Centralized services: the bigger picture

by | Jul 1, 2021 | Business

As you may know, working together (rather than in a silo), will typically provide better results — this is also very much the case in the world of IT.

While managing 10-20 computers at a single office may appear simple to tech-savvy individuals, what often becomes problematic is a lack of depth and broad experience to protect and improve those environments.

Cloud Computing

By managing multiple organizations (as Smart Dolphins does) with varying needs and complexities, a centralized support structure can take those diverse smaller networks and integrate them into a more sophisticated landscape that offers greater benefits.

Smart Dolphins’ centralized services can identify issues and risks and apply solutions across our entire client base. If a patch or update caused a problem at one client, we can quickly prevent the same issue from impacting another client. This wide lens allows us to identify significant threats and attacks, empowering us to act quickly and efficiently. Take for instance, the March 2020 ‘rush to work from home’ migration that resulted from the health restrictions of the pandemic. At that time, there was a significant uptick in malware outbreaks, network attacks and phishing. We were able to prevent these attacks through active research and monitoring across all networks. And we were able to apply protective solutions across all the networks simultaneously.

Without a centralized support structure, we would not have been able to take such steps as it would have caused significant disruption to engage in a process of discovery and resolution for each client. This lens is not limited to resolving reactive problems but more importantly, it allows for potential issues and threats to be identified and addressed proactively, like for instance, assessments, anti-virus rules and system policies.

This approach is also applied to the solutions a centralized team can provide. Clients’ needs evolve and software providers change, so we also need to ensure that these changes are aligned with our technology. Take, for instance, backups – the most important tool of an organization’s technology. Smart Dolphins is presently amid a significant migration process to move our clients to an aggressively maintained backup solution (powered by Unitrends). Small-scale solution changes like this can be switched quickly and often with little regard to the full scope. A better approach is to see the bigger picture and weave it into a two-year plan and to take into consideration future changes. We invest a significant amount of time researching, testing, and developing plans around a new BCDR (business continuity and disaster recovery) solution, to ensure that it will backup and restore data on a reliable basis and provide modern disaster recovery methods. A backup solution must offer a forward-looking solution to new platforms, such as ‘cloud’ and SaaS services, and build toward a unified platform that allows for an evolving landscape while providing a uniform experience across our client base.

This broad vision supports a diverse client base and enables us to roll out solutions to clients who would not be able to use technology that is generally reserved for larger enterprises with thousands of employees. Centralizing systems give us the ability to leverage a powerful balance of enterprise tools and solutions, yet still have that individualized touch and familiarity that an engaged managed service provider is able to deliver.