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Enhancing Business Agility and Competitiveness Through Managed Services

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One of main challenges businesses face today is finding ways to optimize operations and stay on top of the competition. Companies that rely heavily on IT to support their operations can take advantage of managed services to minimize their operational costs and maximize their IT infrastructure's capabilities.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and startups in particular, may find the cost of maintaining a complex infrastructure to be daunting, especially during these challenging economic times when businesses are forced to work on a tight IT budget. Managed hosting providers can help companies overcome these challenges by providing the expertise, infrastructure and scalable services to support clients' requirements.

Essentially, providers of managed services can take over certain segments of an organization's IT operations, such as monitoring, troubleshooting and management of a company's IT infrastructure. The extent of the provider's responsibilities will depend on a pre-determined service level agreement (SLA), which not only outlines the activities the service provider will handle, but also the quality of service and other important metrics that can help ensure the success of the operation.

System monitoring, for instance, is one of the most basic activities a managed hosting services provider can offer. At this level, the performance of the client's site is monitored 24/7 in order to prevent potential service issues and ensure the constant availability of the hosted system or applications. This is appropriate for businesses that prefer to retain full control of the system or that have custom-developed systems applications in place that require specialized training.

At the higher end of the spectrum, a managed services provider can take full control of the client's infrastructure, covering monitoring, system administration, network management and database administration. At this level, practically every aspect of client's system is handled by the service provider, enabling clients to leverage the expertise and experience of their personnel, as well as the stability and performance of an enterprise-class IT infrastructure.

Managed services are particularly beneficial to businesses that need to comply with industry standards or government regulations for data and transaction processing. Companies that offer hosting services for compliance management can help clients meet the complex requirements of regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), among others.

By leaving the complexities of network and system management to professionals, companies can focus their resources to their core competencies and essential business processes. This allows them to respond faster to market changes and become more competitive in a challenging business landscape.
 

Posted May 23, 2012 at 6:35am

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