For medium-to-large sized companies that have a need for monitoring, managing and sustaining their business technologies around the clock and year-round, IT as a Service (ITaaS) is an ideal operational model to achieve that.
Judith Hurwitz, technology strategist from Hurwitz & Associates says, “The consequences of growing complexity and rising costs for technology are changing the way business leaders are rethinking their information management investments. The result is an evolution away from owning and controlling their entire computing environment. But the cost isn’t the only reason why organizations are rethinking IT. The challenge is about the speed of business transformation.” ITaaS support helps to evolve information chaos into control, or at the very least, controlled chaos.
Businesses running hybrid IT environments including private cloud, public cloud, and in-house applications can benefit from ITaaS support by contracting services for all or part of their technology ecosystem.
Here are some leading benefits of IT as a Service, including insights into how they are evolving with business needs.
24/7/365 Monitoring and Service Desk
For many businesses, staffing full-time employees and their own Network Operations Center is not the best way to utilize their IT budget. Contracting this function out to an ITaaS support provider can ensure that if there is an interruption of service for an application, website or hardware asset, that the ITaaS provider can remediate the issue, or alert the on-call company resource if that is the arrangement.
IT security is an important function of many ITaaS contracts, so if there is a security event such as a network perimeter breach, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, or if there is malware detected on the network, the support provider can take corrective action according to the Service Level Agreement (SLA). These support services can help a company meet their compliance requirements if they are in a regulated industry such as financial services, utilities, pharmaceuticals or healthcare.
Self-Service Support Portals
Businesses with distributed employees, multiple locations and/or limited deskside support resources can benefit by deploying a self-service support portal. It can enable their employees and contractors to open support tickets, search a knowledge base of FAQs, check on system status, request password resets, request new devices or find out about new applications they need to do their jobs.
Self-service portals can be integrated with help desk software applications to create and manage cases, trigger workflows for approval requests, and generally make the process of managing IT support a seamless, efficient process across the enterprise.
Client, Server and/or Network Management
The ongoing requirement to monitor and maintain hardware for functions like operating system updates, performance tuning, and anti-virus software patching is a resource-intensive process, though not a very strategic one for most businesses.
Delegating the management of your company’s desktop, laptop, and mobile devices helps to ensure they are up to date with the latest applications, and equipped to prevent data loss. IT administrators can monitor servers and storage appliances in much the same way, and enable remote access to the hardware for configurations, patching, and other maintenance. If hands-on fixes are required, it can alert the designated technician to remediate the issue, whether it be security related, memory failure or something to do with cabling.
Virtual servers also require periodic and specialized maintenance, and as software-defined networking and hybrid IT environments have evolved to the mainstream, there are more opportunities for remote fixes and configurations.
Performance and SLA Monitoring
For companies that are bound by Service Level Agreement (SLA) terms, be they financial or otherwise, performance monitoring is an effective strategy to alert technicians when tuning, configurations or other remediatory action is required. Companies which make significant investments in digital transformation initiatives need to ensure they get sufficient return.
Ongoing reporting against enhanced SLA metrics beyond standard OEM warranty terms helps build a business case for similar future investments. For small and medium businesses, procuring these services through the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) can be cost-prohibitive. An Independent Service Organization (ISO) with the right partnerships and certifications is an affordable alternative.
Standardized Processes and Practices Based on ITIL Methodology
ITIL processes are proven around the world to bring about effective problem resolution, creating stronger customer satisfaction. It reduces downtime, support costs and increases the percentage of first-call case resolution. Above all, it changes the focus of IT support to customers, instead of placing a higher priority on a client’s technology. It helps service providers to become agiler, and to increase productivity and utilization. Customers benefit from faster, more reliable support and a comprehensive, 26-step methodology to resolve IT challenges.
ITaaS transforms corporate and governmental IT departments from business cost centers into strategic partners with Line of Business departments like sales, finance, and marketing. In the words of an EMC whitepaper,
ITaaS = IT optimization for business consumption
Get ITaaS working for your company, so you can focus less on the day-to-day operation of your business, and more on producing results and meeting strategic goals.