If you’re thinking about outsourcing your IT needs to a managed service provider, you’re likely drawn by the prospect of performance-optimised IT. In today’s dynamic and digitised business environment, you can’t afford for your vital systems to break down, and you need your technology to perform flawlessly so that your business operates efficiently and productively. So how can a managed service provider ensure that your IT never misses a beat and truly delivers for your business?
4TC Managed IT Services – Proactive IT Services and Innovative Solutions for London Businesses
Here at 4TC, our managed IT services, responsive support, and tailored solutions are designed to help London businesses achieve peak efficiency and grow sustainably. We employ a proactive approach across every aspect of our service offering, ensuring our clients enjoy fast, secure and robust IT infrastructure that facilitates maximum operating efficiency. We do this by deploying a number of technologies and IT management best practices, which combine to deliver the IT performance that our dynamic clients have come to expect.
In this article, we’ll provide a brief guide to how an IT managed service provider can help you achieve better business efficiency through IT performance optimisation. We’ll explore the techniques, technologies and practices that form vital ingredients to the delivery of fast, reliable and secure business IT.
Performance Optimisation Strategies
Using Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software, plus a host of other remote-capable IT management solutions, an IT managed service provider can carry out a range of performance optimisation strategies. These strategies are designed to complement one another, to support a fast, responsive, high-quality end user experience. Here are some of the elements performance optimisation strategies often entail:
A managed service provider can monitor and disperse workloads across multiple servers and components. This ensures network traffic flows freely, avoiding the performance pitfalls that can arise when a network component becomes overloaded. CPU usage, memory usage and disk input/output are just some of the metrics that are closely observed.
Load balancing involves distributing network traffic volumes across available servers, avoiding performance bottlenecks, and ensuring resources are assigned efficiently. A managed service provider can perform this vital performance optimisation strategy by continuously monitoring server health, and regulating and directing network traffic accordingly. If one server is under strain, or suffering issues, inbound requests can be assigned to healthier servers that have the resource capacity to cope.
A managed service provider can take a number of actions to ensure seamless and fast cross-network data flow, that maximises the use of available resources. By optimising network configurations, implementing Quality of Service (QoS) policies and, where necessary, prioritising critical data traffic, an MSP can ensure that network bandwidth is managed efficiently, and in a way that supports business critical functions.
‘Latency’ refers to the time delay, or ‘lag’ that occurs as data transits a computer network. Some latency is inevitable, but too much can have a detrimental impact on the experience for end users. A managed service provider can play a critical role in resolving network latency issues, by identifying and resolving the issues at play, which might include inefficient routing and network congestion.
A managed service provider can improve network responsiveness by deploying caching mechanisms, which make frequently used information readily available to applications and services. These avoid the need to fetch information from source in each instance and help contribute to a responsive and seamless user experience.
Performance Monitoring and Analytics
Performance monitoring tools can be deployed to measure, capture and analyse system performance across a variety of metrics, including response times, resource utilisation, error rates and more. This analysed data can be used to identify trends, forecast future problems and support informed performance optimisation decision-making. Data can also be leveraged for capacity planning purposes, ensuring that necessary provisions can be made ahead of periods of increased demand or anticipated growth.
A proactive managed service provider will carry out a comprehensive programme of maintenance designed to foresee and address network issues, and resolve vulnerabilities before they evolve into costly episodes of IT downtime. The following elements usually form the basis of an IT provider’s scheduled maintenance activities:
Security updates, commonly referred to as ‘patches,’ are software updates that vendors or manufacturers release to enhance the security of their products or address discovered vulnerabilities. A managed service provider will usually take the lead in testing, applying and configuring these patches, to ensure software vulnerabilities are resolved in a timely manner that leaves very little time for malicious actors to exploit them. Proactive patch management is a vital component in maintaining a robust cyber security posture, and in sustaining the performance integrity of business-critical software and systems.
The remote management and monitoring software used by managed service providers often enables the automation of routine maintenance tasks such as disk clean-ups and defragmentation. This automation ensures that tasks beneficial to system performance are carried our regularly and consistently, helping to ensure a smooth and responsive user experience.
Hardware Health Checks
By performing regular diagnostic inspections of critical hardware components, including servers, storage devices and networking infrastructure, a managed service provider can help foresee hardware failures, and take the appropriate steps to avert system impact.
Performance Tuning and Continuous Improvement
A managed service provider can make use of the wealth of network activity data at their disposal to introduce a raft of system refinements designed to enhance overall performance. Such refinements might include altering configurations, tweaking setting and even optimizing programme code.
This activity data is continually gathered, allowing system administrators to introduce iterative enhancements on an ongoing basis, ensuring that system resources are consistently aligned with organisational needs, and the changing demands placed on them.
Rapid Issue Resolution
So far, we’ve talked about the proactive elements that constitute an effective IT support and management service, however, it’s important to recognise the vital supporting role played by post-incident support functions. When an IT problem strikes, you need issue resolution that prioritises a root cause fix, and restores critical functionality in the quickest possible time. Here’s how a managed service provider can help minimise downtime and enhance efficiency through responsive support services:
24/7 Helpdesk Support
The best-managed service providers offer 24/7 helpdesk support, backed by competitive response time guarantees. Utilizing ticketing systems, support requests are efficiently managed and tracked from initial submission to resolution. Tiered support structures assign priority ratings to issues, ensuring that critical and highly complex issues receive expedited support. These issues are handled by appropriately qualified engineers to guarantee a swift and lasting fix.
IT support personnel make use of remote access tools which enable them to connect to and remotely configure user devices without the need to be physically present. These tools allow the vast majority of IT issues to be resolved remotely, expediting issue resolution dramatically, and minimising downtime and any subsequent lost productivity. Screen sharing allows IT support to view the user’s desktop environment in order to gain a first-hand understanding of the issue present, and diagnostic capabilities allow them to review a wide range of system information, including activity logs, configurations and performance data. These capabilities combine to give IT support teams formidable remote troubleshooting capabilities.
By taking a data-driven, proactive approach to network optimisation, undertaking a programme of preventative maintenance, and provide fast, expert support for any issues that slip through the net, a managed IT service provider can offer everything your business needs to operate performance-optimised and dependable IT infrastructure. Give your team the slick, fast technology they need to work effectively, and eliminate the IT outages that are holding your business back by exploring the benefits of managed IT services today.
4TC Managed IT Services – Uniting People, Processes and Technology
Secure, stable and optimised IT infrastructure is critical to the success of all businesses in our information age. 4TC helps businesses across London and the Southeast realise their potential through the delivery of expertly managed IT services and support, and solutions that solve business challenges by achieving perfect alignment between people, processes and technology. Get assistance with your IT challenges today by getting in touch, we’ll be glad to assist you!