Everything you need to know about managed network services for businesses

In this comprehensive guide, we're discussing managed network services, exploring their crucial role in businesses and the spectrum of services available. We'll navigate through the intricacies of choosing the right provider, offering insights on optimising your network infrastructure to bolster efficiency and security.
A photo of Ian Welch, who is a partner & technical director for Network

Written by

Ian Welch

Ian is the Technical Director @ Network and a certified ethical hacker (CEH), security professional (CISSP) and ISO27001 lead implementer with over 25 years experience.

Updated on

February 1, 2024

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Before we dive in

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Key Takeaways

  1. Managed network services provide businesses with more focused operational efficiency and can help secure IT infrastructure significantly.
  2. A diverse range of services, from network monitoring to cloud management, cater to specific business needs, ensuring scalability and customisation.
  3. Selecting the right managed network service provider is important, requiring a careful assessment of expertise, services offered, and alignment with business objectives.

What are managed network services?

Managed network services offer a comprehensive solution for overseeing and maintaining a company's network infrastructure. These services encompass a broad range of tasks including network monitoring, management of firewalls and servers, cloud integration, and more.

Managed network service providers, or MSPs, step in to handle these complex and time-consuming tasks, freeing up your business to focus on core operations.

With managed services, your business gains access to a wealth of networking expertise and advanced technologies, without the need to hire more staff or invest heavily in IT infrastructure. Whether it's ensuring basic network access or implementing new technologies like SD-WAN, managed network services provide end-to-end management of your network's needs.

They are designed to enhance operational efficiency, provide enhanced security, and ensure constant availability and reliability of your network systems.

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Do these technology challenges sound familiar to your business?

You're frustrated that the business technology you've invested in isn't performing as well as it could be.

You’re worried your business is not fully prepared for the next major cyber attack.

Your team feels let down by IT support's lack of accountability in solving issues efficiently.

The importance of managed network services for businesses

Managed network services play a crucial role in business operations. By opting for managed IT services, your company benefits from having a dedicated team of experts who are focused on optimising your network. This includes everything from routine network monitoring to managing sophisticated security firewalls and SD-WAN solutions.

Managed network service providers offer more than just technical support; they bring in a strategic approach to managing your network infrastructure.

This approach ensures not only the day-to-day functioning of your business processes but also prepares your network to adapt to new opportunities and technologies. Service level agreements with these providers mean you have a clear understanding of the services provided and the expected standards of performance.

For businesses, this translates into several key advantages.

First, it offers peace of mind, knowing that your network is being monitored and managed by experts. This level of expertise is particularly important when it comes to securing networks against evolving cyber threats.

Secondly, it enables better resource allocation within your company. Instead of allocating significant internal resources to network management, you can redirect these towards more strategic initiatives.

Finally, managed network services often come with the promise of operational efficiency and reliability, ensuring that your business operations are supported by a robust and secure network infrastructure.

In conclusion, managed network services are not just about managing and monitoring your network; they are about enabling your business to operate more efficiently, securely, and strategically. By leveraging the expertise and resources of managed service providers, your business can focus on growth and innovation, while leaving the complexities of network management to the experts.

What are the different types of managed network services for businesses?

Managed network services come in various forms, each designed to address specific aspects of your business's network infrastructure and operations. Here's an overview of some of the key types of managed network services that businesses typically use:

Network monitoring and management

Ensuring your network is consistently performing at its peak is important. Managed network experts offer network monitoring and infrastructure management services to keep an eye on your network's performance round the clock.

This includes monitoring network traffic, managing bandwidth, and troubleshooting to prevent or address network issues promptly. By ensuring operational efficiency and reliability, these services help your business avoid costly downtime.

Security management

With cyber threats constantly evolving, safeguarding your network is more important than ever. Managed security services provide advanced cyber security frameworks for your business.

This includes managing security firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and implementing SD-WAN technologies, which enhance security and connectivity. Managed network service providers also ensure compliance with data protection regulations, offering you peace of mind and protecting your company's reputation.

Cloud services management

As businesses increasingly move to cloud-based solutions, managing these environments becomes complex. Managed cloud services involve overseeing your cloud infrastructure, ensuring seamless integration, and optimising performance.

From managing cloud storage to handling remote application hosting services, providers ensure your cloud services are reliable, secure, and scalable to meet your business needs.

Connectivity and managed connectivity services

Reliable and secure connections are the backbone of modern businesses. Managed connectivity services ensure that your business has uninterrupted and high-speed internet access.

This includes the management of local telephone services, basic network access, and the deployment of virtual network services. Providers work to ensure your connectivity is robust, flexible, and capable of supporting your business operations.

Data centre and infrastructure services

Managed services extend to the physical and virtual infrastructures that house your critical business data and applications. Managed network service providers offer services related to data centres and server infrastructure, ensuring they are secure, efficient, and scalable.

This includes the setup, management, and monitoring of your servers, storage, and networking hardware, as well as implementing backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Vendor and service management

Dealing with multiple vendors for different IT services can be complex and time-consuming. Managed network service providers often offer vendor management services, acting as a single point of contact for all your IT-related external services.

This ensures cohesive service management and allows you to focus on your core business while your provider handles the negotiations, relationships, and performance monitoring of third-party vendors.

In summary, managed network services encompass a wide range of solutions, each tailored to address specific aspects of your network infrastructure and IT environment. From keeping your network secure and efficient to managing cloud services and vendor relationships, these services enable your business to leverage new technologies and opportunities, enhance security, and operate more efficiently.

By partnering with a managed services provider, you can ensure that your network infrastructure is in expert hands, allowing you to focus on driving your business forward.

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Selecting the best managed network service provider for your business

Choosing the best managed network service provider (MSP) is a critical decision for your business. It involves evaluating various aspects to ensure that the provider aligns with your business needs and can deliver the required level of service. Here are our top tips to guide you in selecting the right provider:

  1. Expertise and experience: Look for a provider with a proven track record in managing network services. Check their experience in handling networks similar to yours in size and complexity.
  2. Range of services offered: Ensure the provider offers a comprehensive range of managed network services that cover all aspects of your network infrastructure, including cloud services, security management, network monitoring, and connectivity services.
  3. Customisation and scalability: The provider should be able to tailor services to your specific business needs and scale these services as your business grows.
  4. Service level agreements (SLAs): Review the SLAs to understand the provider's commitment regarding network uptime, response times, and resolution times. Ensure these SLAs align with your business’s operational requirements.
  5. Security and compliance standards: Assess the provider's ability to manage secure networks. They should have robust security protocols and comply with relevant data protection regulations.
  6. Technology and innovation: A provider that keeps ahead of new technologies and offers innovative business IT solutions can be a valuable asset in keeping your network infrastructure modern and efficient.
  7. Customer support and service management: Evaluate the provider's customer support structure. Responsive, 24/7 IT support is essential for addressing any network issues promptly.
  8. Cost-effectiveness: Compare the pricing models of different providers. Look for transparent pricing that offers good value without compromising on the quality of services provided.
  9. References and reviews: Check customer testimonials, case studies, and reviews to gauge the provider's reliability and performance from existing or past clients.
  10. Vendor relationships and management: If you rely on multiple third-party services, select a provider skilled in vendor management to ensure seamless integration and management of these services.
  11. Proactive approach to network management: Choose a provider that not only responds to issues but also proactively monitors and maintains your network to prevent problems.
  12. Reporting and analytics: The provider should offer comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities to give you insights into network performance and help in strategic decision-making.
  13. Cultural fit: Ensure the provider's business culture and values align with yours. A good cultural fit can lead to better understanding and collaboration.
  14. Location and availability: Consider the geographical reach of the provider, especially if you require on-site support or have multiple locations.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select a managed network service provider that not only meets your current business needs but also supports your future growth and technological advancements. This partnership can be a crucial step in enhancing your operational efficiency, network reliability, and overall business success.


Managed network services play an important role for businesses who outsource their IT services, and provide a lot of benefits too - like advanced cyber security, support and strategic integration. By understanding the diverse types of services and selecting the right provider, businesses can transform their network infrastructure into a powerful asset.

Are you looking to elevate your network infrastructure? How do managed network services align with your business goals?

We’re keen to understand your unique needs and challenges. If you're considering a tailored managed network solution, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.