Managed workstation versus having managed infrastructure – to understand which (or if both) is best for you, you need to understand what they do. So, we’re going to review the benefits of each to give you a better idea of which IT management method might be best for your organization.
What is a Managed Workstation?
Managed Workstation Services ensure that your computers are running as efficiently as possible. Think of it as a continuous service health check for your devices, managed by outside professionals, remotely. Workstations (computers) are an integral part of today’s businesses; therefore, it is essential to ensure they are working at peak performance, with the latest software updates and security configurations. Having managed workstations removes the responsibility from the in-house IT team and places it on the outside IT service. Meaning your employees save time, so they can focus on more important IT tasks.
Benefits of a Managed Workstation
There are several benefits to having managed workstations when a reliable service gets involved.
- No on-premise IT department needed (depending on company size)
- Reduces employees’ learning curve
- Improves productivity
- Automatic software updates are handled swiftly and accurately
- Prevents mistakes caused by manual OS updating on each station
- Provides a consistent experience for all users
- Relieves user frustration when a glitch or any system fault occurs
- It ultimately saves time and money
However, it is important to remember that a managed workstation requires some or all of the following decisions to be made. When working with an experienced professional, you should expect them to make decisions regarding:
- Hardware selection: How much memory will each computer require? Should you use an in-house server… the cloud… or?
- Antivirus component: Which software or service offers the best protection without taking up precious RAM if it constantly runs in the background.
- Staff education to network policies: Does the service have experience in developing network policies plus providing best practice education to the staff?
- Software selection: With the availability of cloud-based software someone must research and determine what is best for the situation now and in the distant future.
- Security configuration and updates: These days it is difficult to keep up with all the security threats that continue to haunt unprotected systems; IT professionals are aware of all the latest threats, and the best security systems.
- Troubleshooting: It’s important to be able to rely on a professional when something goes wrong.
What is Managed Infrastructure?
IT infrastructure management is the management of essential operation components, such as policies, processes, equipment, data, human resources, and external contacts, for overall effectiveness.
You can select different levels of this service, from virus monitoring to overall IT management in every facet. These services are conducted off-site and are capable of keeping the IT environment up-to-date and trouble-free while also mitigating risk.
Benefits of Managed Infrastructure
Many of the benefits of managed workstations are the same as when using managed infrastructure services, such as user and overall business productivity.
There are a few additional benefits that are advantageous and worth consideration:
- Detect problems early to prevent disasters: Proactive analysis of your IT system means that you have a better chance of preventing major disruptions. Monitoring failure patterns and regular health checks of your infrastructure means that you can identify any discrepancies within your systems. If you aren’t monitoring your systems how do you know if they are running out of capacity?
- Improve productivity and performance: IT monitoring doesn’t just involve measuring the current performance. It’s important to identify areas where improvement should be sought. This means you can fine tune your infrastructure so your system performs as it should. Pin-pointing potential problems helps to prevent future down time and disruption to end users. It also allows your IT technician to focus on other key areas that impact your business.
- Plan for IT upgrades: As with all software your IT assets have lifecycles that need monitoring and tracking. How do you know if these tools are working effectively if you aren’t monitoring them? Not only is it important to have an inventory of your technology assets and when they require upgrading, but it’s equally important to monitor the ongoing performance of these tools.
- Prevent and reduce downtime and business losses: Downtime not only affects your end user’s experience and productivity; it ultimately affects the company’s bottom line. Just because your network is functioning, it doesn’t mean it’s running efficiently, and future problems won’t occur.
It is incredibly important to test your systems, not only monitor it. For example, how do you know if your network is ready for the introduction of new software if you’re not testing if your system can be overloaded or if the usage allowance is sufficient?
When to Use Managed Workstation vs Managed Infrastructure Services
Your selection may depend on the current equipment, staffing levels, IT experience, time, and available budget. Having both is also a great solution. Having professionals monitor your entire IT system, proactively, 24/7/365 – instead of a break/fix solution – is key for many businesses who cannot afford any downtime at all. Spotting potential disasters before they occur, will go a long way in saving your business money. Think of managed IT services as an investment, and the ROI is ensuring that you don’t lose money, and also increase productivity etc.
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