In a highly competitive market, today’s businesses are under extreme pressure to meet customer expectations. Technology plays a critical role in modern business operations and companies must leverage their IT staff and infrastructure to gain an edge. Hiring an experienced managed IT service provider (MSP) is one of the best solutions for boosting efficiency.
6 Steps To Choosing An MSP
With help from a managed service provider, businesses can continue to grow unhindered by their constantly evolving IT needs. Here are some tips on how to choose the best professional for the job.
1. Prompt Response
When a business experiences an IT problem, they want to know that their MSP will be available to resolve the issue quickly. The average cost of downtime for a company is about $5,600 per minute, according to Gartner, meaning each second weighs heavily on a business’s finances.
After reaching out to a managed IT service provider, a business should receive a quick response to their question or concern. Avoid IT service providers that send customer calls directly to a call center where the customer may be on a lengthy hold. Instead, opt for a MSP that guarantees a speedy response time.
2. Round-the-Clock Availability
Although many businesses follow the typical 9-to-5 workday, that does not necessarily mean that IT issues only arise during regular business hours. Computer networks require 24/7 management to ensure peak efficiency and identify IT problems before they become more costly to resolve.
Choose a managed IT service provider that offers round-the-clock availability. A MSP should provide a phone number or other means of communication that enables businesses to contact them day or night and receive nearly instant feedback. If an IT service provider cannot promise this type of availability, consider searching elsewhere.
3. Data Backup Options
Businesses want to know that in the event of an unexpected disaster, their data is secure and can be safely retrieved. This is one of many services that a managed IT service provider may offer to companies. Backup services can vary between providers, with some MSPs offering daily backups and others offering weekly or even monthly backups.
Consistent backups are crucial for a business’s protection. Many excellent managed IT service providers offer cloud services as a way to help keep business data safe and secure. Data can be automatically backed up onto a remote server where it can be accessed if on-site data is ever stolen, lost or corrupted.
4. Security Monitoring and Testing
Cybercriminals can strike at any time and no business is ever completely safe from data breaches and other cyberattacks. Companies often rely on managed IT service providers to continually monitor their networks and guard against these types of security events.
When selecting a MSP, opt for a company that offers both security monitoring and testing services. Business networks require regular security testing to help identify possible weaknesses that cybercriminals could take advantage of to gain access to business systems.
5. Disaster Recovery Planning
From power outages and vandalism to equipment malfunctions and natural disasters, businesses can experience situations that impact their ability to continue normal operations. Without a disaster recovery plan in place, companies may be forced to shut down their operations completely until the problem can be resolved.
Experienced managed IT service providers can assist businesses in the creation of disaster recovery plans. A disaster recovery plan is a set of tools, policies and procedures that aid in the recovery or continuation of a business following a natural or human-induced disaster. When comparing MSPs, ask what type of disaster recovery planning services they offer and what they entail.
6. Budget Planning for IT Expenditures
Successful businesses plan for their current and future IT needs to ensure that they can handle any situation that comes their way. One of the best ways to plan for possible future IT expenditures is to create a new budget plan at least once a year. Annual IT budget planning helps businesses look for ways to improve their technological efficiency and save money.
The right managed IT service provider will offer regular budget planning services to help businesses grow their company without a lack of technology slowing them down. The best IT service providers are forward-thinkers and can determine how technology is likely to change based on research and experience in the industry.
Inquire About Managed IT Services
Hiring a managed IT service provider is a big commitment and one that businesses should not approach hastily. The right managed IT service provider can help transform a business’s operations by providing reliable and timely services that help protect companies and cut costs.
Outsourced managed IT services are also less expensive than hiring and managing an in-house IT department. To learn more about choosing the right managed IT service provider or to inquire about managed IT services, contact the experts at SeaGlass Technology today.