Are you in the process of choosing an IT managed services provider to take care of your business-critical IT systems? With so many IT managed services providers to choose from it can be difficult to determine which company will deliver the support you need.
A true IT managed services provider should take on the responsibility for 24-hour monitoring, managing and problem resolution for the IT systems within your business. Their role is to support your business so that it can function efficiently and effectively with minimal downtime.
Choosing an IT managed services provider?
Seven essentials your IT managed services provider (MSP) should be able to provide:
- An understanding of your business – the right MSP will take time to find out about your business and ask questions. They will want to know about your business issues and priorities so they can offer a solution which is exactly right for your business needs.
- 24 x 7 x 365 remote monitoring – your MSP should have a remote monitoring system in place across all your workstations, servers, routers, printers and other network devices to flag up any potential issues before they become problems and keep your IT network healthy and secure.
- Remote and onsite support – while most issues can be fixed remotely there will be occasions when you need someone on site. Ensure that your MSP can be hands-on when necessary and check the charge for this. Ideally, it should be part of your package.
- 24-hour support, every day of the year – your business needs to function 24/7 so your IT support must be available whenever you need it, regardless of the time of day or day of the week. Some MSPs charge extra for out of hours support so watch out for hidden charges.
- Proactive service – a true IT managed services offering is more than the traditional break-fix model of IT support. A significant part of managed services should be concerned with preventing problems. Your MSP must take a proactive approach to your IT and be continually improving your IT systems and minimising problems.
- Quality controls – your MSP should be able to supply evidence of their quality controls and guarantee their level of service in a service level agreement. You should have access to reporting dashboards to see how your systems are being managed and be given regular reports and feedback.
- Fixed cost pricing – a full managed services package for a single fixed cost per user should be your preferred option. Many providers have a standard package and charge extra for bolt-on services such as 24/7 support. A fixed cost package will help with budgeting, control your costs and give you peace of mind that you are adequately covered.