As businesses grow, so do their technological needs. Increasing the scale of your company’s technical capabilities is highly beneficial but is expensive and time-consuming. For this reason, many organizations are looking for managed services providers to manage the technical side of business for them. A provider will allow you to supplement your existing IT staff and infrastructure by partnering with a qualified firm of experts equipped with the knowledge and resources to optimize your operations. This is an excellent solution for organizations needing to operate at peak efficiency but may not have the resources to manage an onsite IT staff of such a large caliber. Your managed service provider should be able to manage your network, servers, computers, and all other technology needs. Most providers will offer this, but finding the right provider can still be a challenge. Choosing the right managed services partner is critical to finding a cost-effective and efficient IT solution. To help you find your perfect fit, we will discuss ten vital attributes to look for in your managed services partner.
First and foremost, your managed services provider must offer constant availability. While your team members may not be in the office 24/7, your computer network is. The data you store, use, and share is constantly "awake" and needs to be treated as such. For this reason, your IT provider must be available to you at all times, ensuring that your network is perpetually up and running without disruption. Your business depends on your network’s continuous operation, so ensure that your managed services provider is available to meet this necessary need.
Fast Service and Response Time
Hand-in-hand with availability is response time. Your provider can be available 24/7, but if they cannot respond and act as quickly as possible, that availability is futile. Should there be a critical disruption in your network, it must be resolved swiftly to prevent significant damages and losses. To ensure this, make sure that your provider does not forward calls to a call center but responds in a timely manner. A guaranteed response time is necessary to manage an efficient and resilient network.
Onsite Maintenance and Support
A significant component of a fast response time is your physical proximity to your provider. While most of your IT work will be conducted virtually, it is still important to choose a vendor available for onsite support. While many complications can be resolved remotely, there may be times when your provider must come onto your worksite. Should this occur, it is much easier to obtain timely maintenance and support from a local provider.
When speaking of support, it most often entails minor technical misconfigurations, but it’s possible that a major disaster could occur. Beyond the average technical issue that your provider should respond to, some disasters cannot be avoided, and they will drastically impact your network. If your company is affected by a weather disaster, vandalism, or significant power outage, your provider should be prepared to help you recover. A capable provider will help you put a plan in place for potential disasters so that your data is protected and you recover as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
As mentioned, sometimes disasters and misconfigurations are inevitable. In order to quickly recover from such disruptions, proactive maintenance is necessary. While it may be tempting only to fix technology when it's broken, this can result in expensive repairs and wasted time in the long run. A knowledgeable provider should proactively run the updates you need to avoid delays later. With AI-enabled technology, many systems are able to perform predictive maintenance, notifying your provider of when breakdowns will occur. These capabilities will ensure that maintenance is performed before the damage becomes critical. Acting proactively, rather than reactively, is key to maintaining a resilient and efficient network.
Daily Cloud Service Backups
A significant component of proactive maintenance involves performing daily backups. The majority of information today is stored using cloud services. Because it is not located in a physical server, it can be easy to forget that it still requires backups and maintenance. Using a managed services provider is a great way to ensure that your data is safe and secure at no extra labor to your internal team. Still, it is crucial to make sure that your provider performs automatic and consistent backups. Backing up your data on a remote server is necessary for ensuring the safety of sensitive information.
Another significant reason for performing daily backups is that it mitigates significant cybersecurity risks. The rate of cybercrime is rising, and a good managed services provider should help protect your network from hackers. Your company’s reputation relies on your ability to protect sensitive data. Major security breaches can result in expensive and damaging lawsuits, so it is crucial that you avoid them. Your provider should perform regular security testing and monitoring for attacks to ensure that your information is safe and attacks are avoided.
IT technology is expensive, and it's constantly developing. In order to stay competitive, companies need to keep up with the pace of technological innovation, which requires continuous budget planning. Your managed services provider should sit down with you and assist in your technology planning. As experts, they should have the knowledge to advise you in yearly planning, looking for ways to save you money while improving your technology. For your company to grow, your IT must be as efficient as possible, requiring frequent evaluating and updating. Ensure that the provider you choose is forward-thinking and prepared to help you achieve your long-term goals. Technology will never stop developing, so it’s crucial that your provider help you keep up in order to stay competitive.
Third-Party Vendor Partnerships
Beyond the direct support that your managed services provider should offer you, they should also help handle third-party technology vendors for you. No business can genuinely work alone, and that goes for your managed services provider as well. Look at who your provider partners with and make sure that they have expertise on the tools you utilize. This will save you the time of tracking down multiple vendors for service and support, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
The overarching reason for acquiring the services of a managed services provider is to alleviate tasks from your internal workforce. If your employees are struggling with technology or devoting time to learn new technology, they are taking time away from more critical tasks. Your provider should be able to provide answers fast and use remote access to resolve issues quickly. One of the most vital aspects of your company is the ability of your employees to perform their roles. For this to be done, they must have full access and use of the tools required to complete such tasks. Utilizing an expert managed services provider will enable your team members to focus on more pressing tasks with speed and efficiency.
Using a managed services provider is an excellent resource in optimizing your company’s network and IT infrastructure. By alleviating challenging and tedious IT tasks from your internal team, employees are able to perform their roles with increased productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. An equipped provider will protect your organization from risks and disruptions, optimizing your network for maximum success. Partnering with an accredited and experienced managed services provider will enable your company to thrive now and in the future.