There are over 585,000 technology companies in the United States, each one providing new technology services that promise small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) enhanced productivity and increased rates of revenue. Technological solutions (whether they be software or hardware) have proven that they are fully capable of assisting users in growing their businesses and delivering high-class service to customers.
However, not all tools are invincible, and they can quickly become a pain point if not properly managed. In order to prevent this from happening, SMBs can invest in the services of a managed IT service provider (MSP).
When hiring an MSP, there are 7 things SMBs should consider:
1. The range of managed technology services
A managed IT service provider should sell a range of service offerings that encapsulate the entirety of an SMB’s IT infrastructure. While these services may appear similar (and, in some cases, overlap), SMBs should inquire into the scale of services and how they can be customized to meet their specific needs.
A managed IT service provider can offer services including:
2. Integrity and transparency
Your organization’s technological solutions play central roles in the ongoing functionality of your business processes. They support everything from integral network applications to data and the procedures that enable your organization to conduct its business. Handing over the management and maintenance of these systems to a third-party company can be a risk without clear communication.
It is important for SMBs to ensure that their MSPs are transparent about the services they provide and that their services can be tailored to specific needs. This should be included in a contract called a service-level agreement (SLA). The SLA details the nature of the partnership between an MSP and its client. A managed IT service provider should be willing to disclose the agreement to authorized personnel when asked and answer any questions and concerns.
3. An aptitude for business
All-inclusive managed technology services solidify any gaps between technological solutions and business. It is about improving the efficacy of digital tools and their hardware to streamline procedures and boost productivity. This would be more difficult without a managed IT service provider who possesses a solid aptitude for business.
An MSP should take the time to analyze your organization, getting to know your core competencies, visions for the future, and the culture that you have worked hard to cultivate. From this, a managed services company can then shape its services to better match your requirements and make well-informed decisions and recommendations that result in your organization’s growth.
4. Technical expertise
When you consider the constant stream of technological solutions entering the market and the number of IT-related issues that are constantly being dealt with, it is clear that a managed IT service provider must possess high levels of experience and expertise regarding the services they offer.
But as an SMB working on time-consuming projects while frequently liaising with customers, it can be tricky to gauge the exact levels of knowledge an MSP contains, especially if you do not have a background in IT. In this case, look into the MSP’s certifications and years of experience in the field. You should also ask if they have worked with organizations similar to yours and if they can provide evidence of their experience.
An MSP’s credibility is a combination of points 1 and 4. The credibility of a managed IT service provider reflects their experience and skills—it is crucial to remember that an MSP will attempt to sell their services to you, and everything they say should be verifiable.
In the managed technology services industry, an organization’s credibility can be investigated via website and word-of-mouth testimonials, customer reviews (on the company’s website and on public platforms, such as search engines), awards, and their present clients.
6. Responsiveness and availability
With the accessibility of the Internet and cemented popularity of mobile devices, customers can interact with your organization at any time of the day and night, and from anywhere in the world. From infrastructure management to software updates, operating systems need to remain functional.
A managed IT service provider accessible 24/7 is an asset that SMBs will appreciate. Fast response times and multiple channels of communication allow companies’ technological solutions to be maintained and updated in a timely manner, reducing the risk of downtime.
7. Cybersecurity measures surrounding technological solutions
There is no other way to put this, a managed IT service provider should take cybersecurity seriously. Cyber threats can target anyone, and with a third-party organization helping keep your business functional, your data and the internal processes that interact with their network are more exposed.
When searching for an MSP, you must inquire into the cybersecurity protocols they implement into their IT infrastructures. Are they compliant with any regulations specific to your industry and the broader legal sphere? Is any information stored onsite at their place of work or in data centers? If an MSP does not leverage the latest tools to improve security around its own technological solutions, that is a clear warning sign you should avoid them.
Customizable managed technology services for SMBs
No matter if you are preparing for a digital transformation or if you need in-depth IT support, a managed IT service provider can help you upgrade your technological solutions and support them for long-term success.
The managed IT services at Everconnect are designed to help you improve your business processes and increase productivity. Contact the team today for managed technology services that will take your technological solutions to new heights.