7+ WAYS TO EVALUATE YOUR MANAGED IT SERVICE PROVIDER

Striving for improvement in all aspects is important for business development. Right from managing the finances, filing taxes, hiring, retaining and firing practices, or evaluating a managed IT service provider, all of it is important. All small and mid-size business executives must be aware of the skills needed to carry out these tasks. While some of the processes can be managed in house, some others must be outsourced to professionals.

A competent managed IT service provider enables the business to grow from a limited set up to an ever-evolving venture with the help of efficient technical assistance. That being said, it must be noted that all managed IT service providers will not bring a similar efficiency to the table.

A capable managed IT service provider must have the necessary experience, credentials, and expertise to efficiently safeguard and manage a network. Since the system of information technology is a key factor in business growth, it is significant that all businesses maintain a checklist to evaluate the managed IT service provider.

Given below, are seven+ ways to evaluate your managed IT service provider. Understand these ways well to know if the service provider meets all the needs.

Checklist to evaluate Managed IT Service Provider

1. QUICK AVAILABILITY

You need easy access to efficient technology all the time to run a business. The first criterion that must be used to evaluate the managed IT service provider is quick availability. 

The professional must be able to respond quickly to your location. In simple terms, this means that in case an unfortunate problem occurs in your system, professional help must arrive at the earliest so that the business does not suffer. 

2. SERVICE AGREEMENT

Another important factor of the managed IT service provider checklist, the service agreement must include all the details on the level of services that an MSP will provide. 

Generally, this includes the service delivery process, monitoring the systems, evaluating performance standards, area of maintenance, etc.

3. TOTAL EXPERIENCE

Another criterion that can be used for the managed service provider assessment is checking the total experience and reputation of the provider. To get tangible proof of this, you can visit the website of your service provider; check the case studies, testimonials, reviews from clients, etc.  

Also check the year in which the managed IT service provider was established, the technical qualifications, and previous clients. Explore as many sources as you would like but get valid information on the quality of service provided by the MSP.

4. SAFETY

A managed IT service provider questionnaire must include the safety factor. It is the responsibility of the MSP to secure the IT system from all possible threats such as viruses, malware, hackers, etc. 

At the time when you inquire about the services, ensure that the MSP makes an official and documented cybersecurity plan.

5. IT BUDGET AND PLANNING

A good budget is a combination of strategic decisions. The checklist to evaluate the managed IT service provider must include verifying the budget and planning capabilities. 

A competent MSP has the ability to create value in technology projects by breaking down different types of costs and controlling future expenses. In any case, you must look for a business that optimizes costs for increasing the ROI while delivering the budget.

6. ADAPTING CAPABILITIES

The needs of a small business are always on the verge of transforming. Right from rapid growth to seasonal load, most of the managed service providers face trouble in matching up to the changes of business. 

When you evaluate a managed IT service provider, make sure that there is a provision of changing your agreement on the basis of your needs. A good managed IT service provider mostly works with teams of all sizes while understanding how to address the needs of small businesses.

7. TRANSITION TO CLOUD

Cloud technology is a great way to optimize cybersecurity while allowing you to reach your data comfortably. Your MSP must provide cloud migration and transition services so you can get assistance for moving to the cloud technology. 

This service is all the more important in case you own an online business that moves across different locations or sites. Hence, a managed IT service provider must be scalable to efficiently adjust with the increasing demands of a business.

8. EMPLOYEE SUPPORT

Employees must be able to utilize the new age technology so that maximum benefit can be obtained. However, they are not always going to have the necessary skills and permissions. It must be ensured that the managed IT service provider can offer support with remote access so that employees can function anywhere.

CONCLUSION:

Hiring a capable managed IT service provider is not a one day job. It will take time to evaluate your options. With the above-mentioned factors, you can make the entire process simple and efficient.

MANAGED IT SERVICES FOR GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS

More often than not, the business of government contractors is in the shape of expanding at a constant rate. With this expansion, the IT requirements, complexities, and needs also keep increasing. Scaling the IT set up is extremely important as the business needs to become more and more complex with the growth of an organization.

In addition, navigating the compliance guidelines for government contractors and hardware requirements for the systems is also important. There is no doubt in the fact that it can be difficult to manage the IT growth while keeping up with the government compliance standards and especially keeping the employees on the staff. For this reason, it is important for government contracting organizations to turn to managed IT support services.

Managed IT service providers make the entire IT functionality simple by providing managed information technology services that ensure optimized performance for all the government contractors. With these services, the government contracting customers can rely on extremely skilled, certified, and well experienced IT professionals that can offer breadth and depth of technical knowledge allowing the organizations to stay at par with the advanced technological scenario.

In order to get to the root of this in a better way, let us first understand that the importance of managed IT services for government contractors:

RELIANCE ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Government contractors are busy dealing with multiple challenges all through the day. Most of their operations rely on having a stable foundation of information technology to make sure that the employees stay productive and the date stays secure. Without information technology, not just the money is at risk but the data related to money funding contracts are also at risk. Taking the assistance of a managed IT service provider ensures that not just the information technology set up stays in line but the data is also kept in a secured form.

MANAGED COSTS

While dealing with a business, there are extremely thin margins of costs involved. It is important to ensure that the money does not get wasted. Investing in suitable managed IT support services saves the government contractors from unnecessary overheads such as cost of repair, replacement, and maintenance of poor technology. The managed IT service providers ensure that there are overhead costs as far as the technology is concerned. This finally makes a significant difference in the overall costs.

DATA BACKUP AND CONTINUITY

Similar to all other industries, the data compiled over the span of business existence marks the foundation on which organizations operate. With government contractors, this becomes all the more true with personal, private, and classified information being a part of government contracts. Losing this data or an ability to access it when it is needed is nothing less than a disaster. Therefore, the most effective data backup facility is important for working with the government. The managed IT service providers are experienced in dealing with the technology system of government contractors while providing valuable insights into the company’s network. These services assess the level of storage very easily while offering suitable technological solutions to government networks.

RISK MANAGEMENT

The managed IT services bring an integrated range of tools that enable centralized management of security detection, monitoring, and deployment of best practices. These services are focused on scaling the IT resources of an organization for matching the needs in a much structured and process-driven manner. The expert advice and specialized tools help in navigating the complex road to achieve and maintain compliance while establishing a control driven approach to cybersecurity.

CONCLUSION:

The managed IT service providers come with a wide range of experience that allows the customers to experience a high quality of managed IT support services. The government organizations of all types and sizes benefit from the expertise in cloud-based technologies and solutions along with the scaling of software services provided to match the customer needs.

The experience of IT professionals offering an integrated range of services helps in achieving world-class results. Hence, there is no doubt that managed IT service for government contractors provides a responsive, reliable, and cost-effective method to businesses for their growth.

MANAGED IT SERVICES: JUST HOW EDUCATED YOU SHOULD BE

Information technology has been evolving at a high rate. Most organizations keep their IT workforce busy by keeping them up to date with their maintenance tasks. Knowing all about new software, cybersecurity, hardware, etc. is not only significant but it is also a full-time job.

Major dependence on the internal IT resources begins to result in an eventual increase in IT-related problems and threats. This is major because the IT teams are supposed to balance day to day operations with strategic initiatives and when problems begin to increase, the result is a downtime, lesser productivity, reduced customer satisfaction and sometimes even data breaches.

Managed IT services providers enter as a solution to this problem since they offer services that can be used to outsource important technical support for the information technology of an organization. As opposed to the internal resources that get full-time salaries, the managed IT service providers are paid on the basis of a subscription that allows them to constantly monitor the health of IT systems.

These services can enhance system reliability, the overall cost that is spent on IT, keep the customers happy while also improving employee productivity. Selecting the right managed IT service provider can improve the business outcomes immensely.

IMPORTANT BENEFITS OF MANAGED IT SERVICES:

In order to meet the ever-evolving expectations of the customers, organizations require important IT solutions. The managed IT service providers are experienced professionals who structure their IT operations while changing them with the marketplace. The important benefits of managed IT service include:

  1. COMMON VISION: The managed IT service providers are responsible for overseeing the IT support function while eliminating any technology patchworks and making sure that smooth operations take place.
  2. BALANCED TECHNOLOGICAL ALIGNMENT: Managed IT service providers, to understand the business down to the detail. They do everything to keep the technology balance and aligned to the needs, objectives, and workflows of the business.
  3. TECHNOLOGICAL GROWTH: Managed IT services allow the business to upgrade their infrastructure according to the present scenarios.

SHOULD YOU OPT FOR MANAGED IT SERVICES?

With the introduction of multiple options an ever-increasing dependency on technology, managed IT services are evolving quickly. It is predicted that the managed services industry is expected to grow close to $100 billion dollars in the coming five years.  Additionally, over two-thirds of organizations are utilizing managed services for at least one of the IT functions.

Undoubtedly, managed services are making waves in the IT industry and this is for a good reason. In addition to offering multiple features, the managed IT service providers also benefit the older IT outsourcing models and while perfectly aligning with the in-house IT staff. However, the question is does this mean these services are right for your business?

Although, you are the only one who can possibly answer this question, given below is a list of important highlights that must be taken into account while considering managed services.

  • You have a growing business with evolving IT needs.
  • You wish to move your data to cloud-based software.
  • If your business is large enough to justify a full house IT team.
  • If you want your IT team to concentrate on important aspects such as business development, employee productivity, and strategic efforts.
  • If you have a working contingency plan for your data.
  • You want to reduce your overall costs by investing a fixed amount in IT services.
  • If you want to safeguard the sensitive data.
  • In case you want your employees to benefit from a flexible and collaborative communication system.
  • If you want to meet the industry standards and continue to advance in the right direction.

In case you want to make the best use of all these benefits then using the managed IT services is definitely a good idea.

How to find out if Managed IT Services are right for your business?

Technology is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business which further makes it a significant component of almost every organization. Owning and managing a successful business can become a challenge if the technological environment keeps changing consistently. Clouded with numerous choices and no professional consulting, many companies end up overspending on IT without realizing which technological expenses are important.

This particular fact is all the more true when it comes to small to medium-sized businesses since larger companies have an increased budget that has a better capacity to sustain the in-house IT roles. However, the small and medium-sized businesses have more chances to stay on the course when it comes to overcoming the crunch. It always pays to cut down the costs and increase efficiency wherever possible.

Outsourcing the IT services in the form of Managed IT services is right where you can give rise to a profitable scenario of saving great time and money along with improving team productivity. Before finding the answer to the question if the Managed IT services are right for your business, let us first find out the right meaning of Managed IT services.

WHAT ARE MANAGED IT SERVICES?

The Managed IT services consist of outsourcing the coordination of absolutely anything related to IT, right from office hardware to maintenance work, fulfilling security needs, cloud storage, computing services, etc. Some of the examples of these services include outsourced helpdesk, outsourced CIOs, back up planning, virtualization, disaster recovery, etc.

In case a business is not so much on the tech-savvy side, then they can seek the assistance of managed IT service providers for something as simple as making sure that all the anti-virus software applications are up to date. This will make sure that in case an attack occurs then the business services are not interrupted and the internal security systems are not damaged.

Additionally, it must be understood that when it comes to IT, the approach of one size fits for all cannot be followed. Since all enterprises differ from each other, their needs vary too. So, the suitable kind of managed IT services differs from business to business.

Based on the latest report by the Deloitte Tech Trends, the overall economic impact of the in-house IT infrastructure and team has taken up a substantial amount of the budget so that the business-critical systems keep working. Information technology has ever-increasing importance to play in business operations. Therefore, an in-house IT set up that takes up a huge budget is not a long term plan to be followed. 

HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR ORGANIZATION NEEDS MANAGED IT SERVICES?

YOU NEED A SYSTEM TO PROTECT SENSITIVE INFORMATION

In case your business deals with keeping sensitive information then an IT system that keeps the data secure is extremely important. This includes avoiding any access issues that might be able to cause the security breach of important information.

Many times, it becomes difficult for in-house IT departments to stay compliant with privacy regulations and consumer protections. In these situations, the Managed IT service providers enter as experienced and consistent professionals who are well aware of the kind of system that will work the best for information protection.

Not just this, they are also trained to assist the businesses in implementing solutions that keep the business safe, compliant and working regardless of where the technology might go into the future.

PROTECTION FROM SECURITY THREATS

As much as hackers attack large-sized businesses, they also attack small and medium-sized ones. Since they expect a small degree of technological readiness from the small businesses, they are well aware of the fact that they won’t have to build comprehensive disaster recovery plans.

In case the hackers attack your business then it can become extremely difficult to gain control. For this reason, hiring the Managed IT service providers for services such as data breach detection, security management, security monitoring, etc., helps in keeping up with all the threats.

The Managed IT service providers can assist in quickly finding out any possible suspicions while offering great advice on how to reduce the attacks as and when they occur.

YOU WANT TO FASTTRACK YOUR FUTURE GROWTH

The security and networking solutions become all the more difficult as and when the team members keep getting added to the staff. Nominal security and network might be okay until the time the client base is pretty normal.

However, when the clients keep increasing it is time to start looking for much faster, effective and better networking solutions to facilitate added security protection. The managed IT service providers can assist in implementing wireless networks, databases, cloud storage solutions, and many other tools that are considered important for the success of a business.

BETTER COST CONTROL

The managed IT services lead to significant cost control and increased risk control as well. As technology evolves, the threats evolve as well. Therefore, Managed IT support services are much more in tune with the present security trends and privacy regulations.

With better access to the latest features in the field of IT, the improvement can enhance customer experience while helping to increase the overall customer loyalty and referrals.

PRODUCTIVE TEAMS AND IMPROVED PROCESSES

In the present time, businesses might have a wide range of professionals working remotely for one project. Managed IT services are all about building effective processes to limit all the physical barriers.

Collaborating with managed IT service providers, we can implement the cloud applications, storage and many other online solutions irrespective of where the team might be located. Moreover, the businesses have proper means to ensure that the online data stays safe and private across the networks.

The managed IT service providers can assist in rolling out an extremely high level of security solutions like threat detection, data encryption, different tools for managing remote teams, VPNs, etc. that make the business processes much more effective.

CONCLUSION

The latest trends in the IT industry showcase that more often than not, cyber-attacks are being targeted at small to medium-sized businesses. If your business becomes the target of these attacks, then, unfortunately, you will be out of business in not more than six months.

As a potential solution to this problem, managed IT services are one of the best alternatives for organizations that desire to cut down their costs while maintaining peace of mind. It is necessary to stay mindful of the threats and keep the security intact with the assistance of Managed IT support services.