By David Leech, Vice President, Cloud and Managed Services, Logicalis US

Here’s a common series of events that occurs when an IT staff decides to implement a monitoring tool for themselves: After dutifully following all the procedures for implementation of the monitoring system, when they see alarms start showing up on the monitor, they pat themselves on the back and say, “Awesome. It works. This wasn’t so hard.”

An hour later, they are holding their collective heads in their hands saying, “OMG! What have we done?” as hundreds of alarms swarm at them, each one seemingly demanding immediate attention.  At the same time, the service desk is receiving alerts that the critical ERP system is down and it’s month end.

By contrast, top-tier managed service providers (MSPs) follow a structured workflow for onboarding managed services that includes integrating the monitoring and service management toolsets with filtered alerts that allow them to separate informational alerts from actionable ones. Additionally, they have pre-defined event correlation and routing algorithms to triage, store, prioritize and route incidents to a 24×7 team of professionals. They also monitor end-to-end services to gain an end-user perspective.

Besides preparing a client for managed services, the disciplined onboarding provided by an experienced MSP offers a level of awareness of the full scope of their IT infrastructure that the crises and short term projects that make up a typical IT department’s schedule too often obscures. Expect a comprehensive onboarding to take from two to eight weeks, depending on the amount and accuracy of infrastructure data you have readily available. Onboarding also includes running automated discovery tools to capture device characteristics and dependencies.

None of these capabilities come off the shelf with either the monitoring or the service management toolset. They include workflow templates, business intelligence, reporting skills and the ability to ask all the right questions developed by skilled MSPs from years of experience.

Proactive Approach

Because they need to be aware of all aspects of your IT infrastructure, qualified MSPs are also able to track incident histories, perform root cause analysis and provide regular reports that include an analysis of the overall well-being of your IT infrastructure that you can use to proactively resolve problems before they occur.

Being able to break free of the crisis-to crisis pattern that constantly reasserts itself in many IT departments is a prerequisite for accomplishing any of the technology and business objectives that are required to be competitive today and in the future. DevOps won’t enable you to deliver a continuous stream of business-critical applications if you are fighting fires in the infrastructure at the same time.

Your users need to be able to trust in the critical systems they need to do their jobs. That means someone has to take responsibility and have the skills, tools, processes and experience to verify their trust.

Want to learn more? Watch a Logicalis Managed Service video to find out how to ensure the availability of your high-performance, critical IT services. You can also find an overview of managed services on the Logicalis US website here, and you can read several managed service case studies here.