Choosing the right managed service provider (MSP) for your small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) can be one of the most important decisions you make in order to secure a competitive advantage. It can be, however, a difficult decision. In this guide, we’ll help you understand the factors you should consider so that you can choose the right MSP.
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services are the IT infrastructure and support services you outsource to experts who then assume the role of monitoring and maintaining your network. The services you might expect to gain by partnering with an MSP include:
Your MSP should be monitoring your network 24/7 so that they can immediately identify and correct problems, address threats, and provide remote and onsite maintenance.
One of the benefits of an MSP, especially for SMEs, is fixed-rate, predictable pricing that allows you to plan ahead.
No two businesses are the same, and your managed IT services should not be rigid. Customized services designed to meet the needs of your organization are a must.
Cloud Storage and Hosting
Secure, local cloud hosting and storage provides you with the backup you need and the compliance you may require.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
From helping you develop a recovery plan that helps to ensure your business continuity, to being at the ready to help you recover should the worst happen, your MSP can help you plan for the worst.
Unpatched software is one of the leading causes of data breaches, and one of the first things to get postponed when your internal team is busy. Your managed service provider takes over the responsibility of obtaining software license renewals, managing hardware contracts, ISP/Domain management, and warranty administration.
Priority Call Response
Partnering with an MSP gives you access to experienced engineers who are only a phone call away when you need them.
Not every SME can have their own C-level IT leader on the payroll. Your outsourced MSP, however, will consult on issues relating to capacity planning, remediation of chronic or recurring issues, budgeting, and IT strategy planning.
Annual Security Reviews
Every year or more often as needed, your MSP will make recommendations for necessary adjustments and additions to the network and system security.
Why Do Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Alberta Need a Managed IT Service Provider?
SMEs have been hit the hardest from the last few years of economic turmoil, and the pandemic didn’t help. These businesses have been left reeling from the pressure to remain competitive. But consumers want reliable access to your business and to their accounts – and they want to know that their data is safe with you. Cybersecurity is more important than ever as hackers target smaller businesses due to the perception that they have weaker infrastructures and often invest less in cybersecurity.
Having the right tools in place can keep your customers – and your business – secure. However, proper IT leadership involves more than assigning someone in the office to update computers. If you’re not in the IT business, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the rapidly changing technologies, especially as cyber criminals become more and more sophisticated in their efforts to access your information.
Things To Consider When Choosing Your Managed IT Service Provider
Selecting the best managed IT service provider in Alberta for your company is critical to performance. As you begin your search, be sure to keep these factors in mind:
Before you sign a contract with a managed service provider (MSP), you need to know their business background. Ask pertinent questions regarding the certifications they have, how long they’ve been in business, what they specialize in, and how they have been evaluated by previous clients. IT is a booming industry, and although signing with a start-up may seem tempting, you need to know that they can manage your infrastructure. Your partnership with an Alberta MSP is more than simply a financial investment; your MSP must promote good business practices that mirror your culture and your values.
Any amount of downtime for your business is money lost, whether it’s a system failure or a data breach. An MSP must offer some assurance that your networks will run smoothly, regardless of potential interruptions, providing convenience and peace of mind to both your employees and consumers. How well your business operates will determine your own standing among competitors, and your MSP should be able to guarantee satisfaction.
When concerns arise, your MSP should respond in a timely manner. Don’t settle for an IT provider that requires you to submit a ticket and indicates that at least a week will be necessary for the matter to be resolved. Problems occur outside of business hours, and a professional IT MSP will be available at any hour. Understand the after-hour policies of your chosen MSP and make sure that someone will be available to address problems, follow through with permanent solutions, and be available for further questions as necessary.
IT is unique in that it is constantly evolving, and your MSP should work with you to ensure that proper advancements are made in your business. You should feel confident in asking for recommendations regarding future projects and innovations that will keep your business at a competitive standing. A professional IT MSP will stay abreast of current and future issues in IT and be able to suggest best practices for your organization.
As the client, you should never feel that your IT challenges are yours alone to resolve. A good MSP will work with you until the right solutions for your challenges are found. Trust, courtesy, and respect are essential components in IT because not all news is good news. Your MSP should feel comfortable exchanging information, and as the client, you should trust that they will stand by their word. The ITeam lives by these standards and emphasizes the relationship between the MSP and the client in our own Ten Commandments of doing business.
Why The ITeam Is the Service Provider of Choice for Alberta Businesses
One of the ways in which The ITeam stands apart is our commitment to service. We don’t just sign a contract with you and disappear. We get to know your business, your people, and your customers so that we can make sure you’re leveraging technology as proficiently and effectively as possible.
Your business needs will evolve, and The ITeam is flexible, responsive, and ready to adapt to your changing needs. We work diligently to not only ensure that your IT infrastructure is operating like a well-oiled machine but to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of your specific industry. From specific compliance and governance requirements to unique trends in your business, we customize what we do to fit your needs.
There are many aspects of well-rounded IT service management, and the ITeam strives to meet every need of their clients through proactive planning and execution. Comprehensive services range from remote maintenance services to fully managed cloud hosting services, with limitless benefits for your business. Regardless of whom you choose as an MSP, your choice in partner should meet all the above qualifications to ensure that your IT needs are fully met, you can achieve measurable ROI, and you have peace of mind knowing your business is in good hands. Get in touch today to learn more.