Recent research studies suggest that the managed IT services market is expected to grow to 329.1 billion US dollars over the next four years. Since technology has become fundamental, in one way or another, to the vast majority of businesses, all types of companies are making use of managed IT service providers.
Core reasons for using managed IT service providers are reliable and efficient IT operations and enhanced security and compliance, becoming increasingly important each year.
Managed IT service providers provide businesses with confidence in a complex area that can sometimes go over your head and make you feel overwhelmed, so how do you know which is the best managed IT service provider for your business? Below we will discuss some of the basics of managed IT services and what to look out for when choosing a service provider.
What Are Managed IT Services?
When you use managed IT services, you are essentially outsourcing the responsibility of your business’ IT operations to IT experts.
There is great benefit in this as not every business has sufficient IT experience and skills. Further, the managed IT service providers concentrate solely on IT services, and consequently, accumulate more knowledge and develop more skills. Managed service providers are referred to as MSPs, which you have likely seen before. Usually, the business will purchase their own IT equipment, with the MSPs then manage, repair, and monitor the IT equipment and operations.
Are Your Businesses Aligned?
As already indicated above, the managed IT services market is massive and growing. There is a range of different-sized MSPs that have a variety of service offerings.
To find the right MSP for your business, you first need to identify your business’ needs to find an MSP that will meet your needs and within your budget. Some MSPs specialize in specific industries, like healthcare, education, and finance, to name a few. You want an MSP that genuinely has your best interest in mind.
For example, this managed IT services company in Houston, Texas, emphasizes partnering with you and provides free consultations. If you are lucky and have found a few MSPs that align with your business’s needs and budget, then you can choose an MSP that has experience in your industry. MSPs may have different cost models, such as paying per device and paying per user. Generally, paying per user is the most cost-effective.
When analyzing your business’s needs, think about the equipment you use, how you communicate, what level of dependency you have regarding the internet and storage, and what security level you require. Ask yourself questions like this and others to determine what you need to be the most productive and what threats you face regarding your business’s operations.
What would be an IT disaster for your business? What is a standard or recurring problem you face? Imagine that a banking industry company would have a significant issue if there were a problem with their IT infrastructure. They would certainly want to pay an MSP for the best cybersecurity so that they can sleep at night.
As mentioned, many MSPs will focus on specializing in specific industries. Often, the most successful MSPs will have built up trust in an industry, so it may be worth using the same MSP trusted by others in your industry. You want to go for an MSP with a clean track record, keep an eye out for any bad press, and read some reviews before signing with one. Because of the market’s size, there are bound to be some low-quality MSPs vying for your business.
Chat to businesses in your industry and ask them how they feel about their MSP. This way, you can gauge the local presence of MSPs, guiding you in your decision and informing you of the credibility of the MSPs in your industry. You want to find out how proactive these service providers are and how good they are at communicating. Ask people if they have ever had issues with cybersecurity and backups.
What is the MSPs response time like? When shopping for an MSP, check to see if they have certified experts working for them. Generally, when MSP consultants and technicians have recognized certifications, they have achieved a certain level of experience to get these. They will be up to date with the latest best practices.
Now, you should be armed with some questions and ideas to go out there and scrutinize some of the managed IT service providers in your industry. Don’t forget to spend some time identifying all of your business’s needs and the potential threats to your IT operations.