There is no one-size-fits-all solution in the world of business technology. That said, the best IT providers will approach your situation with fresh eyes and develop a plan tailored to your unique needs.
Your IT provider should start by asking discovery questions that will inform them about your business. Only by understanding what you do and how you do it will the MSP be able to properly serve you.
Do you want to scale production? Improve customer service? Improve fulfilment? On the surface, it might not seem like technology can affect so many aspects of your business. In truth, an IT provider knows that technology can support — or hinder — every part of your business. A technology plan must address this and holistically support your plans for the business.
Your IT provider should be fully versed in business technology. Having skills that go beyond setting up basic hardware is crucial. Maintaining an entire network of computers, servers, peripherals, and devices requires many years of experience and high-level knowledge. MSPs need to have a deep understanding of business processes and industry best practices. This is especially true when cybersecurity and compliance come into play.
When interviewing a potential managed IT service provider, ask about scalability, staff with specific skill sets, proactive versus reactive support methods, and what they hold as general best practices in IT management. These questions tend to be far more important than those regarding the size of their support staff or their software certifications.
Choose a managed service provider that knows how to leverage technology to improve your business and has the expertise to make it happen. Avoid the provider that will only fix issues as they occur rather than helping you maximize your investment.
A good managed service provider should have your back 24/7/365. They should monitor your systems around the clock and resolve any problems regardless of the time or date. IT problems don’t take holidays off.
While remote monitoring and service can handle many problems, there are situations where an IT provider needs to come on-site for a fix or audit. These visits should always be accounted for in your plan, either built into the invoice or defined through blocks of prepaid time. Ensure that you know what you’re paying for and that you won’t be surprised with additional charges down the road.
For an IT company, maintaining consistent results and delivery is critical. Your IT company should be able and willing to share examples of their documented policies and processes, and show how they would be applied to your business. It’s a red flag if they can’t explain what they do, how they do it, and why it is effective. This also applies to current partnerships. Trustworthy MSPs are happy to share details of their value and can demonstrate how they justify their cost.
In addition to the above, make sure your prospective IT provider offers:
- Proactive monitoring to detect and prevent problems before they cause downtime, data loss, or other catastrophes.
- Modern detection and alert solutions, good response times, scaling potential, automation, and a comprehensive web-based user portal.
- Regular audits of your technology, tests of backup and recovery systems, and comprehensive cybersecurity solutions including training.
The IT infrastructure of today has changed considerably since a decade ago. The typical office will have many desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices, IoT gadgets, and software — and just as many different vendors.
An IT provider should design a support plan that encompasses all of your business’ technology. They must be able to handle all of the different software companies and vendors that make up your tech ecosystem. An MSP who has good relationships with multiple leading vendors is ideal, as is an IT provider who is familiar with your industry’s proprietary software.
On the other hand, you should seek out an IT provider who is vendor neutral. If they are contracted or partial to using only certain vendors’ products, you could end up with solutions that aren’t exactly right for your needs. A good MSP should always focus on selecting the technology that provides the best results for you.
HAVE QUESTIONS? The team at mPowered IT will be glad to answer any questions you may have about how managed IT services can transform your business. Call us at 678-389-6200 or contact us here.