It’s no secret that as your business grows and scales up, your technology needs to grow as well. Most business owners, though, don’t have time to manage their own IT and their existing IT staff (if they even have one!) can be overwhelmed. If this is the situation the business owner finds her or himself in, s/he may be considering outsourcing or supplementing their IT with a managed IT services partner. We think this is a wise course of action for business owners to pursue, but if you’re looking for a managed IT services partner, you may not know what to look for in a managed IT services partner. Choosing the right managed services (MS) partner is an important decision, so what are the 5 key traits you should look for when evaluating your candidates? Let’s find out!
1. Disaster Recovery Planning
Good managed service providers will help you make plans for the future, protect your data, and, should an incident occur, make sure your business can recover. You wouldn’t buy a house without homeowner’s insurance nor buy a car without car insurance because you need to be prepared in case something happens, right? Your managed IT services partner will act as your insurance policy: setting things right if anything goes wrong.
2. Third-Party Vendor Partnerships
In order to get the most out of your managed service provider, it’s important to know what connections they have within the greater IT ecosystem. For larger companies, partnering with managed service providers who are, in turn, partnered with Microsoft, Dell, and Amazon Web Services helps them get better pricing on both hardware and software. For smaller companies, look for MS providers who are partnered with Fortinet, Barracuda, Aruba, etc.
In addition to general IT experience and knowledge, it’s always helpful if your IT service provider has experience in your specific industry. While your service provider doesn’t need to have identical business experiences to your own to provide excellent service, it does help if they have similar experiences or are flexible enough to learn about your industry and its most important methods.
4. Back-Ups and Cloud Services
In relation to #1, a MS partner will help you ensure your data stays safe. Make sure your provider performs automatic and consistent backups as well as backs up your data on a remote server to further ensure safety.
Good managed service providers will help protect your network from cybercriminals and hackers, performing regular testing and monitoring in order to take the proactive stance against hacks. And from an end-user perspective, your MS partner will make sure you are proactively running necessary updates to avoid problems in the future.
Partnering with a managed IT service provider will save you and your organization time and money as they will help you identify and solve problems often before they even happen. This will allow you to avoid IT disaster, recovery, and the expenses associated with them. An MS provider can bring you your needed peace of mind, great value to your business, and improve your bottom line.