A good IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) will quickly establish itself as a vital and cost effective extension of your in-house team. Select them well, and you can rest assured your network infrastructure and mission critical applications will always offer peak performance.
However, with so many providers to choose from, how do you distinguish the exceptional from the average … or worse, the ineffective? We’ve come up with a few handy tips to help you in your search for the perfect external information technology support partner.
Effective managed IT services should not only present solutions that will meet your current needs, but also develop a long-term roadmap outlining the steps that will help your network play its part in growing your business and getting you to where you want to be in, say, five years time.
This roadmap should be a flexible work-in-progress, with those leading it possessing the agility to adapt to changes in your business or the landscape more generally, as well as to incorporate new technological developments.
A commitment to ongoing, straightforward, honest communication between provider and client is key to enabling the ongoing IT infrastructure improvements that will help fulfil your business ambitions over the long term.
This all largely hinges around trust. You should have confidence that your chosen provider is working in your best interests by offering impartial, dependable advice based on best-practice. The power balance is stacked firmly in favour of the provider, due to their expert knowledge. Trust will, for instance, reassure you that you’re not being encouraged to invest in expensive solutions you don’t need, for the financial gain of your provider.
Of course, trust is something that must be earned, and this can take some time. Therefore, the other major advantage of finding an MSP committed to long-standing relationships is the opportunity for them to win your trust over time, through consistent quality of service, a customer-centric approach, and a demonstrated ability to meet and exceed your expectations, every time.
Because every business has different needs, a tailored approach to IT services and support is an absolute must. If a potential provider looks to be offering you a cookie-cutter solution, it might be time to continue the search! There is no one-size-fits-all solution that could possibly meet the unique needs of every business.
Once engaged, your chosen partner should commit to developing a thorough understanding of your current network set-up, business needs, challenges and future ambitions. Regardless of budget, resources or the nature of your work, a solution can be developed to resolve issues and boost performance.
Make sure your chosen provider starts by conducting a thorough audit of your current network set-up. It is these insights that will make sure they can make the most appropriate recommendations for your network management going forward. This might include server upgrades, changes to your data backup process, or new approaches to your use of cloud computing, amongst many other things.
Another vital element of the ‘getting to know you’ process involves asking about your future business objectives, vision and goals. That way, plans can be made to not only solve immediate problems, but also set you up for future success.
Although having access to 24/7 technical support from an expert team committed to resolving urgent IT issues quickly and effectively is important, your external support partner should be doing so much more in support of your business. Improving your network to boost performance and preempt problems before they arise are equally crucial.
One of the best things about MSPs is that they live and breathe everything IT, all day, every day. This means they are continually across all the very latest innovations in what is an incredibly fast-moving space. This is great news considering enterprise technology has come a long way in recent years, and is a more affordable and realistic option for small and medium businesses today than it has been in the past.
Therefore, make sure to choose an external IT support provider with the high-level technical knowledge needed to properly and proactively advise you on the latest industry-leading technologies to consider.
An increasingly remote workforce is likely to demand new approaches to things like security, device management and collaboration.
The modern MSP will insist on robust security measures as standard, due to an awareness that network security is more important post-2020 than it ever has been before. This is a result of the new and emerging risks associated with having more people accessing business data from more devices and locations.
Substandard cyber security measures bring real threats that can wreak havoc over your network and cause significant financial losses, as well as reputational damage associated with data loss. Making sure you have the latest strategies and tools in-place for the protection of your critical information and applications, as well as allowing for business continuity and swift disaster recovery in the event of a breach, should therefore be a top priority when looking for your ideal IT support partner.
On top of that, businesses with remote workers will require effective platforms that enable their people to collaborate as effectively from geographical disparate locations as they did when they were all working from the same location.
Microsoft Office 365 has proven itself to be a popular solution during the past 18-months, supporting mobility and collaboration by offering secure access to business data from any device or location. A good MSP should be able to make smart suggestions for the most appropriate platform for your business, as well as the approach to set-up and implementation that will make sure you get the best out of it.
Essential IT and our team of experts can proudly claim to offer all of the above and a wide range of additional support services! We’re always happy to chat, so give us a call today and ask us about how our strategic thinking, long-term outlook, and proactive approach can be of benefit to your business.
“Essential IT have been an amazing support partner to our company where IT is not one of our strong points. They are extremely knowledgeable and great at explaining things in layman terms. Always on the lookout to ensure we are up to date with IT infrastructure and continuing to suggest ways to improve. The helpdesk responds in a fast manner and our issues are resolved promptly. I am confident we will have a long standing relationship with Essential IT”
“Essential IT have been a great support for our business over the last few years. Being too small for fund an internal IT team, Essential IT have been an affordable solution to our IT needs. They’ve assisted with server upgrades and replacements, cloud backup solutions, as well as remote monitoring of desktops, laptops and servers (on site and virtual). Without their help, I’m not sure where our business would be.”
“Since our early days in 2009 our business has seen substantial change and growth. During this period Essential IT have gone above and beyond in supporting our teams across all states of Australia. Working in a high pressure industry, with fast paced change, it is important that our business has stable and up-to-date technology, and our teams have the support when they need it. Essential IT deliver this every-time, no challenge too small or too big. Their invaluable advice and guidance have seen our organisation transition to new initiatives that have driven greater stability, efficiency, and security throughout all aspects of our business and I would have no hesitation in recommending Essential IT to anyone looking for a quality provider who listens to your needs and delivers what you want.”
“Essential IT are the best team in the market. Quick and efficient service they are always reliable. Their product knowledge and expertise is second to none. We have been dealing with Steve and his team for a long time know & wouldn’t call anyone else to solve our IT problems and provide our IT solutions for the company and personal needs.”
“Recovery Partners have been supported nationally by the team at Essential IT for over 6 years. They offer a full service providing front line help desk services to server provisioning, hardware supply, security and strategic planning. The service is no fuss and consistently exceeds our expectations and delivery is always well inside our agreed service levels”
“Don’s Tiles Australia Pty Ltd have been using the IT Services of Essential IT for 7 years. We find the team at Essential IT extremely knowledgeable, hardworking and professional and they are able to get our IT problems resolved quickly. The small team also allows us to build a personal working relationship with all the staff members and we find them all very pleasant and helpful. I highly recommend Essential IT.”