How Managed Services and the Cloud Improve Branch Office IT
In a previous post, we discussed the importance of providing branch offices with the same end-user experience, the same access to applications and data, and the same level of security as the main office. The lack of onsite IT staff and the complexity of applications, networking and management systems at branch offices make this a tall order, resulting in lower productivity and increased risk.
More and more organizations are turning to managed services and the cloud to overcome these challenges and manage branch office IT more effectively. Managed services turns over branch office IT management to an outside team of experts, while Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and other cloud services shift the responsibility of implementing and maintaining core infrastructure to a service provider.
Benefits of Managed Services for Branch Office IT
Strained IT departments with flat or shrinking budgets are struggling to manage IT at branch offices. With managed services, highly trained IT professionals handle this task to ensure that branch offices have the responsiveness and performance they need to maximize productivity and deliver the best possible customer experience. This enables in-house IT to devote more time to strategic initiatives and focus less on day-to-day maintenance.
Another key advantage of managed services is application assurance. This is more important than network assurance because users require access to applications and data, but not just through a network connection. This applies to both branch office workers and your mobile workforce. A managed services provider can ensure application access, reliability and support while minimizing downtime and security risks.
Benefits of the Cloud for Branch Office IT
IaaS and cloud-based services such as backup and security require minimal upfront costs and allow you to operate more efficiently. Instead of buying equipment for every remote branch and trying to manage and maintain it yourself, you can leverage the technology and expertise of a service provider.
For example, managing data backup and purchasing storage infrastructure for remote branches adds complexity and cost. Cloud-based backup allows you to use a provider’s enterprise-class technology, which is maintained, updated and supported by the provider’s IT team. Similarly, increasingly complex security solutions required to deal with today’s sophisticated threats can be moved to the cloud. This not only streamlines your branch office infrastructure, but it also enables you to protect your network with more advanced security tools and expertise.
Every component of your IT infrastructure is a potential point of failure. The cloud allows you to reduce the number of components in your IT environment, which reduces complexity and costs for branch office management.
Without the right tools and adequate in-house IT resources, it’s extremely difficult to manage branch office IT. Let ICG show you how managed services and cloud solutions can reduce management headaches, lower costs, improve security and deliver a better user experience.