Coordinated Business Systems Blog

Are You Confused About Managed IT Services?

IT professionals have one thing in common – a tendency to speak in geek-speak.

Using technical language, acronyms, and inside lingo speeds communication when IT pros are trying to solve a problem.

When that jargon bleeds over into talking to business professions, confusion is the usual result.

We do our best to keep the technical mumbo-jumbo behind the scenes here, whether selling copiers, document management, phones, or IT services.

I think we do a good job of it (let us know in the comments below if we could do better!).

One phrase continues to be a little . . . twisty: managed information technology (IT) services.

When you research outsourcing IT services (like many of you reading this), you'll often see three phrases used interchangeably:

  1. Managed IT services
  2. IT managed services
  3. Managed network services

Let's quickly explain these to eliminate confusion.

“Managed IT services” and “IT managed services” actually are the same thing. Different companies prefer different phrases. We tend to use them interchangeably.

Either way you prefer, this means outsourcing IT functionality to a third-party service provider (like Coordinated).

Managed network services is exactly what is says -- you outsource the management of your network (monitoring, security, patches/updates, etc.) to a third-party service provider. Managed network services is a set of services within the umbrella term “IT managed services.”

Clear as mud?

Here’s where it can really become confusing -- there are a wide range of services that an IT managed services company can offer -- data backup, virtual CIO planning, help desk support, network monitoring, security and firewall, and more.

They don’t all offer the same set of services though. Our complement of managed IT services could include services that the company across town doesn’t.

When you research companies to help support your IT strategy, ask them for their complete lineup of services (whatever label they use) and the functionality they offer. Most often, they’ll cover all of the essential services most businesses need.

However, it’s better to be safe than sorry when five months into your new relationship you ask for a service you discover you need they don’t provide.

Why would you consider IT managed services? We’ve written about that in some detail here, IT Managed Services: How Does It Help Your Business.

The basic argument is that same as why you’d outsource any service -- someone else can do it better and for less (money or effort) than it’s worth for you to do yourself.

For a deeper dive in managed IT, I encourage you to access our free toolkit. All in one place, you’ll learn about the advantages IT managed services can deliver to SMBs.


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