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What Are IT Managed Services?

What are IT managed services?

As an alternative to managing IT assets in house, organizations can opt to delegate the responsibility for managing compute, storage and network resources to IT managed services providers. The breadth of outsourced IT managed services can extend across a range of traditional, hosted and cloud infrastructures, as well as both production and recovery environments.

While IT Managed Services can be purchased and delivered separately to fill specific gaps, some organizations engage service providers to manage the complete IT lifecycle.

Why are IT managed services so important?

In addition to the traditional IT challenges of managing costs and risk, today's IT departments must deal with:

Digital transformation

The IT organization is under intense pressure to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies that innovate how business gets done.

Skills shortage

IT managed services providers give organizations a way to access critical skills and expertise that are not found inhouse or readily available in the job market.

Overburdened IT staffs

Often, internal IT departments are so busy with daily IT tasks, they have no time for enabling change that can advance the business or to take the proactive measures needed for security and compliance.


Constant change

Business requirements and user demands are in a constant state of flux and new security threats are always emerging.

A hybrid and scattered IT landscape

IT environments now include inhouse, externally hosted and cloud infrastructures, as wells as shadow IT - the cloud services business users purchase without IT staff knowledge.

What are the benefits of an IT managed services provider?

Cost Control

  • Many IT managed services providers' contracts feature fixed prices for defined services, with provisions to accommodate growth and change over time
  • Prices often significantly lower than the cost of delivering the same service inhouse

Risk Management

  • Ongoing IT management includes application of updates and patches to stay more protected
  • IT services for security management can identify risks and proactively address them before impact

IT managed services providers offer ways to scan, discover and document changes in the IT environment—capturing the use of shadow IT

Faster response to business needs and opportunities

  • Use implementation services to rapidly deploy IT assets
  • Deliver new capabilities to make the business more competitive
  • Hand over ongoing management of new systems to a service provider to ease the IT burden

Managed hybrid IT

  • Outsource management of legacy, hosted, cloud and even mainframe environments
  • Use integration services to ensure systems interoperate to support key business processes
  • Reduce risk, complexity and cost of managing enterprise-wide IT assets

A lifecycle approach

  • Engage an IT managed services provider to cover the complete IT lifecycle to free staff for other priorities