The global market size for managed services is projected to surpass $376 billion in 2025, up from approximately $215 billion in 2020.
It’s easy to see why the demand for managed services is on the rise, especially when it comes to information technology (IT). Managed IT services allow a company to strengthen its existing IT staff and infrastructure by working with a dedicated managed IT services provider.
Such a partner can help take care of your servers, network, computers, and other IT needs.
Managed IT services are especially ideal for companies that need to operate at the highest efficiency but lack the necessary resources to have a large in-house IT staff.
Of course, you need to choose the right managed IT services company to achieve the best results. In today’s guide, we give you seven practical tips for doing just that.
- Consider Industry Experience
Every enterprise has its own needs, technology, trends, customer base, and legal requirements. You want an IT services provider who’s familiar with the requirements and details of your industry.
Ask your potential managed IT service provider how many years they’ve worked with businesses like yours. You can even go a step further and request a list of previous customers they’ve worked with who are in the same line of work as yours.
Follow up with some of these clients to get a good idea of what to expect from the IT service provider.
- Inquire About Availability
Another essential quality to look for when outsourcing IT is whether your prospective managed IT services provider is available whenever needed. Ideally, you want to partner with a provider who guarantees round-the-clock support every day of the year. This way, you know that in case of emergencies, you have someone to turn to.
Inquire about their response time as well as their remote monitoring. Ensure they have a large enough staff to meet your needs promptly whenever they arise.
Generally, it’s best to work with a company in your area. This local managed IT service and consulting provider is better positioned to reach your site quickly in case need be. Besides, a locally based company is more likely to be familiar with the local rules and regulations on IT, if any.
- Inquire About Uptime Guarantee
The cost of network downtime is enormous. On average, companies lose an astounding $5,600 per minute. Few businesses can afford to lose that much and remain afloat.
That’s why any service agreement you sign during IT outsourcing must include some uptime guarantee. The industry standard is 99.9 percent, although top managed IT service providers will provide at least 99.99 percent.
If you’re in the healthcare industry, insist on a 100 percent up-time guarantee, given the sensitive nature of your work.
- Ask About Compliance
While the IT domain is largely regulated, issues of non-compliance still crop up from time to time. That’s why you want to make sure from the start that you’re working with a managed services provider who complies with all requirements. For starters, make sure that your provider is licensed to work in your region.
Next, look for certifications in the appropriate software and hardware, depending on the kind of products your company uses. Working with such a company saves you time as they can do the job right, which means little to no downtime for you.
The best managed IT service provider also goes out of their way to stay current in their industry. They can provide a wide variety of options rather than try to push a particular brand down your throat.
- Look for a Provider with Expertise in Budget Planning
The best IT consulting firm sits down with the client and provides helpful insights on how to plan and budget for their technology. This is especially invaluable for small businesses where the owner may have little experience when it comes to preparing for technology.
With an expert’s guidance, you should be able to improve efficiency and save money on technology. That’s why you should hire a forward-thinking provider who has your best interests at heart.
- Inquire About Third-party Vendor Partnerships
One of the top advantages of working with a dedicated IT services company is that they can efficiently deal with other technology vendors on your behalf. This saves you all the time and resources you’d use to track down vendors on your own.
A managed IT services provider with access to many reputable technology vendors is a great fit.
- Ask About Data and System Security
Cybercrime is a very real threat in today’s business space. A single successful cyber-attack can condemn your business to an early death. Few companies ever recover after a data breach.
That’s why you want to work with a managed IT services company that provides a wide range of top-notch security services to keep your data safe.
Your provider should be able to conduct frequent vulnerability scans and offer reliable firewall management. Doing so makes it easy to detect any weak spots and take appropriate action to avert unauthorized access.
Moreover, you want to work with a managed services provider with a robust disaster recovery strategy in place. Regular data backups should be the norm. In case the unexpected happens and your infrastructure is destroyed, you want to make sure you can resume operations as quickly as possible.
The Right Managed IT Services Provider Can Boost Your Bottom Line
The kind of managed IT services provider you choose can make or break your business. It’s the reason you need to look for good qualities before you make a decision. The tips we’ve shared in this post can guide you along the way.
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