As organizations become increasingly reliant on information and technology as critical business assets, IT must be prepared to deliver service that is available, confidential, and has integrity. Traditionally, a lot of organizations have either utilized an internal IT resource/resources or a Managed Service Provider. Each situation has benefits and drawbacks – an internal IT resource can have very specialized knowledge and is fully a part of the organization, but costs more and thus there is less budget for tools, reporting, and training. Fully utilizing a Managed Service Provider brings the tools, process, and knowledge at less of a price, but not all providers are created equally and may not be equipped to handle specific needs for your organization.
A hybrid approach is evolving in popularity to combat this issue. The model is customizable to your organization but allows organizations to gain the benefits of both an internal IT resource as well as a Managed Service Provider. Typically there is a clear definition of responsibilities – for example, the internal IT resource will focus on in-person support and specialize in line-of-business applications while the Managed Service Provider handles server administration, patching, anti-virus, monitoring, and acts as an escalation point for the internal resource. Furthermore, the provider is able to bring access to shared tools, processes, and procedures to enhance the overall delivery for the organization (e.g. access to a password manager, remote monitoring and management platform, and documentation in addition to change management). Furthermore, a provider can introduce specialized fractional resources.
This is especially the case with information security. A common misconception is that doing IT well results in security – this is absolutely not the case. When you have a service provider that does not understand security, they are more likely to introduce risk into your everyday operations. Empowering your organization with a trusted provider will ultimately make information technology a competitive advantage that properly supports the organization’s goals and objectives.