If you have an IT company that helps run your business, then you’re already ahead of the game in making sure your systems are up and running. But if you need a new provider or are trying to evaluate existing providers, you need to know what makes a well managed IT service provider.
But why would you need a managed service provider in the first place? Well, the reason is the increasing skills gap. According to a McKinsey survey, 87% of companies face a skills gap problem or expect to face it in the coming years. Moreover, the research firm Korn Ferry predicts that around 85 million jobs could go unfilled by 2030 due to skills shortage, making it an $8.5 trillion issue.
If you don’t want to face this issue, you must be looking for a managed IT service provider, and here’s how to find the right one for you.
Define Your Needs
According to Statista, the global managed services market was poised at $161.37 billion in 2021. The market is expected to grow exponentially to $311.32 billion by 2027. The numbers hint that thousands of service providers can help you. Defining your needs precisely will help you pick the one that can address them.
Before looking for a managed IT service provider, it’s essential to take time and ensure you’re clear on your business needs. This will help you determine which services are most important and how much your business can afford to spend.
It’s also critical that the MSP understands your needs and goals as a business to create an effective plan for success. That’ll involve talking with clients about:
- Their pain points: The issues or challenges they face each day
- Their goals: What they want their IT environment to look like in the future
- The resources available at their disposal
Make a Shortlist
As much as you may want to find the right managed IT service provider for your business, this is not a short task. You can’t just go around calling every single company in your area and hope that one of them will be able to meet all of your needs. We recommend creating a list of companies that are a good fit for your business by using the proper criteria to filter out companies that aren’t a good fit.
You’ll want to ensure the company has experience with similar businesses in your industry and geographic area. The last thing you want is for them to try and set up some complex network architecture when there’s no need for it or provide services beyond what’s required by law.
Suppose they have some experience with what technology is currently being used at other businesses like yours. In that case, chances are they’ll have some insight into how best to implement new systems to streamline operations without spending additional money on upgrades beyond what has already been spent on initial purchases from previous years’ budgets.
It’s equally important that potential partners can afford whatever fees come along with using their services, not just financially but also in terms of time commitment. Hence, select a company that offers affordable services.
You can go with someone like IS-T, who has expertise in all the above-mentioned areas. The company can deliver exceptional services with 24/7 support. Moreover, it brings you an all-in-one package for your IT service needs. Be it data backup, network security, software development, or staff outsourcing, IS-T can help you with everything. Hence, you should go with someone like that to ensure you get the best services.
Inspect Their Technical Expertise
You should inspect their technical expertise to find the right managed IT services provider. A company with the right technical knowledge, skills, and certifications will likely have the best solutions for your business. You also want to ensure they have enough experience in providing managed IT services for businesses like yours.
When researching potential candidates, look for certifications such as Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs), Cisco Certified Network Associates (CNAs), CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, and so on. These credentials indicate that someone has proven competency in a particular technology area or has additional training in specialized areas such as security or storage solutions.
The cost of downtime can be high. For example, a Forbes article states that the average cost of downtime for an automotive company can be $22,000 per minute. Hence, inspecting technical expertise is vital. This will eliminate downtime caused by network errors or cyberattacks.
Look for Security Certifications
There’s a great deal of information to sort through when selecting a managed IT service provider, so we’ve boiled it down to the top three certifications you should be looking for.
- ISO: An international standard that defines how organizations and businesses should manage their quality management systems.
- SOC: The Service Organization Control (SOC) is an auditor’s report on your company’s compliance with specific federal regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and others. It provides an objective assessment of your security measures. It can be used as part of your marketing materials to help potential customers feel confident about choosing you because they see that you have strong security measures in place. You can also request free audits from companies like Qualys or Veracode to get a SOC report for free.
- HIPAA: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates how health records are processed by medical providers, insurance companies, and other healthcare entities in the United States so that those who need care may receive it without undue burden or delay due to privacy concerns around their data such as name address phone number social security number date of birth, etc.
There are many such cybersecurity compliances, each with some same and some different rules to abide by. Ensuring the managed service provider has relevant security certifications will keep the consequences of cyberattacks at bay. Primarily, according to IBM, it will protect your company from financial losses that can go up to $9.44 million in the USA and $4.35 million worldwide.
We hope this article has given you insight into what to look for in an IT company and how to find one that will work well with your business. There are many good options, so don’t let fear or uncertainty keep you from taking action.
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