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:


  • 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 “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.

Managed services equip companies to deal with changing cybersecurity landscape

Each year seems to bring a broader and more complex array of cyber threats to businesses, and many companies are struggling to keep up with the rapid pace of change. According to a recent survey from security software firm KnowBe4, more than half of IT managers – 51 percent – find security harder to maintain now than a year ago. Preventing cyberthreats and responding quickly to security issues are some of the biggest challenges for companies, which is why many are turning to managed services providers for a more secure infrastructure, as well as functions like malware removal and application support.

“Cybercriminals are constantly devising cunning new ways to trick users into clicking their phishing links or opening infected attachments,” KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman stated, adding that companies need to respond with thorough cybersecurity procedures, policies and training.

Another recent study from Solutionary and the NTT Group found that 54 percent of new malware goes undetected by antivirus software. As a result, companies need to make sure they are protected at the application level by using secure software and applying updates, ITBusinessEdge contributor Sue Poremba wrote in a recent column. Leveraging managed services for application support can help ensure software is kept updated and secured against threats, while external expertise can also be valuable in implementing state-of-the-art perimeter solutions and secure data center infrastructure.

Additionally, a managed services provider that offers malware removal can be a valuable partner in responding to and limiting the damage of an incident like an SQL injection attack, which the Solutionary study noted can easily cost a business $200,000 or more. Such protection might be unaffordable for a small business to implement in-house, but, by outsourcing certain IT management functions, companies can access state-of-the-art security solutions and industry-leading expertise. With the right portfolio of tools protecting it, a small business can avoid these ever-expanding threats.

Managed services can help organizations avoid top 10 business hazards

Managed services enable businesses to more successfully navigate a threat-laden enterprise landscape. Although an organization’s biggest IT, operations and security anxieties vary by region, industry and company size, what they’re most afraid of is generally the same across the board – lost profitability, client churn and a tarnished reputation.

In the Twitter age, no confirmed threat goes unpublished or unanalyzed, and it’s difficult for an organization to escape blame even if it’s only affected as a byproduct of another incident. The woes of retailer Target, which reported a 22 percent decrease in its client base in January following a massive data breach during the 2013 holiday season, serve to underscore consumer response to an enterprise that demonstrates less-than-exemplary information security, data management and business continuity.

According to a recent Business Continuity Institute study of nearly 700 enterprise respondents in 82 different countries, the top 10 most common perceived threats to disaster recovery and business continuity are:

  1. Unplanned IT outages
  2. Cyberattacks
  3. Data breaches
  4. Adverse weather effects
  5. Utility supply interruptions
  6. Fires
  7. Security compromises
  8. Health or safety incident
  9. Act of terrorism
  10. New laws or regulations

How managed services assuage anxiety
Managed services offer vast potential for companies to mitigate potential problems in many areas because a provider’s solutions are customized to the needs of the company. The above list offers a variety of incidents stemming from the company’s location, industry, employee behavior and general security management. Overseeing prevention and contingency plans that effectively respond to all of these potential hazards is time consuming, resource intensive and costly. While it’s impossible to prevent adverse weather or control regulatory measures, it’s possible to keep these threats from doing any real damage.

Managed services are scalable, so the amount of a provider’s involvement can correspond exactly a company’s anxieties and potential hazards. One organization may simply require online backup services via an offsite server in order to increase its data loss prevention activities. Another may want to virtualize nearly all of its infrastructure so its employees can stay connected and productive during a wave of bad weather. As a company’s needs change over time, it doesn’t have to rearrange its entire back-end infrastructure in order to keep danger at bay.

Managed services key to making disaster recovery planning stick

Managed services can help organizations eliminate one of their biggest pain points – disaster recovery. Establishing and upholding continuity and contingency plans can be complicated and resource-intensive. Many businesses, especially fledgling ones, choose to shove disaster recovery planning on the back burner. Over time, the lack of attention paid to disaster recovery planning puts organizations at risk.

According to a recent study by The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council, many organizations are woefully unprepared for disaster to strike. Its global survey of more than 1,000 organizations, from small businesses to large corporations, found that a whopping 73 percent of organizations do not have adequate disaster recovery plans in place. Its other findings include:

  • 64 percent of respondents said that their organizations’ disaster recovery efforts are underfunded.
  • More than 60 percent do not have fully documented plans.
  • Among the 40 percent that do have documented plans, 23 percent have never actually tested them to see if they work.
  • Of respondents that experienced outages, almost 30 percent lost data center functionality for days or weeks at a time.

Since there’s no way of knowing when and how a potential disaster may occur, companies are gambling with their future every day they don’t do something about their disaster recovery and business continuity planning efforts. Being proactive is the only way to successfully combat the effects of unplanned events.

Managed services can help organizations establish a meaningful, up-to-date disaster recovery system. They can provide concentrated data backup and system recovery services beyond those a business has the budget or time to uphold, noted MSPmentor. Keeping systems current, especially when an organization adds a new application or hardware, is key to eliminating vulnerabilities that stem from outdated disaster recovery plans.

Proactive risk mitigation is important. Managed services providers can help organizations develop recovery time objectives for business-critical applications and conduct automated recovery testing. Having a dedicated IT staff on hand relieves companies of having to make their forays into the difficult science of disaster recovery and business continuity planning alone.