Technology is interwoven into every fiber of business. Each device, each platform, requires careful monitoring, maintenance, security, and management to leverage efficiencies. In the last few years, the number of devices the average IT team is tasked with managing has grown exponentially, therefore so has the strain on technical employees. Hiring and retaining qualified talent to manage the technology needs for businesses has become increasingly difficult and costly. To mitigate the risk and expense of handling IT matters internally, many organizations choose to outsource their technical needs by partnering with a third-party provider to become an extension of their internal IT team.
What to look for in a Managed Services Provider (MSP)?
A Solid Relationship with Vendors
For example, Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco are large corporations that may be difficult to maneuver if you don’t have a strong rapport. An MSP can alleviate the day-to-day responsibilities assigned to your internal IT team, thereby providing them the time to focus on immediate needs and projects.
Data Center Access
An MSP must be ready to potentially house your company’s entire production systems or backup/failover systems. In addition, colocation data centers provide reliable connectivity with a robust choice of providers, and an added layer of security. ACS’ partnership with Netrality Data Centers enhances and empowers ACS’ Managed Services offerings.
Organizations have a vast array of technology choices. To leverage these technologies to the fullest, your company needs an expert to navigate the nuances. A favorable MSP will have certified engineers with a variety of expertise, which will save your organization time and money in the long-term not having to pay, train, or hire new employees. Technology is everchanging and evolving. To keep up with best practices businesses need a team of experts well versed in industry trends.
It is important to know when you need help, your provider is there to do the heavy lifting for you.
- Be Accessible. Service hours should be clearly stated. Whether that is 24×7 or 8×5, etc.
- Be Responsive. Quick response rates for all requests with regularly scheduled status updates
- Have Open Lines of Communication. Email, phone and/or online contact forms. Complete transparency into processes and procedures including remediation statuses
Most importantly, MSPs should be equipped with a team of best-in-breed experts, knowledgeable and experienced in a wide range of areas to address specific needs. Real-time monitoring and capacity planning will go a long way in keeping your business running smoothly. Partnering with a managed services provider with the support of their help desk allows clients’ IT teams to have a better-quality work/life balance.
If your organization already has a full-time IT staff, you may think you don’t need outside help. A few important reasons your company should outsource their IT needs to an MSP:
- Staff members are consistently working long hours including weekends and overnights to accomplish tasks and finish projects
- No process in place to handle patches and updates. Schedules are beginning to slip and/or delays have become the norm
- Improved employee productivity, increase in up-time giving the opportunity for internal IT teams to focus on long-term priorities
There are many benefits in partnering with a Managed Services provider. MSPs help reduce the strain on your internal staff, improving employee retention, and satisfaction, increasing all around efficiencies while saving your organization money. A Managed Services Provider adds value and provides your company with peace of mind knowing there is an additional layer of security ensuring systems are safe and up-to-date.