How to Choose the Right Managed IT Service Providers: A Guide
Are you wondering how you can choose the right managed IT service providers for you? Keep reading and learn more about it here.
As the owner/operator of a small business, you have to wear a lot of hats.
Running your own business can be an overwhelming pursuit. You need to have a good sense of how each aspect of your company operates so that you can properly oversee day-to-day operations. An understanding of everything from finance and marketing to production and tech is going to help you be a better boss and run a more successful business.
Often, it's better to outsource certain tasks so you can focus on what you do well. Today, we're going to discuss managed IT service providers and give you a guide for finding one that fits your company's needs. Keep reading and you'll find out that having someone oversee the tech side of your business can actually save you money and help you reach new heights.
Figure Out What Your Needs Are
If you've been operating without an IT department thus far, then it might be difficult to truly assess where you're at. Conducting a real IT audit might not be something you're capable of, but try to think about where you've been having the biggest IT difficulties and make a list of what you want in a managed IT service.
Look at your equipment - servers, computers, network equipment, software, and cybersecurity setup. Look at how all of this impacts your workflow and where it really hinders you.
When you start talking to managed IT providers, it'll be important to be able to convey a rough sense of what you're going to need them to do. These services are always highly tailored to individual customer needs, so the more you understand your situation, the more smoothly the process of finding help will be.
Looking at Your Budget
Every small business is on a tight budget, but if you want to turn your IT situation around, you'll need to clear some room in it for managed services. When consulting with an IT company, you'll be able to tell them what you're looking to spend and get a good sense of what you'll get in return.
What you need and what you budget for will go hand in hand. If you need 24/7 monitoring and someone on-site a lot of the time, then you're going to have to pay for it. For companies that simply need a help desk and support in a few specific areas, then you can be a bit more stingy with the budget.
Understanding Your Options
As you start looking at different providers, you'll quickly see that there's a wide scope of IT services on offer. Some companies take a more hands-off approach, but monitor certain aspects of your business remotely and respond when something goes wrong. Others, like ADVANTEX, are more than just a managed IT service provider - we offer various other business IT services to help your company thrive in an ever-advancing technological world.
Whether you're looking for improved cybersecurity, network and server management, or everything under the IT sun, it's available to you with our subscription-based service. All you need to do is schedule a consultation with one of our experienced professionals and we'll help you understand what we do and how it can help your business grow.
Investigate Different Providers
It's always good to have a shortlist of different managed IT providers so you have a good sense of what's out there and how much it all costs. Some of the particularly important areas of IT that you might want to discuss include:
- The overall scope of service - what each company does and doesn't provide.
- Cybersecurity expertise - businesses of all kinds are under constant threat of cyber attacks.
- The cutting-edge equipment each company has available.
- How long it will take to do an IT audit and get set up with co-managed services.
Measure your needs against what each company provides and let that dictate which direction you decide to go in.
Look At Experience and Reviews
If you don't know much about how managed IT services work, it can be difficult to judge the quality of one service versus another. For that reason, it's always a good idea to look at the experience of the company - the type of companies they've worked with - and online ratings and reviews.
These things can tell you a great deal about professionalism and quality of service, but also expertise. If they've got specific experience in your industry, then you can feel a bit more comfortable about how they'll handle your IT needs. At ADVANTEX, we can work with any type of small to medium-sized business, but we also specialize in accounting, non-profit, and healthcare IT support.
In terms of ratings and reviews, there's no one better to refer to than a former customer of an IT company. Check out Google and Yelp reviews to get a good sense of what it'll be like to hire each IT service provider.
Availability & Employee Support
Availability will be a big sticking point when you're making your final decision. When you're working with an IT service, you need the communication level to be extremely high. Should a server go down or a cybersecurity breach occurs, you'll need an immediate IT response from your provider.
Look for 24/7 help desk support and a special focus on employee support. Should individual employees experience any tech issues, you'll want them to be able to go straight to the IT provider for support instead of asking you.
Creating a Plan
Lastly, a good IT service provider will sit down with you and help you perform a real IT audit. Using their expertise, they'll be able to look at your current IT practices and identify the areas where you can improve. They'll help you create a disaster recovery plan, perform extensive security checks, and perform proactive maintenance to ensure that your IT is up to snuff moving forward.
Choosing the Right Managed IT Service Providers
Choosing the right managed IT service providers for your Texas-based business can feel like a tall task. There are lots of IT companies out there, but they weren't all created equal. ADVANTEX provides professional IT services for all of your small business tech needs.
To discuss your managed IT needs, contact us for a free consultation.