IT Managed Service Series: What steps are necessary for successfully converting to managed IT services?

Posted by Charley Lingerfelt

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2/10/14 11:00 AM

Step 1: Self Assess

If you are interested in seeing what a managed services provider can do for your organization it is best practice to first conduct a self-assessment of your current IT capability. This will allow you to compare your internal cost and quality to a provider's offering.

Ask yourself the following questions to get a clear picture of your organization's current IT state and needs.

  • Are you meeting your IT goals?
  • Is IT a business enabler or a burden on your company?
  • Is IT delivering strategic value or merely keeping systems running?
  • Rate yourself on a 1-5 scale. See CMM model for additional self rating information.


Step 2: Discover

The information you gathered from the self-assessment has prepared you to enter the “Discover Phase.” During this phase you will document the company’s high-level needs as well as determine the level of effort that will be required. In discovery you will also perform a brief cost-benefit analysis to make sure that investigating Managed Services makes sense for your organization.

  • What does your company need in a Managed Services Provider (MSP)? Example Attributes: 
    • Financial Management
    • Agility
    • IT Asset Lifecycle Managemen
    • Industry knowledge such as healthcare, transportation and E-commerce
  • Which MSPs might fit your needs?
  • Do you desire a large MSP because of your enterprise or global IT support needs? Or would you be better served by a smaller MSP who can be more nimble and responsive to change as your business evolves and grows?


Step 3: Define

Now that you have a cleaunderstanding of your company’s IT needs, you are ready to move forward and communicate with company executives as well as build thorough requirements to use in your provider selection. During this phase you should:  

  • Spend time with your executive team to establish buy-in for change
  • Document your requirements
  • Qualify MPSs based on those requirements
  • Select your MSP!


Step 4: Transform

Transformation is “The Project” that will take your current IT organization to a managed service Offering.  This includes things like process alignment, reorganization of staff, and creation of standards to enable Service Level Management or objectives. 

As part of the selection process, engaging MSPs will allow businesses to understand what steps are required to successfully convert to a managed services model.  Most MSPs will require some level of IT transformation to enable Managed Services.  Examples include: ITIL Adoption (IT Best-Practices), Migration of Service-Desk Systems (Ticketing), Adding Higher-Value Functions such as Configuration Management (CMDB), Documentation of new processes, Service-Level Base-lining (To establish Service Level Agreements)  and IT Systems refresh. 

Communication is a significant part of the transformation phase as well.  Setting expectations, accurate delivery time-frames, and minimizing user service disruption are key considerations that must be made in order to experience a successful managed services implementation.  

Once transformation is complete, services can then move to an operational status where SLAs (service-level agreements) are enforced. 


Step 5: Service Operations

Objectives for this phase include:  management of technology, coordination of day to day activities, and management of applications all within an agreed upon service levels. 

Processes:  Functions:
Event Management Service Desk
Incident Management Technical Management
Problem Management IT Operations Management
Access Management Application Management
Request Fufillment  


Step 6: Continuous Service Improvment

So you've made it to the 6th and final step, congrats! In order to ensure you derive maximum benefits from your recent conversion to an MSP it is important to conduct regular evaluations. You can quickly begin to identify areas that need improvment and also those areas that have already improved your bottom line. Objectives for this phase include:  Learn and improve upon services and processes across the lifecycle.

  • Process Flow
    • Identify the strategy for improvement
    • Define what will be measured
    • Gather data
    • Process data
    • Analyze data
    • Present the information assessment summary including action plans
    • Implement corrective actions
    • Repeat



We realize that for smaller organizations the above process may be combined and/or shortened.  These are still valid considerations when considering entering into an agreement with a Managed Services Provider. 


Reference Links:   

CMM Levels

For more information contact TamGroup or visit one of the following websites: 

ITIL is a Registered Trademark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom.

*LifeCycle Management Image is Provided by HP. 

Topics: Optimization, Digital Business Evolution, Managed Services