For many IT commentators Managed Services have become synonymous with ‘The Cloud’. However one does not equal the other.
Generically the Cloud:
- Provides a global network of servers and storage in multiple data centres from which applications are provided.
- Facilitates the public provision of free and paid for apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce.com and LinkedIn.
- Uses shared resources to hold and distribute data from locations unknown to the users.
- Has no service levels or customer guarantees around data security or availability.
A Managed Service is typically tailored to the individual needs of a business.
It should provide:
- Specified resources from which the service will be delivered.
- Location details where applications and data will be hosted and run securely.
- Service Level Agreements that reflect the needs of the customer and individual applications.
- Monitoring, alerting and reporting tools to ensure a highly available service.
- Technical Resources via a help desk to provide technical support.