Managed Network Services – The right choice for your business?

Managed Services are rapidly becoming a viable option for traditional Computer Service and Repair. In managed services you outsource your entire network or just a part to another firm who will perform the tasks agreed on. You can outsource a variety of tasks including intranet hosting and Internet services, data backup, business continuity/disaster recovery, managed VPNs, managed voicemails, and security.

Managed Network Services, a Benefit
Using managed services will reduce network costs. META Group found that by switching to managed services, from MPLS frame relay or DSL VPN you can save between 17 and 65 percent.

Managed service providers are the best option for enterprises and small companies who lack adequate IT resources. Switching to managed service providers can solve staffing problems which adversely impact your network. If your company has an IT department already, the IT staff will be able to focus more on network-related issues and less on routine tasks.

The benefits to outsourcing tasks can include significant personnel cost savings. But, other costs can also be reduced, including training and equipment costs.

Managed Network Services Disadvantages
Like any other major decision, you should keep your eyes open for potential problems that could arise from outsourcing network service to a third-party. It is not possible to have a network service that fits everyone. You should ask any prospective provider to take time to understand your specific business needs, and then offer a customized solution. Discuss: availability, uptime guarantees, maintenance, safety, and reliability. Most service providers will draft a Service Agreement which defines parameters such as Quality of Service. Verify that the proposed network services support and align with your business objectives.

Some managers are worried about losing the control they have over their businesses when they hire services to manage networks. It’s not necessary to choose between managed networks or none at all. You can choose the services that meet your comfort and needs. It is possible to arrange, for instance, that your internal IT staff will handle some services and a managed network provider will handle the rest.

Security of the network is also a concern. If you’re concerned that your data will be safe in the third party’s hands, it is worth asking. When you fall under consumer privacy regulations like HIPAA you can expect exceptional protection from your provider. Since network security can often be required, organizations look to managed service providers with expertise in compliance and security.

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