It is common for any company that uses the internet and has an online network to also have someone on their staff working in IT. A lot of the time, it is either one person or a small group of people that work “in-house” and are hired to work on site.
Another alternative is hiring managed IT providers. But before getting into the nitty-gritty about what you should expect from them, we want to make sure you fully understand what exactly Managed IT is. Rather than being in-house staff members, managed IT providers work remotely giving you round-the-clock assistance to ensure any IT problems are easily fixed. The benefit of working with a managed IT provider is that you are technically hiring a team of specialized IT experts, as opposed to one full-time person or group of people.
Whether you are currently working with a provider or are looking to hire one, there are a few crucial things that you can, and should, expect from them within your partnership.
Managed IT Providers Should:
Understand your business
Both you and your managed IT provider should be looking for a long-term partnership to ensure continuity and stability. They should understand not only what your business is about, but also all the systems you use or intend to use, as well as your overall IT goals.
Without this in-depth understanding, they will only be able to give you basic IT coverage, which is not what you are after. The idea behind hiring a managed IT provider is to have a wide range of specialists available that will be able to help with any IT issue that may happen and will help you grow your company.
Ideally, you will have a long-term partnership, and therefore, they know your business very well. They should not only be looking to solve problems that arise today but rather, take a forward-thinking approach.
This means thinking having strategies in place for any situation that may occur by anticipating the growth of your company and putting systems to work that allow your business to expand. Keeping up with the growth of the company is essential, and creating two-way communication ensures both parties are on the same page.
This is crucial when it comes to any business partnership. Before any contracts are signed or new strategies are implemented, a collaborative discussion should take place. If it is a one-way conversation where you do not have a chance to ask any questions or have a say in what is to come next, then your managed IT provider is not the right fit for you.
Make sure that there is an open and transparent channel of communication, that way, there is no room for any misunderstandings. When talking with your managed IT provider, you should feel like you are being heard and that both parties have a mutual understanding so there is a successful partnership.
Put time aside for check-in meetings
It is a good idea to have a meeting with your managed IT provider to check-in and chat about how they are doing and if there are any concerns or changes that should be made to the systems. It is not unreasonable to expect updates, as this allows you to assess the partnership, the work, and take a collaborative look at your goals.
Your IT provider should be keeping you up to date with any changes and new implementations that have happened on their end. Sitting down and having short conversations regularly can make sure that both parties are content.
Provide help desk support
This links back to communication. If you are going to hire a managed IT provider rather than an in-house IT manager, you will want them to be easily reachable and available. If there is ever an emergency, you should be able to reach them within minutes to prevent any long-term damage.
Your managed IT provider is usually made up of a team of specialists, and therefore, you will not always be speaking to the same person. However, you have the right to expect a consistent service no matter who is working on what day and on any specific task.
They should be aware of the technology and software that you are currently using and have an in-depth understanding of it. Given that many companies have tight budgets, they should be able to work with what you have and even suggest ways to optimize their uses or other technologies that could enhance your IT experience.
Have expertise in compliance
Depending on your clientele, your business might be handling sensitive information. Your managed IT providers should always be aware of the regulations surrounding security and legal affairs. If you breach any of the laws, it could get you into a lot of trouble. Therefore, whoever you hire should be knowledgeable in your field to avoid any unnecessary hassles.
Deciding on a Managed IT Provider:
Make sure you understand what you are signing up for. Due to the wide range of services that your managed IT provider can offer you, it can often be overwhelming. So make sure you discuss what you are after so they can provide you with the best package for your business needs.
Depending on the size of your company, and the intricacies of your IT needs, having a managed IT provider might be the right choice for you. Make sure you know what you are getting for what you are paying and what it is that they are offering you. Whoever you end up hiring should make you feel like your business goals are essential and of priority.
Why choose Coordinated Business Systems?
With over 30 years of experience, we’ve helped 1,000’s of organizations improve their productivity and efficiency with our office technology solutions. Our ‘Customers First Always’ approach means we’re proactive and always seeking the most effective solution. We frequently check in with customers to ensure that they’re happy with their new system. Our priority is that companies find a cost-effective solution that allows them to function at their most productive and efficient.