The role of IT is changing in businesses. Technology is revolutionizing the way businesses communicate, collaborate, innovate, and ultimately grow. Once thought of as a “break/fix” department, businesses are realizing that IT departments can be utilized as revenue generating centers and as a catalyst to transform other departments to become revenue generators.
There is still the need for IT departments to address the day-to-day updates. These tasks include patches to endpointsand servers, data backups, and migrations, hosting applications, and monitoring the network for security vulnerabilities. This is especially burdensome to businesses with limited IT resources. The IT staff becomes bogged down in the day-to-day support tasks, and has very limited time to become the catalyst for innovation and growth.
Many business are outsourcing the IT departments day-to-day support functions, giving the department the ability to fully explore potential revenue opportunities. To help IT departments realize their full potential, the industry businesses are turning to for IT outsourcing is referred as Managed Services Providers (MPS) IT engineers from the MPS act as part of an organization’s own IT staff, and are intimately involved in the development of short term and long-term IT strategies. This gives the IT department significant freedom to focus on developing strategies to generate revenue for the business through IT initiatives needed for each individual department.
There are many IT Managed Services Providers (MSP) within the market offering similar solutions. Why pick one company over another? What should you look for in an MSP to fit your business needs? Here are some things to think about when evaluating a reliable and long-term MSP.
Experience and Past Performance: To determine if a MSP is reliable, look at their experience and past performance ratings. How long have they been in business? Who have they done business with? What services have they successfully provided to their customers? Were customers satisfied with their service?
Certifications and Partnerships: Legitimate and reliable MSPs invest in the development and educational cerification of the engineering and IT staff.. Look at OEM certifications and partnerships such as Microsoft Cloud Service Provider (CSP), Microsoft Office 365, Cisco Gold (Advanced Security, Data Center, Collaboration Architecture, etc.), HPE,Dell/EMC Network, Storage and Server specializations, Amazon Web Services certified partner, VMware Enterprise Solutions Provider, Barracuda certified partner and Equinix certified partner. Focus on the specializations and certifications within your organizations chosen technology.
Service Offerings: Research the exact services an MSP provides, and how they would address your business challenges. Do they offer on-premise, virtual and cloud backup/ recovery for your data? Do they offer co-location services for your growing data center? Are they competent in managing your Video Conferencing systems either on premise or as Video as a Service (VaaS)? Are they up to date with the latest in network security and Advanced Threat Protection?
Look at their Website: A good indicator of a top tier MSP is their own website. If their website is visually appealing, easy to navigate and loads up quickly there is a good chance they’ve taken the time to properly maintain and host the website. After all, you wouldn’t want to hire an MSP to host your web facing applications if they have issues hosting their own.
Choosing the right IT Managed Services Provider for your business needs is a critical step to transforming your IT department into a profit center, and a catalyst for innovation. Do your homework, gather your intelligence, meet with the MSPs face-to-face and make an informed business decision. Working with an MSP should be viewed as a long-term partnership. The more your business grows, the more IT resources you’ll need from your MSP to complement your existing IT department.
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