If your company is like many, your IT (information technology) department manages, maintains, and updates the majority of your technologies. In addition to keeping your systems running properly, they also help to keep them secure. This can get complicated and expensive very quickly.
Many companies are now turning to some of the best managed IT services providers to help with this task as a cost-effective alternative to hiring in-house staff. These companies do everything from data backup and recovery to software installation and upgrades, hardware repair, security management, and more. This can include anything from using cloud storage providers to managing operations remotely via a dedicated network connection, or even providing onsite network security engineers on a part-time basis.
However, choosing the right provider isn’t always easy, but it’s important for both your business’s bottom line and security posture. Here are some things you need to consider when choosing your managed IT services provider:
Before you start looking for an outsourced IT company, you need to figure out what your needs are. Do you have specific projects that need completing? Do you need someone who can provide ongoing support and maintenance for all of your systems? Or do you simply want to hire someone who can be there when things go wrong?
Once you’ve figured out what your business needs from an outsourced IT company, it’s much easier to find the right one for you. Make sure that they’ll be able to meet all of your requirements and that they have a history of successfully helping clients in similar situations.
If an IT company doesn’t have much experience in the field, they’re probably not going to be a good fit for your business. Some areas of IT require years of training before people can even begin to help other businesses with their operations. Make sure any outsourced IT partner has a long history in the industry and that they have worked with businesses like yours in the past.
The cost of using a managed IT services provider is going to vary drastically depending on which company you use and what services they provide. Depending on the type of contract that you sign up for, the price could include everything from setting up and maintaining your systems to being available 24/7 for help when things go wrong.
If budget is a major concern for your company — and it is for most businesses — then this should be one of the first questions to ask when discussing with an IT services provider. Some companies will even create bespoke packages designed to meet your specific needs at an affordable price. For example, if your business has offices around the country, then you might want them to provide remote support only as opposed to having an engineer visit each office location.
Some managed IT services providers will have different priorities or focus areas on their business than others. Some may be great at providing cloud services, while others might have more experience helping companies implement new technology in their office space. Before you sign up with one company over another, make sure that they can do everything that your business needs them to do, and save yourself sometime in the future by having to switch later on if your needs change.
The last thing you want is to wait hours for your IT department to get back to you. Make sure that your new partner assigns enough resources to make sure that you receive prompt responses and quick resolution times. Ideally, there should be at least two people assigned: an account manager (who will handle non-technical issues) and an engineer (who can resolve technical problems). You’ll also want to know what their direct line is so you can quickly contact them if there’s an emergency.