As we see the industry move more and more towards Managed Services and hosted and cloud based computing, now it is more important than ever to choose the right company to partner with to insure your data is secure, reliable and available.
The benefits of moving to a hosted environment range from leveraging economies of scale, to dedicated teams of specialists who are on call 24/7, to a predictable set monthly fee and most important, it takes the day to day management of your network off you radar so you can focus on the operation of your business and leveraging business and IT.
The field of service providers is a growing one, which is why you want to make sure you partner with one that takes your business as seriously as you do.
Some key criteria for an IT Service provider are;
- How financially secure are they, are they a new upstart or are they an established company that is in it for the long haul?
- How aligned is their business model with your business vertical, are you their guinea pig, or is this old hat for them?
- How deep is their tech bench, is it one tech or a team of engineers?
- How easy is it to get a hold of them?, are they local?, or do you have to call a help desk off-shore before reaching someone local?
- How responsive are they, what are the SLA’s ?
- And most important, how comfortable do you feel when you talk with them; can you work with them moving forward?
The size of the business can really be a great determinant if Managed Services and a hosted solution are right for you. Small startups will see an immediate advantage to this solution as it frees up capital for other projects and allows them to budget their IT expenses Monthly vs. Cap-X expenditures on tech. The MSP will have the experts already on staff and ready to ramp up immediately.
Established small and medium business will also see an immediate advantage as it will allow them leverage the power of a lease to upgrade aging infrastructure to newer more robust equipment while still maintaining a predictable fixed monthly payment, once again 100% proactively managed by a team of experts.
Even larger companies can benefit from the hosting of commoditized applications and software (e-mail especially) as if frees their environment up from having to store and secure all that data, and it is much more agile in terms of management and portability. In the past the status quo was to hire and employ a team of experts who were there to manage a single network, increasing the cost per employee, in the world of hosting, those costs are spread over the vast array of clients lowering the cost per employee for fixed labor.
It is no longer extraordinary to outsource your entire IT infrastructure, and as more and more companies are finding out it is actually saving them money year over year as the internal customers are much happier with the response and reliability of the network and platforms they use daily.
The best service providers enable your business to run smoothly, and give you the information and tools to make smart business decisions based on growth and operational efficiencies and finally allow you to focus on what you know best; your core business.