Choosing a Managed Service Provider

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Outsourcing your IT needs is a serious investment, so choosing the wrong solution for your business can be a significant setback. Making the right choice the first time will save you time and money; this guide outlines the most important qualities to look out for when researching IT firms.

24/7 Availability – Your IT provider should be readily available to monitor and manage your systems out of hours (servers, firewalls, etc.) and should have the fail safes and notifications in place to address any external threats or malfunctions that may take place. On-site availability is essential: whilst remote support is convenient and usually sufficient, you may find that some issues can only be fixed on-site.

Reasonable Response Time – The time between the report of a problem and its solution should be agreed upon in the contract. Downtime for repairs and maintenance should be booked out of hours so as to have as little impact as possible on regular operation.

Variety of Service Options – Take care that your prospective managed service provider has all the amenities in place to meet all your current and potential IT needs. There should be certified in-house engineers that specialise in server management, network support, managed hosting and firewall services.

Experience & Reputation – Choose a well-established firm with a positive reputation, ask for references and case studies. Ensure they have partnerships with vendors such as Microsoft and Fortinet who can support them when necessary.

Customised Service – IT support and managed services should never come in a one-size-fits all package. Each business has particular needs which must be met in a customised approach. As the needs of your company change, so should your support.