Managed IT services Calgary
The managed IT services provider (MISP) should be able to cover all your needs for the installation, configuration and customization of hardware, OS, software (Licensed and Open Source), networks, antivirus/antispyware, firewalls and utilities (printer, scanner etc) within the client-server systems. The other aspects related to the entire infrastructure are the maintenance and repair services from the provider. It is better for you to opt for annual contract services which help in reducing the costs.
Client-Server Systems – Installation and Maintenance
Installation of a client-server system within your organization has to be streamlined for speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Your MISP’s first task is to install (or upgrade existing systems to) the most optimized hardware for your server.
- Operating System: Choosing an open source operating system for your server and getting the software updates is economical. Compare it with a traditional OS which needs frequent hardware updates. Ask your MISP to configure the OS for a maximum number of user additions during the initial installation. You can save on paying an extra fee per user when you increase their numbers.
- Office Applications: You MISP should be willing to train your users on basic software systems like office applications, tips, and tricks (Ex: on efficient hardware sharing like printers), troubleshooting etc, preferably free of cost. It helps in saving the precious working hours of your organization and to boost productivity.
- Hardware Components: Ask your MISP to install OEM components that are compatible with the hardware in the client and server systems. It ensures near zero downtime and enhanced efficiency. The scalability ratio between the hardware and software should be 1:3 or more. Your MISP should be capable of providing the open source software which has this sort of potential. So you spend less on hardware to get the 1:3 advantages.
- Auto Updates: Ask your MISP to find sources for auto-updates for your server and client systems from the internet and link to them in real time. It includes OS, office applications, hardware & network drivers etc.
- Preventive Maintenance: Ask your MISP to monitor, measure, evaluate and report the performance parameters of the hardware, OS, and applications regularly. It helps in taking the preventive measures before the risk of breakdown becomes a reality. You can save on time and money considerably.
Hardware and Software – Cloud Vs In-House
- Cloud Servers: Choose a MISP with a dedicated cloud server (or a data center) in its infrastructure. It helps you in sharing expensive hardware (processor, memory etc) and software (3-modeling, advanced engineering apps etc) rather than having to install them. Since most of these systems are licensed, you can save money by integrating the rentals into the annual contract fees. You can get better output at economical investments.
- In-House Options: Installation of firewalls (hardware and software), data storage systems and other sensitive and security centered systems needs to be In-house. It may be expensive (epically during the initial installation), but the cost of protecting your business interests will always prove to be a better investment in the long run. Since a single MISP is capable of maintaining both systems, you tend to pay less and benefit more.
Managed IT Services – Best Practices
- Complete Management: Your MISP should have the system of remote support (whenever it is possible and feasible) for complete maintenance and troubleshooting. Opting for support with no usage limits is the best way to get more from yours service provider. Ask him to report every service session with details of tasks performed and observed improvements (in system performance) from your staffs. He should be able to provide on-site support at no extra cost. He should have the most advanced hardware and software tools to troubleshoot all kinds of problems. You can choose this option when your organization has no dedicated IT team.
- Partial Management: You can choose this option when your organization has an IT team to solve your basic and intermediate levels of problems. Then your MISP should be able to coordinate with your IT team and deliver the advanced troubleshooting services. Moreover, he should be able to help in training the team to improve their maintenance skills. Even in this service type, he provides unlimited support when your IT team is unable to troubleshoot a specific issue.
- Customized Management: In this mode, the MISP will be able to deliver services that are specific to your organization. For example, you may need the data from machine efficiency analysis software to be exported to .CSV or .PDF format. You can always ask your service provider to complete the task for you.
Cost and Service Quality – Analysis and Decision
- Upgrade Consultations: If your business organization belongs to the SMBs sector, you will need consultations hardware and software upgrades in the future. By analyzing and comparing the growth plan of your business with the required upgrades, your MISP will be able to provide you with valuable insights. He will be able to tell you how to get the maximum benefits from software upgrades by keeping the existing hardware intact.
- Mobile Computing: It is possible to use the mobile and tablet PCs of your organization for working on complex applications (like CAD designs, engineering processes etc). Your MISP should be able to connect the mobile devices to the shared hardware and software resources on the cloud servers. Then you and your marketing team can stay connected with your core system and a team from any location in the world. It helps in improving customer relations management in a better way than ever before.
Security Systems: The security system management of your organizational data should be taken up on a full scale by the service provider. It is better to opt for licensed proprietary software for the firewalls, communication and data protection (especially, when you have to handle payment gateways), and other financial related communications and transactions. Make sure he provides unlimited support within the contract period at no extra costs. He should be able to report all the provided services regularly and take preventive actions for risk management.