A managed IT service provider can offer a host of benefits to your business. By outsourcing your data management needs, you can enjoy economies of scale and boost your position in the market. However, not all IT managed service providers are created equal.
The list of managed IT services you may require includes safe storage and transfer of your company’s data, technical support and email management. It can also involve a help desk or other specialised services you niche-specific projects need. Additionally, an IT agency that manages your data networks can provide valuable advice on upcoming trends and upgrades to your infrastructure that you might otherwise overlook.
When selecting a firm to handle your IT, you’re entrusting an external entity with your precious data. This consultant needs to be able to respond to any emergency that arises while offering a good return on investment. Furthermore, your outlay needs to be in accordance with the level of service you receive. There’s no point in outsourcing a department if you could do a more cost-effective job in-house.
Deciding on a managed IT service provider will require you to do some research before making your choice. The criteria you will use are as much qualitative as they are quantitative. Here are the eight factors you should consider when choosing an IT service provider.
1. Call Out Fees
A large part of your decision hinges on the economics of the partnership. An IT managed service provider may seem like a good deal on paper. However, you need to examine the fine print to see if any fees will end up making the partnership a costly affair.
One of the benefits of outsourcing your IT is that you pay a fixed monthly fee. This gives you a clear understanding of your costs and allows you to plan accordingly. Be sure the provider clarifies what is included in your package.
For instance, some IT firms charge a fee every time you call them out to your location. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need a specialist to come to your premises more or less frequently. Regardless, finding an IT company that provides its services without charging a call-out fee is a definite plus.
2. Same-Day Response Fees
Same day response fees are another surcharge you may encounter. If your business doesn’t rely heavily on IT to operate, you may not find this type of fee to be a deterrent. Waiting a day or two for a technician may not be a top priority for you.
On the other hand, if your business requires constant up-time for its data functionality, a same-day response can be vital. Finding a managed IT provider that doesn’t charge same-day response fees is a matter of finding a firm that is well organised and respects its clients. It has the means to respond to any emergencies its clientele can face without resource allocation issues.
3. Weekend Service Fees
Under the category of potential extra fees is the potential for weekend service charges. When you sign up for an IT managed service provider you should have peace of mind. Paying your monthly service fee should be enough for all your data safety and maintenance.
IT management firms should be there to provide you with 24-hour coverage. Therefore, the agency should have staff available during the entire week and around the clock. If a firm is asking you to pay weekend service fees, they may not be big enough to offer you the safety and protection you need.
4. Remote Problem Resolution
Extra fees aren’t the only consideration in choosing the best provider for your information management. Efficient managed IT firms should solve small issues remotely. Not every issue that arises needs to escalate to a company-wide emergency. When comparing potential managed IT agencies, ask them if they provide remote problem resolution and what issues this includes.
In today’s digital ecosystem, it’s difficult to survive as a provider of substandard service. There should be plenty of reviews online to help you in doing your due diligence. Search on for reviews everywhere from search engines to Yelp and TrustPilot.
Look for an IT management company with a high rate of positive reviews. If there are any negative reviews, be sure to include those in your consideration. In your meeting with the IT managed provider, you can ask about any weak points you found in browsing through reviews.
An IT agency that employs competent, certified staff ensures that no issue will go unsolved. With new protocols and hardware coming out all the time, your IT consultant needs to be up-to-date with the latest technologies. Browse through your prospective managed IT providers’ websites and look for the most recent certifications they have received.
7. Range of Knowledge
Data networks are complex ecosystems. Sometimes the problem that arises isn’t resolved by the first technician responding to your call. The sign of a professional IT management company is the range of expertise its employees hold. If one representative cannot solve your problem, the firm should have someone on staff with the competence to get the job done.
8. Medical Tech Industry Experience
If your company is in some way related to the medical field, you will need an IT provider that understands HIPAA compliance. The security of medical data needs to comply with strict regulations to avoid legal repercussions.
HIPAA, which stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, was enacted in 1996 and regulated the flow of healthcare information. Its purpose is to prevent theft and fraud stemming from the malicious use of healthcare data.
In the case that your business is not in the medical field, knowing that your managed IT provider offers HIPAA compliance should be reassuring. Individual industries have different compliance legislation that affects them. Knowing that your IT partner can competently provide the highest level of compliance is essential to maintaining seamless interactions with your customers and business partners.
Besides medical industry experience, other areas your IT management partner should be well-versed in include construction tech, giant databases, provision and maintenance of servers, network infrastructure and best security practices.
Find an Agency for Your IT Needs
Managed IT service providers vary based on their merits, capabilities and infrastructure. As a business owner or IT manager, it’s your priority to choose an agency that caters to your specifications. The size of your business, your budget and the extent of your data management needs will guide your choice.
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons of outsourcing your data management, choosing an IT management provider should be straight-forward. Look for a firm with certification-laden engineers with decades of experience. A highly-rated agency with low to zero extra fees that adds value to your bottom line will be the winner.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We will answer all questions you may have about how we can help you achieve your business goals. Our engineers have multiple certifications and over ten years of experience in the industry. We will take the weight of data management off your shoulders while guaranteeing the security of your business’s data.