Why reinvent the wheel?
This article is for financial types who love practicality. If you have any interest in fitness, you’re probably the type of individual who pays a reasonable monthly fee for a health club membership ($49.00 at the YMCA) instead of building out your own home gym.
Unless you’re Sara Blakey or Bernie Marcus, buying an assortment of spin bikes, treadmills, free weights, and Cybex machines doesn’t make much sense.
In addition to taking up a lot of space, each item requires maintenance and end-of-life replacement.
There’s also a good chance the assets simply sit there gathering dust if you overestimated your ability to stay motivated. It’s hard without the guidance of a trainer to stay locked into a structured routine.
The same analogy applies to in-house IT departments. It’s critical to understand what they need to build out internally and what you need to get elsewhere to drive greater tangible benefits (minus the waste and risk).
This is where managed IT service providers (MSPs) warrant a closer look. In addition to being consultants and master conductors, many possess an incredible stack of applications that will elevate the performance of your in-house IT staff.
Here are four standout integrated IT management tools and their associated benefits to your organization. While I mention a few brand names to build familiarity, best in class MSPs will frequently evaluate and implement replacement alternatives if they offer a better client outcome.
Products come and go but an advisory relationship with a solid process is a constant.
1 – Connectwise
This Professional Services Automation (PSA) platform is the central nervous system of managed IT environments all over the world.
Connectwise is the market leader in MSP management tools and empowers service providers to monitor, manage, support, and secure IT systems and users through a single pane of glass.
The solution deploys agents to all client endpoints along with related services (and add-ons) that include but are not limited to:
- Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM)
- Enterprise Anti-Virus (EAV)
- Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
- Security Information Event Management (SIEM)
- Data Loss Protection (DLP)
- Single-Sign On (SSO)
- Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
Even better, this tool can be licensed to in-house IT for a nominal fee.
In one scenario, the client runs process-driven desktop support. In another, the client supports specific infrastructure or departments with a custom application.
Each application is made feasible without investing several hundred thousand dollars into a software platform that would also be impossible to run 24/7 without advanced certifications and ongoing training.
Why? The average in-house IT person has no idea how to respond to thousands of alerts generated by the system (and dozens of different applications), nor do they have the time to monitor a bottomless pit of event logs.
Learn More: Connectwise for Internal IT
2 – IT Glue
MSPs were having such a hard time keeping track of all core client assets, applications and services, the folks at IT Glue stepped in to address the pain with the ultimate in documentation solutions.
I’m sure MSPs were having a hard time with their own assets as well. It’s impossible without an expertly designed software program to catalogue, consolidate, and preserve the modern digital estate.
IT Glue captures it all in a vault: Contacts, Locations, Sites, Facilities, Configurations, Vendors, Local Area Networks, Wide Area Networks, Licensing, Passwords, Documents, Active Directories, Domain Trackers, Office 365 Licenses, SSL Trackers, Backups, Applications, Remote Access, File Sharing, Virtualization, VM hosts, and Checklists.
Say goodbye to any single points of failure and hello to a rich repository of indestructible system data that drives insights, recommendations, service excellence, innovation, and business continuity.
What’s working? Which areas need immediate attention? What have you done for me lately? IT Glue has all of the source material and it’s not going anywhere (unlike disorganized employees who leave with institutional knowledge and no paper trail).
Learn More: IT Glue
3 – ScalePad
Formerly known as Warranty Master, ScalePad is an automated asset management tool that MSPs use to manage the lifecycle of all client hardware, software, and services.
It fits hand in glove with Connectwise and by default, IT Glue, to improve quality of service, budgetary transparency, cost-control, compliance readiness, accountability, and the advancement of standards.
Standards play a pivotal role in an organization’s ability to scale. When all of your technology is modular and interchangeable - reliability, efficiency, and effectiveness are amplified to support your business strategy.
Can your IT staff conduct meaningful assessments and benchmarking exercises to identity gaps, and adopt the best practices to make this happen? They can if they partner with the right MSP.
Learn More: ScalePad
4 – SentinelOne
While everyone is feverishly logging in, typing away, and swiping the screens of various IoT devices, our world is in a constant state of non-stop cyber warfare.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a significant improvement on a legacy solution known as Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP). While EPP was focused on solving the file-based malware threat, EDR takes it a sophisticated step forward to address fileless malware, memory-based malware, and lateral movement attacks.
SentinelOne is one particular Gartner Group standout with a unique AI-powered solution that prevents, detects, responds, and hunts attacks (in real time) across the cloud, IoT devices, containers, and endpoints.
This turns your entire network into a scanning device (harnessing machine learning and more) to detect threats at each stage of their lifecycle.
Learn More: SentinelOne Deeper Dive
The solution provider landscape for IT tools is vast, quickly evolving, and somewhat confusing when it comes to figuring out exactly what you need.
Many larger enterprises have twelve different security tools. Not only is this a glaring example of vendor clutter, there’s also a good chance that many of the tools are redundant and not being properly integrated to full effect.
In order to maximize IT availability and minimize security risk, each business requires a layered solution incorporating many different vendors.
Is your IT stack harmonized to optimize value and reduce tool spread, cost overruns, and system alert fatigue?
Does your in-house team have the right MSP partner in Atlanta? The right one has all the tools you need on one place along with the guidance to keep you on track.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like some of the related content in our free eBook.