As your business grows, so does its technology needs. When your company has outgrown what your in-house IT department can provide, it’s time to look for another solution—managed IT services. When you enter into a managed IT partnership with an IT service provider, that firm then becomes responsible for managing your company’s IT needs, from network security to setting up individual workstations and everything in between. The purpose of managed IT is to help your company grow and improve by taking away the strain and stress of IT management.
Once you decide that your organization can benefit from managed IT services, you face an even bigger decision: which provider to choose. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind to help you choose the right managed IT service provider for your organization.
1. Response Time
Your organization is heavily dependent on technology, so when something goes wrong, you need to be able to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. That’s why it’s vital that you choose a managed IT service provider that can respond to your needs and problems quickly. Find out what kind of response time your IT provider can guarantee, and make sure your calls will be answered and responded to instead of just forwarded to a call center. Time is money, so you need to know that any IT issues you experience will be resolved in a timely manner.
Availability goes hand-in-hand with response time. While your business may not be open 24 hours a day, your computer network needs to be working around the clock. That means you need a managed service provider who will be available if something goes wrong outside of regular business hours. When searching for the right managed IT provider, check to see if they will be available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This type of IT service availability will be a game-changer for your organization.
3. Disaster Recovery Planning
It’s been said that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Your organization needs to have plans in place to know how it can react and survive in the event of disasters such as weather, vandalism, etc. The right managed IT service provider will help you figure out the best way for your organization to plan for the future and protect your data and equipment if the unexpected happens. Your managed IT provider should help you create a business continuity plan and make sure your organization is prepared to recover and continue operating even in the face of disaster.
4. IT Budget Planning
The right managed IT service provider will sit down with you each year and help you plan for your future IT needs. They will offer their expert advice to help you figure out ways to improve efficiency with your technology as well as ways to save money so that you can grow your organization to the next level on a budget you can afford. Your managed IT provider should be forward-thinking and always looking out for your interests and not their own.
5. Onsite Maintenance & Support
You need a managed IT provider that will be available for onsite support when you need it. That means you should choose a service provider that is local or has technicians stationed in your area. When something acts up, it’s much better to be able to have an expert come take a look and work on the problem at your physical location. You don’t want an IT provider that only uses a call center to talk you through how to fix the problem on your own. Instead, make sure you partner with a managed service provider that will be able to come out and fix it the right way and provide maintenance in person when necessary.
6. Partnerships with Third-Party Vendors
One of the benefits of using managed IT services is being able to let them handle technology vendors on your behalf. You won’t need to track down multiple vendors for support and service but instead can let your managed IT provider take care of this for you. This saves you time that you can spend focusing on your business rather than your technology needs. When you are trying to find the right managed IT service provider, check out who they partner with and whether they have experience with the tools and vendors you need to use.
7. Security Monitoring
With new advances in technology come new ways for cybercriminals to hack into and interfere with your network. You need a managed IT service provider that will make sure your network is protected from security threats and will be proactive in finding and preventing vulnerabilities to different types of attacks. The right managed IT plan should include regular security testing and monitoring to keep your organization and your data safe from potential cyberattacks.
8. Backups & Cloud Services
One way managed IT providers will help make sure your data is protected is by performing frequent backups and storing data using cloud services. This ensures your data is always readily available for you to access it whenever and wherever you need. You won’t have to worry about losing your data if your server crashes or a computer is stolen because it will not be stored in one physical place. You’ll have peace of mind that even if something unexpected happens to your IT hardware, your managed IT provider will be able to retrieve and provide access to all your data, no matter what. So, when you are choosing a managed service provider, make sure they offer backups and cloud services so that you’ll always have your data when you need it.
A Managed IT Service Provider You Can Trust
Whatever your organization’s IT needs may be, Elemental Technology Solutions can help you save time and money with our expert managed IT services. As your managed service provider, our goal is to help you reach your goals—whether that means saving money on the technology you use in the office, increasing efficiency by reducing network breakdowns, or preventing data loss from disasters or cyberattacks. If you are ready to start improving your company’s bottom line with efficient, cost-effective managed IT services, reach out to Elemental Technology Solutions to find out more about how we can help. Give us a call at 888-499-5898 or contact us online today to get started.