What are IT management services?
IT management services refers to the day to day management of IT operations that is usually done by a third party company for a business. Businesses like to outsource IT management services to third party companies like managed service providers (MSPs) or managed cloud service providers (MCSPs) while they focus on the core operations of their business. Below is a comprehensive list of IT management services that are provided by IT companies.
1. Remote monitoring and management (RMM)
Remote monitoring and management (RMM) is software that helps your IT provider monitor and manage the IT infrastructure of your business. With RMM, your IT provider can monitor all of your networks, computers and endpoints and manage them proactively. Instead of waiting for a system or device to fail, RMM enables the IT provider to be proactive and track the health of your IT infrastructure. This allows the IT provider to automate a lot of the maintenance efforts related to your IT operations.
Diagnostics and troubleshooting are core services that IT providers offer. When any system in your business experiences issues or failure, an IT provider can help diagnose what’s wrong with the system and troubleshoot to find solutions. Typically, the IT provider you work with will be able to respond quickly to any technical issue your business is having. Some providers even have the capabilities to diagnose and troubleshoot your systems remotely and solve issues immediately. The ability for IT providers to diagnose and troubleshoot issues is crucial and it’s one of their core services they offer.
3. IT asset management
IT asset management is the practice of accounting for all of the technical assets of a business and ensuring all maintenance, repairs and upgrades are managed properly. IT assets refer to all of the hardware, software and systems of an organization. These assets are expensive and they have a finite period of use, so managing them is crucial for a business to get the most use prior to upgrading to new assets. Your IT provider will help audit your assets and ensure they are secure and maintained properly to prolong the lifetime of each asset.
4. Network monitoring
A key component of IT management is monitoring the networks of an organization. Network monitoring is the process of monitoring the networks of an organization to prevent network failure and the slow down of traffic. With network monitoring, aspects of networks like servers, firewalls and routers are managed to ensure that the business is running optimally. Additionally, the continuous monitoring of networks prevents cybersecurity threats like data theft, ransomware and breaches.
5. Service desk
Service desk, also known as IT service desk, allows businesses to contact IT providers for any technical issue. The service desk is the main point of contact for any employee or user in a business to get technical support. With the service desk, IT providers manage all of the technical issues occurring in an organization and can provide quick solutions for any IT issue. Examples of common issues that the service desk helps with include addressing support tickets, helping with self-service, FAQs, password management and more.
6. System repair and management
An important part of IT management services is the repair and management of systems within an organization. An IT provider is the first point of contact for all system management and repairs. Examples of systems that are managed and repaired include desktops, servers, software programs, Wi-Fi and other IT assets. With system repair and management, all of the devices and systems in your business will be managed completely by the IT provider. This helps you take a proactive approach to the systems in your organization and fewer repairs will be needed.
7. Backup & recovery
Backup and recovery is a vital IT management service. Without backing up your data, any system failure or external threat can threaten your entire business. In fact, 60% of small business close within 6 months of a successful cybersecurity attack. IT providers ensure that your systems and data are backed up and can be fully recovered in the event of any breach or internal malfunction in your business. Backup and recovery services create copies of your data and this allows you to resume your normal business operations in the event of any physical or digital disaster to your business.
A common cybersecurity threat to organizations is using legacy systems for business operations. IT providers are a great resource to consult with on what upgrades and/or migrations your business needs to make to scale. With proper IT management, your provider will help you upgrade to newer and better systems easily. Many organizations are exploring cloud migrations and similar infrastructure upgrades for their business. An IT provider is the best resource to consult with any major upgrade to your business’ IT operations. This will help ensure no major issues occur when an upgrade or migration occurs.
9. Server management
Server management is key to ensuring all servers in your organization are secure and performing optimally. IT providers monitor servers to make sure downtime is minimized and that servers are secured from external threats. In addition, server management includes the management of the hardware related to the servers. Servers are expensive to repair and buy, so managing them well will prevent additional costs related to buying a new server or fixing an existing one. With an IT provider watching over your servers, your servers will be running smoothly and any suspicious activity in your servers can be detected early and prevented.
IT management services includes all installations that are needed for your business. Installing a new device or system in your business can effect how other systems perform. An IT provider will ensure that all new devices and systems in your business are installed and maintained properly. Common examples of installations that IT providers make for businesses include network installations, security systems, servers, cabling and more. It’s important to get professional help on this because any mistakes can lead to downtime in other parts of your business.
11. Application management
Application management is a core IT management service. For most businesses, there are a few critical applications that account for the majority of the business’ revenue. IT providers work alongside businesses to ensure these applications are running smoothly and performance remains at a high level. Application management is critical to a business because any downtime in major applications can result in significant revenue loss in addition to unsatisfied customers. IT providers can help ensure all of your business-critical applications run optimally 24/7 with application management.
12. Risk assessments
The vast majority of businesses are not aware of the different cybersecurity risks they are facing. A risk assessment is a detailed assessment on all the threats, risks and scenarios that can impact a business. This can be extremely helpful in identifying and mitigating threats in addition to following the different compliance programs that are relevant to your business. With an IT provider, you can get a thorough risk assessment for all the areas in your business. This will highlight any major risks that your business is facing in addition to providing the best long-term strategy to avoid future cyber and compliance threats.
13. Penetration testing
There is no better way to test the security of your organization than penetration testing. Penetration testing is when a security team runs a real-life cyber attack simulation like a phishing attack on your security systems. Instead of just pointing out different ways you can improve your cybersecurity, a penetration tester will try to gain access to your networks and systems through any vulnerabilities. A pen tester will use the same tools and resources a hacker uses to gain access into your business.
This type of ethical hacking gives you real-time feedback on which areas of your business are vulnerable and how you can assess the vulnerabilities you have. There are a variety of different pen tests that can be done on your business. It’s best to consult with an IT provider to see which tests are best and how you can patch any vulnerabilities you have in your cybersecurity.
14. Business continuity planning
Business continuity planning is the process of preparing your business to continue operations in the event of a disruption of service. Disruptions of service is an umbrella term that includes basically anything that can halt operations. Examples of this include successful cyber attacks, natural disasters and more. This is crucial because many businesses lose thousands of dollars in revenue when something disrupts normal business operations.
IT providers help businesses with business continuity planning to help provide several backup plans in case of any event occurring. With a business continuity plan, all risks are defined and identified. With all the risks identified, precautions and procedures will be taken to mitigate the risks as much as possible. After the business continuity plan is finalized, it’s tested to see how it can be improved for the business. Testing the continuity plan is essential to ensuring it can survive real life incidents. This will ultimately minimize any disruptions in a business and reduce the time it takes to resume normal operations.