IT Services in the Industry
IT services play a vital role in the daily routine of a modern company. Regardless of what they are, everything regarding IT is critical for the success of a company relying on tech in some way. Often, this IT encompasses a variety of subjects and fields. At times it’s handled in-house, other times a third-party service provider offers external services to help facilitate smooth IT operations.
But what kind of IT services are there? Well, it’s a big question with a bigger answer. There are all sorts of IT services suiting a variety of needs, different for each enterprise. A managed IT services company in Sacramento offers different services than one in say, Seattle. In this article, we’re going to breakdown 20 of the most common IT service examples, in hopes to give you an idea about what exists, how they’re used, and how your company can best utilize them too.
20 Common IT Services
Managed IT Services
A wide, all-encompassing type of service, managed IT is usually a part of an MSP (managed service provider) which deals with single or multiple IT service needs. Most commonly, managed IT services handle remote server, desktop, and device management. Other common uses involve remote cybersecurity.
Cloud Backup Services
The cloud is a versatile platform capable of supporting numerous virtual services, such as operating systems and programs. Cloud backups are one part of the service model too, allowing users and companies to store their important information on external cloud servers, circumventing hardware failure or other problems. Cloud backup is typically handled by service providers for monthly/annual fees.
VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
The internet and broadband connections allow for versatile communication methods, and VoIP is one of them. This IT service utilizes a business/person’s internet in place of a traditional telephone line, allowing said user to make and receive calls with their ISP. Modern VoIP phones also provide a variety of functions, like voice call and chat options. Typically, VoIP’s also require a service subscription instead of a traditional phone service.
Similar to security services and also found with an MSP, a monitoring application does as it sounds: keeps an eye on servers, net traffic, communication, security, and/or anything needed by an enterprise. This service is often employed for smaller companies who lack the resources of larger organizations but still require robust IT support/features. Responsibilities can range from automatically updating software/anti-virus to monitoring the integrity of hardware with SMART programs.
Data Backup and Restoration
Some providers offer data backup with cloud or others with external data centers. Regardless of the method used, data backup involves the preservation of information in case of unforeseen problems, such as natural disaster, malicious intrusions, hardware failure, and more. Often a business refers to this as a “BDR strategy” (backup disaster recovery). For most organizations, having some form of backup is mandatory in order to prevent issues like downtime and critical information loss.
Firewalls are a common, integral part of any cybersecurity plan. Most companies handle their own or have a firewall for their network – but in some cases will elect a third party for additional firewall options. Options vary based on the provider.
Some firewalls are hybrid models, for instance, which allow for additional control and network monitoring options outside of the normal rulesets. Others may provide a single firewall solution for all internal/remote devices. The needs differ based on the requirements of each individual company.
A broad category involving any and all service types falling under the umbrella of cybersecurity. In IT, it’s the act of protecting networks and data from malicious attacks by deploying a variety of methods, from network monitoring, firewalls, anti-virus, layered networks, and more. Often managed through a provider, it can also be handled on-site. Cybersecurity services are valuable as they draw from larger resources and more experienced staff.
Among IT service options, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be stressed enough.
Office 365 operates as Microsoft’s all-inclusive software package featuring programs like Word and Excel. This is an excellent option for businesses that need diverse software for document organization reasons but would prefer to pay a monthly fee. Also known as a SaaS (software as a service) model. Office 365 also operates as a cloud server and updated email management platform. Office 365 is good for a company relying on emails for communication with a need for organization.
A subset of cybersecurity, anti-virus services are perhaps one of the most common types of IT service found in the industry. Mandatory, anti-malware protection comes in the form of software and/or monitoring. Because of the evolving threat malware presents in the modern world, any company relying on IT must have some form of anti-virus installed or service used.
Big data plays an enormous role in business success. The downpour of information available to a given company is tremendous and how it’s acquired depends on the tool used. Services that encompass business intelligence analyze, extract, and transform this flood of info into meaningful reports. Anything from financial costs to click-through rates on an article at a certain time of day fall under the umbrella of modern business intelligence.
As the name implies, remote support allows for IT specialists to offer support services from a different location, sometimes controlling a device to assist with troubleshooting issues via the internet. Support can be used for IT assistance, software repair, or other needs. Very useful when IT experts are not physically available, generally handled by an MSP.
This is Microsoft’s own cloud platform, for public and private use (previously known as Windows Azure). The Azure platform offers a robust array of options for development, IoT, analytics, security, and more. It’s highly popular because Azure charges based on use (pay as you go) instead of a flat fee, which is a good flexible choice for businesses with limited financial capital.
Mobile and Remote Networking
Mobile and remote networking allows staff to work from mobile devices and/or remote devices, typically off-site from a physical location. Coincides with BYOD (bring your own device) policies. This is handy because it offers a great range of flexibility for workers, and also allows them to work on projects from virtually anywhere. Useful if a company location is inaccessible for unforeseen reasons.
IT services handling all communication services often provide universal communication solution platforms for companies. A UC platform is a type of software incorporating all types of messaging, from chat, email, voice, video call, and even email.
Communication management also involves the planning of a communication system, such as the etiquette and guidelines for sending/receiving emails. For instance, a company may only allow business sensitive information to be kept on company emails.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
A broad term which can involve any and all software which is paid for via monthly subscription services. In IT, said software is provided by a third-party over the internet. Extremely basic examples include email. Office 365, a service we previously listed, would fall under the SaaS category.
Unified communications involve the software and planning of bringing all communication methods together in a single space. As mentioned, examples of this include UC software. This can either be managed by a business or a service provided by an MSP.
Services which incorporate the act of analyzing and digesting data for company use, data analytics will typically involve concepts like “big data” and IoT (the Internet of Things). Involves specialists and services which process information for a company in order to produce usable reports. These reports utilize anything beneficial to the business.
Networking IT services encompasses everything for the successful implementation of a company network. This involves the building of network infrastructure, the setup of devices like LAN routers and modems, the layout of the networks (such as breaking a network into different tiers), security, optimization, and many other factors. Often a business will build this on-site, however, if local IT experts are insufficient (or unavailable) then third parties are used for the proper implementation of services.
IT development incorporates all the resources used to develop and manage a platform or software. When using services, third-party assistance can be brought on to aid in the completion of projects, or any of the various tasks required for the completion of software. Some of those services include QA testing, business solutions, migration, application development, and application maintenance.
Generally, when not handled by on-site staff, remote assistance is for short-term projects. Sometimes these are referred to as “shadow developers.”
Printing IT Services
Printing IT services includes all services associated with the management, recording, and printing of documentation. Normally handled by a business in-house, but in rare cases where additional help is required, a third party can manage high volumes of printing requests, maintain backups of documentation, and organize said documentation in virtual spreadsheets.
Should I Use IT Services?
Now that you have a better understanding of the various IT services available, you may wonder if any of them are right for your enterprise. There’s no exact answer because every organization has its own unique needs, and naturally, investing in third party resources can seem like an uncertain investment.
However, not all companies have the same resources as larger businesses, and when IT is essential to remain competitive, you can easily feel left behind. So, go over the following when considering third-party solutions:
- You deal with frequent malware intrusions, attacks, and network disruptions.
- Projects are often stalled, delayed, or scrapped because of insufficient expertise and resources.
- Communication within the business is messy and disorganized. Messages routinely get lost and setting up calls and meetings is a difficult, cumbersome process.
- There are easier processes to handle certain tasks in the business, such as storing documentation.
- There is no method to fully recover and protect data in case of disaster, massive hardware failure, or malware intrusion.
- Mobile and remote devices are not set up to work with the company network.
- You need to rapidly expand resources to meet the demands of new staff, but lack the capital to invest in new hardware.
- Your current customer support model lags behind and cannot respond efficiently to high volume days/times.
If any of these situations apply to your business, it’s probably time to seek IT services through a managed provider. Often, internal problems and instability lead to lost hours and ultimately hurt profit margins. Imagine, for instance, how a universal communication platform can help by centralizing how all staff communicates. Instead of Jerry from accounting missing an email because he was in a meeting, the software can indicate where he was and what he was doing at that time. The less time the staff spends running after each other in this scenario, the more time they can focus on their tasks. This is just one example among dozens which can offer resolutions to headache-inducing problems.
Adopting IT solutions to help with shortcomings within a business is a great way to renew efficiency and streamline communication. Today, the modern business faces greater demand to maintain data safety, maintain quality customer support, and stay on the cutting edge of software and technology, all while balancing a delicate profit margin. For smaller to medium-sized businesses, this is easier said than done.
However, any of the IT solutions we’ve listed can provide much-needed relief for the struggling enterprise. We hope our breakdown gives you a general idea of what you can expect, and we encourage you to seek potential options if your business is struggling to find adequate resolutions to different IT problems. Additionally, cost models for businesses are very flexible and designed with affordability in mind.