Managed services involves transferring day-to-day responsibility of the operations to increase effectiveness and efficiency. The complexity and magnitude of managing network security prompts many organizations, especially small to medium scale organizations to outsource their network security services to third party vendors.
Outsourcing network security services makes available security expertise otherwise unavailable or unaffordable, and helps organization in improving their security and compliance, besides deriving better value at lower costs. Managed IT services are however challenging and success depends on ensuring the vendor’s adherence to certain best practices.
Successful managing of IT services requires the vendor having compatible infrastructure adequate to handle your current business requirements that can be scaled up to meet future growth. The vendor not only requires state of the art software, hardware, and systems to implement effective security measures, but also needs at its disposal adequate skilled personnel. A good yardstick to determine the effectiveness of the vendor’s human resources is to ascertain how much time and effort such vendors spend on research and development.
A related key requirement is to ensure that the vendor not only has access to cutting edge technology and remains competent enough to source and adopt cutting edge technologies of the future.
Simple as it may sound, many companies pay scant regards to this critical requirement and select vendors based solely on costs.
The success of security initiatives ultimately depends on the extent to which the end users accept such initiatives. For instance, the company’s approach of unrestrained use of internet backed by proactive real time monitoring needs reinforcement with the third party vendor supporting this initiative.
Success of managed IT services depends on effective two way communication that lends clarity to the relationships and manages expectations. Effective communication, formal and informal, spreading across channel help evolve the relationship from a vendor-client one to that of trusted business partners.
Good communication becomes even more essential for network service services as it becomes essential to communicate the new threats and countermeasures, and changes to network security due to changes in business requirements.
As the adage goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Decrease in malware infections and data loss, an overall decrease in the number of security incidents, maintenance of system integrity over time, and a significant decrease in security related help-desk activities over time is a sure shot way of determining the success of managed IT services related to network security.
Success however ultimately depends on the enterprise having a good security policy in place that serves as a yardstick.