As an IT managed services provider, you supply infrastructure and support services to your clients. But do you also deliver monitoring and analytics? If not, you should. Here's why.

It's easy to think of a managed service as something that includes just implementation and support. But that's a mistake. There's more to consider than just the tasks of setting up a server, PC or cloud service and keeping it running.

Why Monitoring Matters

You also need to monitor the service you set up. Well, you don't need to, but doing so will double down on the value you deliver to your customers and the reward you reap for yourself.

Monitoring means collecting information related to the service you offer, like usage trends, server load and network topology data. Once the data is collected, you can then run analytics on it.

Those analytics can benefit you and your customers in several key ways, such as the following:

  • Keeping performance optimal. If a service is over- or underutilized, your metrics will reveal that. You can then add or subtract resources as needed in order to ensure uptime without overspending.
  • Helping to plan. If you want to expand your service offerings in the future, data that shows you which ones are most popular, where and who your users are and so on will do much to help you plan effectively.
  • Delivering security. Monitoring alone is not enough to keep a service secure. It's one security tool. Analytics can reveal anomalies that could be your first sign of an intrusion or vulnerability.
  • Providing information to your clients. Metrics can help you deliver data to your clients about their usage trends or behaviors that they don't know about themselves. That will help them to understand their own business better, while giving you a better understanding of your customers.

How can you collect metrics and make them actionable?

In most situations, the process is as simple as implementing a log aggregation and analytics tool, which will collect logging data from multiple services, store it in one place and provide tools to help you analyze that data.

I won't endorse a specific log aggregation tool here here, but there are lots of options out there if you Google.

Implementing log aggregation may require some doing on your part, but if you're the in the managed IT services business, it's certainly something you can handle.

The effort will be well worth it.