Simplified information technology management is the primary benefit of using managed services, according to a survey from JDL Technologies. Improved security ranked a close second as a managed services benefit.
Generally, the managed services approach allows a business to offload IT operations to a vendor—a managed services provider. The managed service provider assumes an ongoing responsibility for 24-hour monitoring, managing, and problem resolution for the IT systems within a business.
The survey of chief information officers, vice-presidents, directors, and managers in the U.S. was conducted by Spiceworks on behalf of JDL Technologies in November.
Almost 80% of survey respondents currently use managed services, and 21% are considering doing so in 2016. They cited simplified IT management (37%); improved security (33%); and increased efficiency (29%) as the top three benefits of using managed services.
In terms of factors that initially drive the use of managed IT services, the top three include becoming more efficient (36%); dealing with growing information technology complexity (34%); and improving reliability/reducing downtime (32%).
When asked for the most important factor in selecting a managed service provider, the availability of 24/7 support was cited by most respondents (46%), with managed service provider reputation a close second (40%). Geographic proximity ranked low on the list (19%), highlighting the effectiveness of remote service management in the managed services model.
Of the managed services currently in use, backup/disaster recovery/storage is the most commonly managed information technology service (69%), followed by networking (66%) and hardware/infrastructure management (65%). In addition, more than half of respondents (52%) trust their end-user support to a managed service provider.