Managed Services vs. Cloud Services vs. Hosted Services

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Over the last 10 years, the number and scale of IT services created for small businesses have skyrocketed. As phishing and data leaks become more prevalent, business leaders are consistently turning to cybersecurity consultants and managed service providers to secure their data and daily operations.

This realm of digital services can be confusing and convoluted, with many overlapping definitions. Storing data in the cloud or on a physical server involves the utilization of managed IT services, but not every provider offers the same technological solutions. Let’s delineate the differences and strengths of managed IT services, hosted services, and cloud services for small businesses.

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Managed IT Services

Contrary to what many think, these three service offerings cannot be represented by three totally separate columns on an organizational chart. There is considerable overlap in how these key services are defined. “Managed service providers” is an overarching term that relates to various types of cybersecurity consultants, IT engineers, and cloud solution experts. A managed service provider essentially offers customized data, networking, and storage solutions to businesses.

The scope and nature of these services may vary; whether the client needs to store data in the cloud or needs assistance securely managing on-site servers, a managed service provider serves as their tech teammate who maintains the digital security and optimization of the business as a whole.

The enormous umbrella of MSP providers includes gargantuan companies such as Google and Amazon, as well as independent computer consulting firms.

Cloud Services

First off, it’s important to note that cloud service providers are, in fact, a type of managed service provider. The service they specialize in is the provision and management of cloud solutions. Cloud service providers like Amazon (AWS), Microsoft, and Google establish public clouds, manage private clouds for small businesses, and offer other cloud computing services.

Storing data in the cloud has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the advancement and sophistication of cyber threats. By utilizing a cloud service provider to house and manage critical information, small businesses can leverage the network security and resources of a much larger corporation. Hybrid solutions – in which businesses host some information on internal servers and some on cloud platforms – offer a unique alternative for businesses to customize their approach.

Hosted Services

Finally, hosted services describe another capability available to today’s businesses. “Hosted” is an older term, relatively speaking, and it generally refers to a physical storage environment dedicated to a particular client.

Hosted environments can be off-site at the provider’s location, or on-site on a network of internal machines that are rented out by the client. These bespoke solutions allow the IT staff of the small business to offload data management and security to an outside organization, affording more time and bandwidth for other projects. Hosted service providers tailor each unique solution to the situation and needs of the client, and therefore offer very few off-the-shelf configurations.

Discover Premier Managed IT Services with SUCCESS IT

For secure, intentional, and comprehensive IT services for your small business, work with the trained professionals at SUCCESS Computer Consulting. For 30 years, we’ve dedicated ourselves to maintaining a strong reputation as a leading technology solutions provider. Our culture is based on an innovative mindset and a commitment to excellence that permeates every aspect of our work. To book a cybersecurity consultation or learn more about managed IT services, visit our website.