the market for managed services will reach a value of $193.34 billion by 2019, growing at a compound annual rate of 12.5 percent. Data centers, mobile networks and communications capabilities are all things that fall under the umbrella of this market.

The question remains of why businesses should migrate toward hiring an outside company to manage their internal network infrastructure. Let’s take a look at a few reasons IT outsourcing provides companies with the right kind of support and capabilities to manage complicated networks:

1. It can be less expensive than hiring in-house
In the increasingly complex world of IT infrastructure, it’s crucial to consider both the capital and operational expenditures of investing in new equipment or personnel. Oftentimes, it can be a financial hassle to hire specialized IT employees – and then keep them on the payroll. One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing is not having to maintain an in-house IT department.

Since you’re reducing operational expenditures in the long run by hiring an outside company to manage your network infrastructure, those saved funds can be put to good use elsewhere. Demand Media contributor Samantha Gluck noted that when you turn to IT outsourcing, you can better manage expenses and therefore place more financial focus on the core functions of your business.

Keeping an in-house IT staff can be expensive.Keeping an in-house IT staff can be expensive.

2. Gain resources you wouldn’t have access to otherwise
Managed services providers often boast partnerships with larger IT companies that have the resources and personnel on hand to solve issues and keep your network running smoothly. By outsourcing IT infrastructure, small businesses can become more competitive, because they’re utilizing similar resources as larger opponents in their respective industries.

“Outsourcing IT systems and services creates a more equitable playing field between small firms and large enterprises,” Gluck wrote.

“You don’t have to worry about managing complicated network infrastructure.”

3. Decreases IT complexity
Forbes contributor Michael Fauscette reported that migrating to a third-party service provider would be a good way to reduce complexity within computing environments. Once your network is off your shoulders and in the hands of a competent managed service provider, you don’t have to worry about managing complicated network infrastructure. In addition, when complexity is reduced, resources can be freed up for other critical business operations, and CIOs can turn their attentions to enhancing quality of services for clients and generating revenue.

Contact ISG Technology today to find out how our managed service professionals can pair you with the right tech solutions you need and help you manage your complex IT environments.





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Why managed services are essential for security success

 

Amid the growing range of cybersecurity threats, companies are facing questions about how to secure their data center and application environments. A recent study by Courion found that 78 percent of IT security executives are worried about the possibility of a breach at their organization, with concerns that included loss of client data and negative publicity for the brand. At the same time, while 95 percent of IT security staff believed preventing breaches is a serious issue, they said they thought just 45 percent of employees share their concerns.

This discrepancy underscores the value of having clear governance practices and security standards in place. For companies looking to bring their security operations up to date, a managed services approach can be valuable. With a trusted managed services provider, companies can develop a clear information governance plan, laying out a strategy to keep files safe throughout their life in the company environment.

“In light of the constant changes in the IT environment, all enterprises should look to IT governance to secure information from the moment it is created to the time it is destroyed,” IT executive Dan Chenok wrote in an article that appeared on FCW.com. “That is why, in the past decade, IT governance has moved to the forefront of enterprise efforts to effectively manage and appropriately protect IT systems and assets, contributing to the success of risk-based security and supporting strategic decisions made by C-level executives across the public and private sectors.”

In addition to helping develop a plan for companies to have clear security policies and keep data locked down, a managed services provider can offer ongoing support in the form of managing regulatory compliance and compliance testing, as well as through services such as continuous network monitoring. A third-party provider can access state-of-the-art security technologies and round-the-clock staffing services that a company might not be able to purchase on its own through an economy of scale. And with the growing complexity of cybersecurity risks, companies can benefit from the expertise and knowledge of a specialized outside provider as well.

Actually meet enterprise security needs with managed services solutions

 

Today’s businesses face a wide range of cybersecurity threats.  While many are confident in their approach to protecting sensitive information, the reality is that security solutions still remain largely inadequate. According to a recent study from the Ponemon Institute, managing security investments and policies is a C-suite concern at 66 percent of companies. However, the amount of information that is actually passed to the C-suite to make informed decisions is “disturbingly incomplete,” with IT staff actively omitting negatives in more than half of cases.

“What is most concerning is that it would seem security in many organizations is based on perception and ‘gut feel,’ versus hard data,” said study author Larry Ponemon. “The stakeholders with the highest responsibility seem to be the least informed: a view that is amplified externally.”

For businesses, this may mean working with managed service providers that actually have an interest in meeting security needs rather than simply attracting as many clients as possible. A recent TechRadar article noted that concerns over staying on top of security needs appear to be driving many companies to avoid large cloud providers in favor of smaller managed services and colocation firms, where businesses can be aware of where specifically their data resides even as they leverage the benefits of virtualization and cloud infrastructure.