Top 5 Things to Look for in Managed IT Service Providers
There are thousands upon thousands of information technology services providers out there. How do you know what to look for? Expertise is a given, but what other factors should you be considering when selecting this key partner for your business?
Here we offer five must-haves in your choice of managed services company.
#1 24×7 Availability, Network Monitoring & Rapid Response Time
Around-the-clock monitoring of your networks for issues is a non-negotiable these days. Even though you’re not always working, your systems should be, and so should your IT services company.
A service provider that offers this level of availability will be able to deploy patches and updates right when they’re needed, as well as detect and resolve issues before they become disasters. You also need the ability to get in touch with your IT provider’s help desk anytime in case of technology breakdowns, in order to minimize any disruptions to doing business.
#2 All Competencies Are Offered Under One Roof
The provider you select will ideally be able to handle any and every IT circumstance required by your business. They should offer services including disaster recovery, cybersecurity, and cloud computing, in addition to managed services.
Why is this important? Ultimately, you’ll save time and money working with a provider that can handle your every need, and your entire technology backbone will perform better when you have a single partner overseeing each detail, rather than a different partner for each contingency. This can also bring you peace of mind, knowing that your provider truly has the expertise in the competencies you need (instead of just telling you they do).
#3 Strategy Consulting Services
If there’s any truth about technology solutions, no matter the size of the business, it’s that needs will likely evolve as the business grows, changes, or as new technologies come into play. Working with an IT services provider that is on top of every advance in technology, from network infrastructure to cloud solutions, and even machine learning (ML), will ensure that your business is properly positioned for growth — versus getting stuck in the dark ages because your technology wasn’t up to par.
The right partner will be able to offer services in a scalable model — meaning they can expand or contract when and where you need it.
#4 A Customer-Focused Culture
When you rely on any partner to carry out a critical function for your business, you need to know that you’re number one (not just a number in the queue). Naturally, any provider will have multiple customers, but you should never be made to feel that your issue is not urgent to them, or that you can’t trust them to resolve problems or even answer questions in a timely manner.
Likewise, look for a provider that seeks to understand your company’s vision, goals, budget, and capabilities. A provider that aims to support your mission through leveraging the best possible IT infrastructure for you is a provider that will support your success.
#5 Service-Level Accomplishments, Certifications, and Designations
When evaluating different partners, ask them about their credentials and experience in your industry. For example, we at AccountabilIT have been named to the Top 250 MSSPs list four years in a row thanks to our level of cybersecurity expertise. We also offer HIPAA compliant cybersecurity services. Here are some other ways we make sure we are qualified and that we recommend:
An annual SOC 2 Type II audit: SOC stands for “system and organization controls.” A successful audit and the resulting certification lets you know the organization has determined the firm has the appropriate SOC safeguards and procedures in place to keep customer data safe and secure.
Microsoft MVP on staff and Microsoft competencies, including:
- Gold Application Development
- Gold Cloud Platform
- Gold Cloud Productivity
- Gold Datacenter
- Silver Collaboration and Content
- Silver Messaging
- Silver Security
- Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions
Ask your prospective managed IT service provider if they have the relevant certifications for the technologies, platforms, and other tools your business uses or is planning to use.
Ready to optimize your technology investment and position your company for the best possible growth? No matter your business size, your goals are our goals. See how AccountabilIT’s approach to IT services can empower your team.