When operating a business in a fast-paced environment, embracing efficiency is often at the heart of your growth plan. And one way of infusing efficiency in your organization is marrying your operations with robust IT infrastructure. That said, when it comes to deploying IT, many businesses feel torn between outsourcing and managing the solution in-house.
The idea of outsourcing isn’t new among entrepreneurs. In fact, many businesses are trying to infuse this tactic in their business operations. The apparent preference for outsourcing IT is because it’s cost-effective, exposes your business to top-notch expertise, and relieves you of the IT headache, helping you concentrate on more pressing business matters.
While many business owners are aware of the benefits of outsourcing IT solutions, due to the complexity of implementing digital transformation with an infrastructure like this, many are unsure of where to start. First, you need to map out IT functions you would need to outsource. Identify areas you don’t like handling—either because of lack of competency or dwindling interest.
Next, it’s time to choose an IT provider. But with a dizzying number of companies and freelancers offering IT services, how do you select the appropriate one? Refer to the following qualities to pick the perfect technical support solution for you.
With increased cybersecurity threats, you must prioritize defensive measures while selecting a managed IT service provider (MSP). With inadequate service, your business could face expensive threats to security, setting you back financially and affecting your bottom line. Ransomware attacks come at a steep price, which is why selecting a reputable team is critical in protecting your business.
Before you face an expensive dilemma, there are steps you could take to steer clear of this precarious situation. Before penning that deal with the MSP, ask yourself the below questions:
- Does the MSP have an incident response plan?
- How has the MSP handled previous cybersecurity incidents? How will they help you manage your incidents?
- Does the MSP offer 24/7 IT support, or are they unresponsive during weekends and late nights?
Answers to the above should dictate as to whether the MSP of your choice has the competence and capacity to handle your IT security. Additionally, these queries provide you with a better understanding when sourcing IT services, allowing you to find the best match for your needs.
Your business doesn’t operate 24/7, but your IT infrastructure does, and your servers continue running even when you’re closed for business. As such, your IT provider should be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The worst-case scenario is finding a detrimental error only to find your IT team unavailable. Avoid signing lengthy contracts upfront, and instead, implement a trial period to see how your MSP fits in with your company’s day-to-day operations.
Provides SLA-backed performance
A trusted MSP should provide you with a service level agreement (SLA) that spells out the performance and the measurement guidelines. The SLA is a blueprint of your MSP service and can come in handy in protecting your reputation and assets. For example, if you hire an IT team who consistently drops the ball, you may have ground for termination, depending on the SLA.
Help you with IT budget planning
Before you jump into a binding contract with an MSP, diligently overview your budget and be transparent about financials upfront. Although a pricey, state-of-the-art tech team may seem like the best option, you’ll want to assess your needs to make sure you’re not paying for services you won’t use. Your IT service provider should offer you a customized package of services that you can count on, whether monthly, quarterly or annually.
You’ll know you employed the right MSP team when they analyze your technical needs and offer money-saving advice based on unused or energy-guzzling features.
Are they future-oriented?
Is your MSP mindset only focused on the present? If so, you may need to re-evaluate your partnership. While immediate issues should take priority, future-proofing your business is pivotal in building an empire. If we spend too much time firefighting the current, we miss out on opportunities the future presents.
That said, let your MSP paint a picture of the future. Once you have a clearly defined mission, you can start walking back your vision to the present. While the future may be hazy and uncertain, your IT service should offer support and comfort when going forward in technological ventures.
Picking the appropriate MSP is like choosing a life partner to walk through the ups-and-downs of business with you. In light of this, before rushing to sign off the deal, carefully evaluate your MSP to make sure they tick all the boxes of the above checklist. It’s by picking the right service provider that you’ll enjoy the real benefits of managed services.