Suppose you’re a manager in a firm. Some of your time is spent making strategic decisions for your team, delegating tasks and coordinating work between people. You might be called in to interview new recruits and give your thoughts about the layout and content of the company website. You also spend time with the tech person, discussing how important it is that you approve the purchase of new systems that will make your company data safer, quicker and easier to access by employees, and up-to-speed with the latest hardware and software used by your competitors.

The truth is that as an individual within the company, you’re likely splitting your time and energy among several different areas: from management, HR and recruitment, to marketing, and IT. In effect, your hourly value is being split four-ways among different specialisations, making you one-fourth the valuable team member you could be. The same argument can be extended to most all of your colleagues, both senior and junior.

If you’re like the rest of us, you would rather focus only on the area you’re an expert in. Those 20 per cent of the activities you’re exceptionally talented at account for 80 per cent of the value you contribute to your team.

This goal can be achieved in two ways. You could hire more people, which would bloat your company while depleting resources even further. Or you can delegate the entire process to an external company, which releases you from most of the responsibilities in that particular area and lets you spend more time doing what you’re best at. In other words, you reclaim both your job title and, more importantly, the time that used to be wasted on ancillary activities.

Outsourcing has been implemented with great success for recruitment and marketing needs, but no other area will free up more time and money than outsourcing your IT department through managed services.

If you’re a start-up that is expanding rapidly, you’ll avoid sinking more capital into acquiring infrastructure and instead invest it in sustaining your growth. As an established business you’ll drastically reduce the operating costs involved in maintaining IT systems and protecting them from physical damage or the risk of data loss.

Businesses that operate their IT through a data centre are usually more agile

The key to understanding how managed services help your organisation is that an outsourced solution puts at your disposal the IT support, expertise or technology your company needs without having to lose control over your IT setup. Pre-agreed rules of engagement, including the expected deliverables, as well as the associated service level guarantees, facilitate this control requirement. An increasing number of businesses in Malta are already actively outsourcing several IT functions, from server, desktop and device support, to a growing number of business applications.

Outsourcing the management of your infrastructure is a natural development in terms of organisational cost-effectiveness and efficiency. Outsourcing generally allows the internal IT teams to focus more on core operations and business requirements, and avoid having to spend time and energy supporting the infrastructure and ancillary services. Services that can be outsourced usually include infrastructure management, system administration, data co-location and cloud server management.

Moving servers from the office into a data centre is usually an evolution of such IT management cycle, and one that provides the most benefits in the long term. Businesses that operate their IT through a data centre are usually more agile and responsive to changing business and IT requirements, since they can tap into resources and expertise in a quick and cost-efficient manner.

Cloud technologies have taken this on-demand concept of IT management to a new level, since businesses can now access computing resources as they require, when they require and pay only for the services they use.

In Malta the number of IT companies offering managed services is quite extensive and usually targeting specific requirements. In the area of co-location, data centres and cloud services, BMIT Limited is one of the leading providers and operates two certified data centres in Malta. The company has invested heavily in systems and people to facilitate the move by businesses, to a co-located or cloud environment. The result is that an increasing number of local businesses are enjoying the benefits offered by specialised companies such as BMIT, including round-the-clock expert support, increased number of services received and better management of IT costs. BMIT’s commitment to remain focused on its core operations has enabled it to build several partnerships with key local IT players, with each offering its expertise in different customer requirements.

Managed IT services are a fully-comprehensive service that lets you focus on business growth while cutting down on costs. A real lifesaver indeed.

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