When you examine all the daily functions of a modern company, there’s one thing that connects them all – quite literally – IT services. Regardless of what they do or what they sell, almost every company relies on technology to be successful. Which IT an organization utilizes probably runs the gamut and crosses a wide variety of subjects and fields. Where those IT services come from also can be diverse, whether you rely on in-house technicians, a third-party IT service provider with external services, or a combination of both.
Just what types of IT services are out there? You may be pleasantly surprised by the variety of options available for your industry. IT services differ with the size and type of organization you have, and they also vary quite a bit with geography. A managed IT services company in Vancouver for example, is likely to provide different services and cover different topics than one in Ontario.
While the variety of IT services are staggering, there are several types of IT solutions that are most commonly utilized within organizations. In this article, we’ll examine 20 of the most popular to familiarize you with what’s available, how they are used, and to perhaps give you some ideas about how your company can capitalize on them.
What are the most common types of IT services? Here are 20 that you might have heard of and that you should familiarize yourself with. Some are general IT services, and some are best suited to specific industries.
Everyone has heard of the cloud, but what exactly is it? The cloud refers to services or software that are run via a network instead of locally on your computer. As such, it can support all types of virtual services, ranging from programs to operating systems. One of the most functional of these is a cloud backup. This allows individual users or entire companies to backup vital data on external cloud servers, which makes them less prone to local hardware failures. In most cases, IT service providers will handle cloud backups for annual or monthly fees.
A wide-ranging and comprehensive type of service managed IT services generally are part of a complete package of solutions offered by a managed service provider (or MSP) which encompass multiple IT service needs. While these services recently have expanded to include remote cybersecurity company management, managed IT services traditionally include remote server, desktop, and associated device management.
No one wants to be tied down by dated technology, and VoIP is the natural maturation of phone systems – plus some. Instead of a traditional phone line, this IT service makes use of an internet connection to place and receive calls. These systems are great for modern offices since VoIP phones offer advanced call and chat options not typically available in traditional phones. Instead of a traditional phone service contract, VoIP’s usually requires a service subscription.
One of the most frightening prospects companies face is the possibility of losing critical data. Data backups give companies peace of mind by ensuring that their data is safely preserved in the event of an unforeseen crisis, whether that’s an internal hardware failure, a cyberattack, or a natural disaster. Many IT providers offer data backup services via external data centers or the cloud, while in-house teams may opt for a hardware solution, which can be dangerous in the event of the aforementioned site disaster. No matter which method you chose, it’s referred to as a “BDR strategy” (or backup disaster recovery strategy) and is essential to avoid critical data loss and more minor issues like downtime.
Cybersecurity is a far-ranging category that encompasses a menu of varied services. These services are essential since cybercrime was projected to cost companies and individuals $6 trillion in 2021 alone. Ways of keeping critical data safe include many that we will go into more depth about below, including network monitoring, firewalls, anti-virus protection, layered networks, and more. While these services can be handled by an on-site team, cybersecurity companies are valuable resources since they typically have very experienced staff who are well-versed in the latest threats. If you opt for only a few IT service options, cybersecurity should be among them.
You can think of a firewall as the first line of defense in your cybersecurity plan, since it literally helps keep intruders outside your virtual door by restricting access to your networks. This is something that many companies handle internally, however, those who need an extra layer of protection will often opt for additional firewall service from an external provider whose offerings will vary based on their particular expertise.
Some organizations opt for hybrid firewall models that provide extra control and network monitoring options for anything out of the norm, while others favor a single firewall solution for all devices whether they are internal or remote. Again, what you need will vary based on the nature of your data and the aggressiveness of perceived threats.
A network monitoring application does exactly what its name implies – it monitors everything attached to an organization’s network, from servers and communication to internet traffic and security. This service is typically offered by an MSP and most often utilized by smaller companies who lack the resources of a larger corporation yet still need robust IT features. With this type of service, the MSP will typically update software and anti-virus systems automatically and keep a watchful eye on any hardware with SMART programs.
This essential aspect of cybersecurity is one that almost everyone is familiar with, since it’s the most common type of IT service. Malicious software, or malware, is rampant and ever-evolving, so virtually every organization must be prepared to deal with its encroach by running some type of anti-virus software and/or utilizing a monitoring service.
What software does your business run on? For most organizations, the answer is Microsoft’s all-inclusive software package, Office 365, which includes Word, Excel, and more. Since Microsoft offers a monthly fee plan, offices can ensure that they offer a range of software options that are always up to date. This is known as a SaaS (software as a service) model. Since Office 365 also operates as a cloud server and has an email management platform, it’s a viable solution for most organizations.
For those who want to opt for a flexible cloud program that only charges for what you use, Microsoft Azure is a solid choice. This is Microsoft’s own cloud platform, which was previously known as Windows Azure. Azure provides an array of options for everything from development and IoT to analytics and security. Since you don’t pay a hefty flat fee, it’s a viable choice for organizations whose IT budgets are limited.
Speaking of Software as a Service, what exactly is it? SaaS simply refers to any software purchased through a monthly subscription, usually via a third party over the internet. In addition to Office 365, which we just mentioned above, email or graphic design software subscriptions would be included in this category.
Business runs on data, and how your organization interprets that information effectively is the purview of business intelligence. Business intelligence services analyze a deluge of incoming data, extract the points that are vital to your organization, and then transform them into reports and other meaningful information. What that data is will vary from organization to organization and could range from financial data to click-through rates and virtually anything that you can imagine.
These services are a specialized form of business intelligence that encompasses analyzing and digesting data for internal company use. Data analytics works with specialists and outside services to process information for a company to generate useable reports.
In today’s post COVID world, we all have recognized the value of remote IT support. This allows IT professionals to offer support services from any location. In some cases, that means remoting into a device via the internet to troubleshoot issues, but it also encompasses virtual IT assistance, software maintenance or repair, or any other needs that can’t be handled on-site. Generally handled through an MSP, the advantage is that allows your office to tap into the experience of IT experts you don’t have on staff, and who may not even be in your geographic area.
Another new reality is the advent of mobile and remote networking. This permits staff to work from mobile devices and/or remote devices, generally from another location that is off-site, such as their home or a worksite. This works hand-in-hand with company BYOD (bring your own device) policies. These types of networking allow employees to work on projects from anywhere at any time, regardless of whether the primary office is open or closed.
Business today is conducted via a staggering variety of communication platforms and services. Reigning all of these in is the role of specialized IT services that create universal communication solution platforms. A UC platform is software that incorporates all of a company’s messaging tools, from chat to voice and video calls and even email.
Yet communication management is also a broader term that touches on how a company communicates, down to establishing email etiquette and guidelines. For example, a company may only allow sensitive information to be kept on company email accounts.
Similar to communication management, unified communications means implementing the software and internal planning necessary to bring all communication types together in a single, cohesive space. As mentioned above, one example is UC software, but this is a broader category. Unified communications can either be managed internally by a business or through a service provided by an MSP.
Backtracking to something more basic, networking IT services are everything that you need to efficiently run an internal company network. This involves building the actual network infrastructure, setting up devices such as modems and LAN routers, creating a network layout that might involve segmenting a network into multiple tiers, network security, optimization for speed and efficiency, and myriad other factors. Businesses typically build networks on-site, using their internal IT experts or third parties for more complex networks with advanced capabilities.
As the name implies, IT development encompasses all of the pieces needed to develop and then efficiently manage a platform or software. Third-party software developers often assist in getting a project over the finish line or in completing tasks necessary to do so, such as QA testing, business solutions, migration, application development, and application maintenance. You may have heard the term “shadow developers,” which refers to third-party pros brought in for such short-term projects.
While many small companies simply connect a few printers to a network, printing IT services goes more in-depth. This includes all of the myriad services needed to manage, record, and print documents. Third parties are usually brought in to assist in cases where there’s a high volume of printing requests or when documentation backups and organization is required via virtual spreadsheets.
How do you determine which of these IT services are right for your business? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Since not everyone has the same level of financial resources, you need to balance investments in IT with the essentials that you need to remain competitive. Take the time to weigh whether any of these apply to your organization:
If you see your own company in any of these examples, it’s time to speak with a managed service provider about IT services.
IT solutions are designed to help your business, whether that’s by creating efficiencies or improving communication. As the pace of business gears up, companies are under more pressure to respond with the latest technology that safeguards client data while balancing a profit margin.
An investment in IT services can help your staff better perform their jobs, ease communication, and simply work smarter. We encourage you to examine the above list and then talk with an MSP or other IT solutions company to find the mix of services that is right for you. Want to learn more about IT services & IT solutions? Visit us at https://dyrand.com and then reach out to discover how we can help you succeed.