You’ve heard the horror stories: a high-volume sprinkler douses a server room, sparks from a short circuit destroy a data center, a Trojan destroys your firewall.
Careful monitoring of your network services environment might have prevented the short circuit and the sprinkler malfunction. But who’s to say your network might not fall victim to the kind of self-describer hacker who overloaded New York magazine’s servers with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS)? His reason: He hates New York City.
We may get a chuckle out of that, but the fact is every network system is subject to disruption, whether it’s by a ThreatKing, as the New York hacker calls himself, or by malware, improper computer migration, or a rogue laptop that inadvertently becomes a portal to your system.
Critical IT systems need to be constantly available to support core business functions. But many businesses are finding that it’s both expensive and inefficient to maintain their IT systems with an in-house IT staff. Increasingly, companies are opting for a complete IT service management solution that handles everything from installation, upgrades, and implementation to cloud services, data backup, and help 24/7.
What Are Managed Network Services?
Managed Network Services include:
- IT Security and Risk Assessments
- Server and PC Management
- Server Backup Solutions
- Computer Upgrade and Migration Services
- Office Data Center Migration and Relocation
- IT Project Management Consulting and Implementation
- Cloud Services
- Support—through an IT help desk, remote technical support, and onsite IT support
How Could Managed Network Services Help Your Business?
Let’s look at the key components one by one.
Security and Risk Assessment
Managed Network Services (MNS) providers can evaluate your network, find the problems or challenges you’re facing, and come up with solutions. They can monitor your computer firmware, servers, and desktop email, and they address security issues that might expose your organization to internal as well as external risks, including cyber crime, malware, data corruption and loss, not to mention the loss of productivity due to IT systems failure.
The deluge of personal devices into the workplace is another real—and growing—security risk. Sam Maccherola of Guidance Software predicted troubles with the move to BYOD, or Bring-Your-Own-Device, in the December 2013 issue of SCMagazineUK.com. “The security perimeter is a more penetrable boundary and cyber criminals can take advantage of multiple attack vectors to gain access to a company’s network,” he said. “These points of vulnerability—mobile devices, USB drives and Bluetooth speakers—will multiply through next year , making it difficult for organisations to keep track of all the different entry points . . . we’re likely to see organisations focused on the extension of security protection to non-corporate owned devices to shore up their defences.”
His predictions were right on the money. So how does a small- to-medium-sized business manage the torrent of devices and their impact when its IT people are already maxed out with daily technology changes? Many firms are turning the responsibility of anticipating and handling these risks over to Managed Network Services providers to prevent security breaches from wreaking havoc on their network systems.
Server and PC Management
To prevent hardware and software failures, Managed Network Services providers administer and implement 1) software and hardware updates, 2) remote monitoring of servers and desktop computers, and 3) systems backups with image-backup and recovery capabilities through a network attached storage (NAS) device. In the event that a server or workstation fails catastrophically, the backup makes it easy to restore your system with minimal interruption of services.
Computer Upgrade and Migration Services
As organizations mature and information technologies become increasingly sophisticated, many companies find computer consulting valuable. They engage MNS providers to support to their programs for upgrading and migrating computer systems to maintain an optimal IT infrastructure that will support core business functions.
We know all too well that workstations and servers running on unsupported operating systems are vulnerable against the rapidly changing threat landscape. Upgrading servers and workstations ensures that your organization’s IT systems are protected against external threats such as viruses, phishing schemes, and network scans.
The newer operating systems and applications take advantage of faster processing powers that are only available in newer hardware technologies. Whether your organization needs desktop support to upgrade operating systems on individual workstations and servers, or to migrate the entire IT infrastructure to new hardware, you are likely to need help creating an optimal upgrade and migration plan that will streamline the transition from old to new with minimal service interruption.
Office Datacenter Migration and Relocation Services
Moves are never easy, but they’re especially tough for an organization with a network of servers and computers to safeguard. Whether it’s a move to another building for more storage space or the transfer of offsite data from one datacenter to another, the experience can be hair-raising. You’ve got to protect data and information systems throughout the relocation and migration process and keep system downtime to an absolute minimum.
An experienced Managed Network Services provider will have the knowledge and capacity to help an organization design a new building to accommodate information systems and meet any regulatory needs. It also can do the relocate and ensure minimal systems downtime. For firms that need to move information from one datacenter to another, the expert MNS provider will help you choose the best datacenter to meet your current and future needs and then implement the data transfer to ensure that data integrity remains uncompromised and available.
IT Project Management Consulting and Implementation
As organizations evolve to stay relevant in the changing business world, they will need to modify and adopt new IT technologies. The expertise of engineers certified in all the major technologies will be critical in assisting companies in selecting and implementing the appropriate IT solutions. They also will be able to tap economies of scale and leverage purchasing power to gain a technological edge over its competitors while increasing productivity through smart use of technologies. A perfect example is cloud services.
Cloud Services are IT services that are delivered to an organization through the internet. Cloud Services can replace traditional servers and IT services that a firm uses for its daily business processes. They are more flexible and affordable than traditional IT services and will grow with an organization. With Cloud Services, you also gain access to cutting-edge server technologies without footing the bill for purchasing the hardware and software or worrying about budgeting for replacing technology as it ages.
It should go without saying that any business that invests in Managed Network Services should receive 24/7 Help Desk support. While remote monitoring will keep you covered from afar, onsite help in emergencies should be Standard Operating Procedure.
Are Managed Network Services in Your Future?
If you should decide that Managed Network Services would benefit your organization, consider talking with Commonwealth Digital Office Solutions. With more than fifteen years of experience supporting organizations like yours, our All Covered program is built around our understanding of how critical it is that your IT systems are available at all times. That’s why we make it our first priority to know your challenges so we can help prevent system failures and solve small problems before they become big ones. We are acutely aware of the current and future needs of businesses like yours to get expert, experienced support in the critical areas of security and risk assessment, server and PC management, computer upgrades and migration, office datacenter migration and relocation, and IT project management consulting and implementation. Our primary aim is your peace of mind.