What is MITS?

It’s 2020 – in all aspects of business, specialization isn’t just a trend – it’s the most efficient method of keeping your business both relevant and successful. All businesses must operate at speed and scale, and in order to do so, specialization is key.

Achieving specialization, however, is much easier said than done. Creating teams or entire departments to oversee the operations of one aspect of your business can be costly in every sense of the word: requiring a significant investment in time, capital, resources, technology, training, integration, and management.

When it comes to fostering specialization of IT services, the most efficient method is achieved via partnering with a MITS provider.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MSP AND A MITS PROVIDER?

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Managed IT Services (MITS) are two terms often used interchangeably — but we’re on the topic of specialization — and in this case, it’s apt to imagine an MSP and a MITS provider as doctors who specialize in different aspects of medicine. In order to meet the intricate needs of every facet of a business and its operations, we — along with other service providers in the IT sector — have opted to build two teams that specialize in managing different aspects of the enterprise environment.

MSP teams focus on implementing and managing the systems and programs you interact with — commonly referred to as “end-user systems.” The integration of these programs and devices with the other aspects of your tech infrastructure — such as your PCs or other devices that connect to your network — is known as “frontend management.” MSP teams will conduct analyses of your individual workflows and business operations in order to improve your end-user systems and experience with the intention of increasing efficiency.

MITS teams focus on creating and maintaining a holistic environment for your enterprise system. MITS providers will design the architecture of your backend systems — for example, your servers, routers, and switches — as well as implement the software that helps maintain and monitor those systems. Before implementing any changes or new tech, however, MITS providers will conduct an analysis of your network in order to determine your enterprise ecosystem’s overall health. After this design and implementation phase, MITS providers will monitor your system for security risks and opportunities for growth throughout your enterprise ecosystem.

WHAT CAN A MITS TEAM DO FOR YOU?

A MITS team is capable of both improving your business’ operational efficiency and reducing your overhead simultaneously. These goals can be met via different routes – whether through upgrading your backend architecture in order to improve the speed at which your business operates, or by reducing the workload of your own internal IT department, or even completely negating the need to maintain an in-house IT team. Let’s go over some specific scenarios:

REDUCE HARDWARE COSTS

Just like software, hardware is advancing and evolving continuously. While software most definitely has the reputation of being the fastest-advancing front of the digital world, this is largely due to two reasons: upgrading software is a simpler process for businesses and consumers when compared to hardware, and software requires a smaller upfront investment to upgrade when compared to hardware.

If hardware, however, was to be compared to the different structures that your brain is comprised of, software would be the skills your brain has mastered; without properly functioning hardware, the most powerful software in the world is useless. Keeping up with the costs of maintaining and upgrading hardware can be a significant drain on your resources – often reducing the capital available for other much needed aspects of growing your enterprise ecosystem.

MITS providers are able to not only reduce your cost of maintaining your hardware systems, but are capable of removing the bulk of your hardware from your office or building via cloud integration. With the (albeit slow) rollout of 5G networks (again, hardware is more difficult, costly, and time consuming to upgrade), soon cloud computing will be lightning fast, with incredibly low periods of latency. By removing your servers, switches, and other bulky pieces of hardware from your physical location, you save space that can be used to hire more personnel for other operations, and reduce your utility bill; server rooms eat up a lot of electricity, and require ample amounts of cooling and ventilation to run at optimal speeds.

REDUCE MAINTENANCE COSTS

There are two types of maintenance in the tech world – hardware and software. Both take plenty of time, planning, and resources to achieve a balance between analyzation and the actual act of maintenance; when it comes to maintaining an enterprise ecosystem, balance is key. MITS providers aim to detach enterprise systems from the old standard “break/fix” model – rather than fixing issues as they arise — MITS providers continuously monitor your network’s health in order to prevent problems before they interrupt your business’ operations.

MITS providers will also offer personalized help desk services, which greatly increase your employee’s productivity; the benefit of utilizing a MITS help desk versus a generalized help desk is the familiarity with your business’ systems.

As your MITS partner keeps an eye on your enterprise ecosystem’s health, they will also monitor for any security risks, or opportunities for advancement and growth. When your system is updating before problems arise, not only do you reduce the cost of maintaining the system itself, you also increase the productivity of your business as a whole. Maintaining an enterprise ecosystem is akin to keeping a car running smoothly — preventative measures will always be more cost effective and quicker to implement when compared to fixing a broken system.

REDUCE TIME SPENT BUILDING AND FINANCING A TEAM

Find an accountant that can crunch numbers? That accountant can be just as effective as they were on their second year at the end of their career. Find a graphic designer that makes things pop? They’ll be creating compelling designs forever. Find a tech guru who can parse through code like a woodchuck chucks wood? Be prepared to spend money on training them every year - or even every few months.

Tech is an industry that is constantly, continuously changing. It’s hard to describe, let alone wrap your head around the advancement the tech sector has witnessed in even the past ten years — and things are only speeding up. In order to keep your internal IT department effective, up-to-date, and prepared for new security threats, training and education are a necessary, built-in cost to consider.

A MITS provider is there to help ease this burden; rather than slowing down your operations every year as your internal team learns about the new routes hackers are taking advantage of — or the new, holistic service put out by one of the many cloud providers — your MITS partner can keep your enterprise ecosystem running at 100% all the time.

REDUCE SECURITY RISKS

While we’re on the topic of hackers constantly finding new ways to infiltrate enterprise systems, let’s cover some of the ways a MITS provider can reduce your overall security risks. Something we’ll be covering down the line are Network Operations Centers (NOC) and Security Operations Centers (SOC). These are monitoring and control operations that are essential to maintaining a safe, secure, and healthy enterprise system. Essentially, a NOC will monitor your network’s health in order to stay on top of any high-latency connections or operations, in order to maintain an ecosystem that remains productive. A SOC will monitor the entirety of your system for any security risks in real-time; looking for suspicious out-of-network connections, spikes in server operations that might denote DNS attacks, and continuously monitoring program and user states in order to stop any trojan horse hacking attempts before they begin.

FIND A MITS PARTNER THAT UNDERSTANDS YOUR NEEDS

The most important aspect any relationship — especially a professional one — is trust. You need to be able to trust that your MITS partner not only knows what they’re doing, but that they also know how to do it. If your MITS provider proscribes solutions without listening to your concerns for your business, or without looking into the operations that make your business run, they might not be the best fit for you. Always ask as many questions as possible, and keep an open line of communication with your provider — your MITS partner will be happy to help.

Patrick Judy
Patrick Judy is an IT Solutions Specialist who originally began working for Cobb in 2010, and after a five year stint in Raleigh, North Carolina, returned to Cobb’s managed IT development department. Patrick specializes in consulting with businesses in order to help grow and maintain their enterprise ecosystems, and when he’s not working, he’s snowboarding (in which he has over 20 years of experience), or spending time with his family.