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, organizations have realized IT departments can be utilized as revenue generating centers. There is still the need for IT departments to address the day-to-day updates. For instance, these tasks include patches to endpoints and servers, data backups, and migrations, hosting applications, and monitoring the network for security vulnerabilities. This is especially burdensome to businesses with limited IT resources. Due to this growing trend, IT Managed Services Providers have evolved to offer IT departments a complementary solution to these pain points.
Many business are outsourcing the IT departments day-to-day support functions, giving the department the ability to fully explore potential revenue opportunities. Managed Services Providers 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. As a result, IT becomes a catalyst for revenue generation and growth.
Many IT Managed Services Providers offer similar solutions. Why pick one company over another? What should you look for in an provider to fit your business needs? Here are some things to think about when evaluating a reliable and long-term Managed Services Provider.
Experience and Past Performance: To determine if a provider 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 from their service?
Certifications and Partnerships: Legitimate and reliable provider invest in the development and educational certification of the engineering and IT staff. Look at vendor 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, Amazon Web Services certified partner, VMware Enterprise Solutions Provider, Barracuda certified partner and Equinix. Focus on the specializations and certifications within your organizations chosen technology.
Service Offerings: Research the exact services an Managed Services Provider, 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 provider 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 a provider to host your web facing applications if they have issues hosting their own.
In conclusion, choosing the right IT Managed Services Provider for your business needs is a critical step to transforming your IT department into a profit center. Do your homework, gather your intelligence, meet with the providers face-to-face and make an informed business decision. The more your business grows, the more IT resources you’ll need from your provider to complement your existing IT department.
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