For many businesses, their IT infrastructure is critical to their daily tasks. No matter what you use your IT system for, the IT environment can be complex because it includes connected devices and devices, programs and software, and on-site and cloud-based storage. It can be difficult for many businesses to manage, maintain, update, and troubleshoot their IT infrastructure resulting in businesses spending too much time and money to try and accomplish these things. In many cases, it is more effective and cost-effective for businesses to work with a managed service provider.
With Managed IT services from an IT professional like Epoch, a team of experts can manage your IT infrastructure and implement changes to make your IT strategies more efficient and cost-effective. IT professionals will not only ensure that your system is properly maintained, secured, and updated, but will also see vulnerabilities and inefficiencies and make changes that can save your business time and money. You can also rely on managed service providers to assist with expansion and other IT projects.
Criteria for Choosing a Managed Services Provider
IT infrastructure is the backbone of many business operations, which is why you should not take the decision to choose a managed service provider lightly. IT service providers can have different levels of experience and expertise and it is important to partner with a professional who is suitable for your business and your IT goals.
You should consider the following main criteria when evaluating and selecting a managed service provider:
Skill and Experience
You should look for a managed service provider who has skills beyond basic maintenance and operation. Make sure they have the skills to manage databases, multiple network technologies, security cloud-based technologies, cross-platform integration, and more. Managed service providers who have a wide range of skills can not only help manage, maintain, and update your IT infrastructure but also implement strategies to make your IT infrastructure more efficient and secure. Inquire about their experience, including how long they’ve been in operation, the level of expertise of their team, and the sectors they’ve worked in. It helps to work with a managed service provider that has worked with other businesses in your industry.
A managed service provider should do much more than maintain your IT infrastructure as they found it. They should also evaluate your infrastructure and establish a plan for the future to promote keeping your system safe. Your company will save money by putting improvements into place that enhance the functionality, effectiveness, and security of your IT system. Ask potential providers about their approach to Managed Services and whether they are proactive in evaluating and improving your system.
Sometimes when IT infrastructure changes are implemented, a level of skill is required to implement changes and manage the required technical integration. Changes also need to be made in the company’s processes and organizational structures to make the changes effective. Make sure managed service providers have scaling methods to implement new strategies and processes and help ensure your employees adapt to the changes.
Visibility and Accessibility
Since managed service providers are managing and developing your IT infrastructure, it is important that they are consistent and transparent with the changes they make as well as the health and efficiency of your IT system. The services they provide should also be accessible to you and consolidated in one place where you can access them in real time.
You should ask managed service providers about the accessibility of their services and the level of transparency they provide.
Alignment with Your Business Model and Industry Best Practices
The IT operations of a business generally have many aspects, but it is important to manage everything holistically in line with your business model and goals. Make sure the managed service provider understands your business model and goals and has the flexibility to manage your IT operations according to your unique use case.
You should also ensure that the managed service provider you work with follows industry best practices. IT service providers committed to industry best practices will provide quality services, including continuous improvement in your operations.
Cloud-based storage and technologies are the wave of the future as many businesses have moved many of their functions to the public cloud. However, public clouds are not exactly suitable for every company, increasing the demand for private and hybrid clouds. Ask about the managed service provider’s ability to manage hybrid cloud environments and provide consulting and sourcing options for private cloud infrastructures.
Security is a moving goal and always changing. A managed service provider should not only bring you the latest security trends but also bring risks to your business. Be sure to ask what security framework the managed service providers will be using and provide proof of how they protect their systems using the same framework.
Security Operations Center
Ask a potential managed service provider if their services are really 24×7. They should be provided with live answers and round-the-clock local support by an engineer.
Team and Location
With the rise of the” gig ” economy, ask your potential managed service provider if they have full-time employees or contractors in their teams to support your organization. Also, be sure to ask where they will access your system from. The managed service provider must not allow access to any of your data from outside your National location unless you do business in other countries.
Compliance and Regulation
As safety and compliance requirements increase, more and more companies answer safety questionnaires themselves. Make sure your managed service provider has qualified staff to assist in this process. The managed service provider must establish governance, controls, and artifacts to ensure that your business remains in compliance.
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