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What you need to know about IT services in Elk Grove
Navigating your way around the IT services sector can be complicated. It’s grown so big that even some of its niches have niches. The good news is that most SMBs only need to focus on a few key areas within it. To help, here’s a quick guide to what you need to know about IT services in Elk Grove.
Managed hosting and the public cloud offer Infrastructure-as-a-Service
These days, it’s just about impossible to function without some kind of company network and the good news is you can now get one quickly, easily and without having to pay substantial up-front costs or recruit an in-house IT-ops team to look after it.
As an SMB, your options are essentially managed hosting or the public cloud. Managed hosting is leased and serviced infrastructure for the sole use of each client. The public cloud is leased and serviced infrastructure in a shared environment. While they are fundamentally two variations on the same idea, the practicalities of the two systems are significantly different.
In simple terms, managed hosting offers less flexibility but more direct control. The public cloud, by contrast, is famous for its scalability, but as a client, or tenant, your customization options are limited to what your provider offers. To be fair, limited is a relative concept. The main public cloud services offer a massive range of choices. In fact, it’s probably more than enough to meet the needs of the vast majority of SMBs. There is, however, a difference between “the vast majority” and “all”.
For the sake of completeness, while managed hosting is generally used to create a private cloud, either for use on its own or as part of hybrid-cloud architecture, it can also be used to keep a data center running until it is time for it to be mothballed completely. In fact, it can be used for a combination of both.
Managed IT services are the core of everyday operations
Even though they have very similar names, managed hosting and managed IT services are fundamentally different concepts. With managed hosting, the managed hosting vendor takes care of everything to do with the infrastructure up to and including the operating system on the servers. In fact, these days, some managed hosting providers will even take care of applications, albeit usually as an add-on service, at extra cost. Public cloud providers are very likely to take care of applications, that’s basically what software-as-a-service is all about.
Managed IT services, however, only take care of regular maintenance tasks. Any project work or break/fix work is handed over either to the client’s in-house IT team, or (these days more likely) to another IT services vendor, usually IT support.
While this fact could make it sound like the managed IT services sector has a very narrow remit (and in some ways that is true), the breadth of what it handles is huge. In simple terms, keeping a network running smoothly is largely about making sure that it is properly maintained and that there is effective monitoring of its health and security. This reality can place a huge burden on SMBs, especially given the global shortage of skilled IT staff, hence the massive popularity of the managed IT services industry.
Cloud data backup
If managed IT services is an industry with huge breadth, cloud data backup is a very specific niche, but it’s also hugely valuable and hence hugely popular. It is very risky to rely purely on the automated backups taken by many public cloud services or on backup kept in the same private cloud. The safest option is to have an “offsite” copy of your data in a completely different cloud, private or public.
Traditionally, IT support personnel were the break/fix people. These days, they are less likely to be focused on standard break/fix work but they are often the first port of call to remedy potential IT security issues identified by managed IT security services as part of their ongoing monitoring. They are also the people who implement projects, again these are outside of the scope of managed IT services.
IT services and the law
It is, of course, entirely legal to use IT services, but you have to remember that you can only delegate activity not accountability. In other words, the responsibility for securing your data still lies with you, not your vendor. This means that it’s your job to write robust and enforceable contracts, to supervise your IT services vendors appropriately and to take legal action if necessary.
Because of this, the safest approach is to stick with IT services vendors in Elk Grove, or at least near Elk Grove, as opposed to IT services vendors who offer services in Elk Grove but who are actually based far away.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced IT services provider in Elk Grove, please click here now to contact Salient IT.