8 Qualities to Look for in a Managed Services Provider
As your small business grows, your teams will have to handle a myriad of IT tasks, from maintaining the network and managing downtime to hiring the right talent. Further, you will need to ensure that the enterprise networks are updated regularly. Adhering to these IT best practices will enable seamless operations across the organization.
Partnering with a IT services provider can help businesses delegate their day-to-day IT responsibilities as well as complex tasks to an expert. Companies across industries can effortlessly manage their IT infrastructure while focusing on achieving their core objectives.
Managed services providers offer different types of technological competencies. It may, therefore, be difficult to zero in on an IT support provider suitable for your IT ecosystem.
To help you make an informed decision, we have listed a few qualities that you should look for in your managed services provider.
- Proven Experience
Though all managed IT services providers may claim to be experienced in several aspects of handling a business IT infrastructure, you should look for evidence of their experience.
Check for testimonials and published feedback from previous clients on the IT support provider’s social media platforms and/or website. Spend time connecting with clients in your industry they may have managed in the past. Try to understand how the IT company helped them solve problems.
Also, go through case studies to know about the efficacy of services and problem-solving techniques adopted by the managed services provider. Doing so will give you an insight into the IT company’s way of work and help you decide if they will suit your IT environment.
- Industry Expertise
Managed services providers can help you shoulder countless IT responsibilities. However, the structure of every enterprise IT network depends on its industry type. You should, therefore, partner with a managed IT services provider who has considerable experience in handling IT environments of other businesses in your industry.
Only providers with this type of exposure will be well-versed in industry norms and aware of the specific needs of your enterprise.
Also, managed services providers with experience in the same industry will be able to recommend tried-and-tested solutions that worked well for other clients in the past.
- Backup and Disaster Recovery Capabilities
A competent managed services provider will know how to put a backup and disaster recovery plan in place. This can be used when an unexpected disaster occurs that threatens the security and integrity of business data.
A reliable IT company knows the importance of regularly backing-up business information. With the help of backup and disaster recovery tools, your business can continue to function even if a data loss incident has occurred.
Similarly, when a natural disaster, technical failure, or downtime strikes your network, the backed-up data can quickly be used to resume business operations uninterruptedly.
- Prompt Response
Your managed services provider should be able to respond to your concerns promptly.
Downtime or technical failure can result in the interruption of your processes, which may negatively impact your organization’s reputation. To prevent this, you should choose an IT support provider that is available at your call to look into the issue and rectify it on time.
Your managed services provider should also have a dedicated help desk to attend to emergencies round-the-clock. You should be able to contact a reliable resource in case an unexpected technical mishap occurs. This way, you can rest assured that your complaint has been noted and action will be taken at the earliest.
Moreover, if the system takes time to become operational, the IT support provider should be able to provide an alternative, like a secure standby network that you can connect your systems to.
Prompt response will enable you to overcome emerging technical challenges and resume operations at the earliest possible.
- Managed Services Provider Should Leverage Updated Technologies
Constantly upgrading IT infrastructure with new competencies may not be feasible for most small businesses. They may also not find it budget-friendly to regularly train and upskill staff on emerging technologies and trends. This is where partnering with a managed services provider comes in.
However, managed IT service providers should be aware of the latest technologies and know-how to leverage them. They should be able to equip your organization with the most advanced tools and technologies so you can accelerate your operations and build a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure.
Your IT support provider should also be able to offer you access to a skilled workforce that can meet your technical demands while staying on par with industry trends.
One of the most important jobs of an IT consulting firm is to conduct a detailed assessment of your enterprise IT infrastructure. Thereafter, they may propose the implementation of certain monitoring and planning activities to help strengthen your IT environment.
However, it is important that the IT consulting firm be transparent about their evaluation of your IT ecosystem. Further, they should be forthcoming about their own company culture, processes, tools, and approaches to troubleshooting, implementation of preventive measures, and fee structure.
This will enable you to understand their style of working and make the right decision about choosing a suitable IT company.
- Managed Service Providers Should be Proactive
Technical flaws can bring your entire network operations to a halt. To prevent such instances, your IT support provider should be able to anticipate trouble and take proactive mitigative steps in advance.
Also, they should be able to resolve issues as and when they occur. For example, if your network has slowed down, your IT company should be able to detect anomalies and restore the normal speed swiftly.
Apart from providing proactive and reactive support, your IT support provider should touch base with you regularly. They should have a robust feedback system that works to improve the quality of services. This approach will facilitate uninterrupted business operations and provide you with a competitive advantage.
- Flexibility and Scalability
Your potential managed services provider should offer you multiple service options to choose from.
Whether you choose telephony systems, internet connections, or cloud platforms, do so with care. You should not have to pay for services that you may use once in a while. The managed services provider should be able to flex their package of services based on your unique organizational requirements.
Moreover, they should be able to scale their resources up and down based on your existing and emerging requirements. You should check if the managed services provider follows a pay-as-you-use model that eliminates the need to pay for unused resources.
IT companies offer a various compendium of services. You should choose an IT support provider that offers services best suited for your specific technical environment. Hopefully, the above-mentioned points will provide you with a sneak peek into the qualities to be gauged when deciding on a managed IT service provider.
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Chantale Benoit is the CEO of Frontier Solutions, a Calgary IT support company that has been helping small businesses get the most from IT in a way that allows it to drive their business forward for the past 23 years. Learn more about Chantale and Frontier Solutions here.
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I appreciate you talking about managed services provider qualities. Your post provided me with a fresh perspective.