Naturally, as companies become lucrative and profitable they will start to grow. And with growth comes more work and more demand for your departments. If your business relies heavily on computers, networks, and servers to run, you may see a higher demand on your IT department the more your business grows.
That’s where managed IT services come in. It allows businesses who may not be able to afford a large on-site IT staff to have their IT needs handled by an off-site service provider.
If you think your business could benefit from managed IT services, check out these 10 ways to get the most of your service provider.
1. Identify Your Needs First
Whether you’re looking to hire an MSP or have been working with one for a while, be sure to identify your needs. Knowing what your business needs are from managed IT services will assist in choosing the right MSP or in determining if your current MSP is meeting your needs.
You’ll want to know what functions you want the MSP to handle, as well as where it can best augment your current IT staff. This will help to choose the right MSP for your business or discern if your current MSP is still meeting your needs.
2. Do Your Research
This is pretty generic advice when making any kind of a choice, like which MSP to go with. Obviously, you want to do your research and choose the best option for your needs and budget. However, even if you’ve been using the same MSP for a few years, still do your research.
Remember all companies could be guilty of complacency, meaning the MSP you currently use may not be as cutting edge as it once was and shows no signs of changing that.
It’s a good idea to continue to research the different options managed IT services can provide and address any concerns you have with your managed services provider. This will help to ensure you get the most out of your MSP or to determine if you should change providers.
3. Don’t Replace Your IT Staff
This is key. Managed IT services and managed services providers are not replacements for any IT staff. They are there to augment your IT staff.
By focusing your needs on augmenting your IT staff or department and choosing the best company to meet those needs you’ll be able to free up your staff to focus on strategic projects. Your IT department will be able to develop new and innovative ways to enhance efficiency and increase production.
However, should the MSP fail in some fashion, the IT staff is still available to troubleshoot any issues, monitor the equipment and users, and conduct routine maintenance.
4. Create Data Back Up and Recovery Procedures
Work with your managed services provider to develop procedures and policies for backing up your data and any recovery options and procedures in the event of data loss.
Machines fail all the time and often with little to no reason at all. It’s a good idea to back up your data frequently and to have a way to recover that data quickly in the event of a catastrophic incident and data is lost.
Working with your MSP on this will allow the MSP to handle this part of your needs without needing to free up other IT personnel.
5. Build a Rapport with Your MSP
Be sure to build a rapport with your MSP. This will help to ensure everyone knows what is going on, and to ensure you and your MSP stay proactive. You’ll have a better chance of bringing things to your MSP’s attention with rapport than if you don’t have a trusting relationship with one another.
6. Heed the Advice From the Experts
They are the expert after all. Now that doesn’t mean follow them blindly. Rather it means to trust in them to make the right choices. Especially since you’ve presumably done your research and chosen your MSP based on how knowledgeable they were.
A good MSP will also act as a security consultant. Sometimes a company will hire a consultant only to discover they simply need managed IT services.
7. Determine Security Features Offered
Make sure the security features your provider offers is in line with the security needs of your company. You should have your current MSP or any you are looking at using, discuss with you how they plan to keep your data protected and secure.
Especially if you have a lot of clients or customers information stored, you’ll want to be sure your MSP can keep their information protected and secured as well.
8. Analyze Cost Effectiveness
One of the benefits of managed IT services is it can save a company money. Take a look at what it would cost without the aid of an MSP and how much it costs with one. If there isn’t a big enough gap to make it worthwhile it may be time to move on to a different MSP.
9. Productivity and Efficiency
MSPs should also be helping to increase productivity and enhance efficiency amongst your employees. One of the benefits of using managed IT is freeing up time for your employees.
Employees with more free time will have higher morale, but will also have more time for special projects and finding new ways to keep a competitive advantage.
10. Be Ready to Find Another MSP
Don’t be afraid to go with a different MSP than the one you are currently using. Sometimes MSPs aren’t equipped to handle companies that grow to a certain point, no matter how long they’ve been a client.
If your MSP is no longer meeting your needs because you’ve outgrown them, find an MSP who will meet your needs and be able to provide you with the services you require.
Staying On Top with Managed IT Services
Whether you’re looking for a managed services provider or have been using one for a while it helps to stay on top of them and make sure you’re getting the best service you can get.
Conduct your research, know your needs, and don’t be afraid to build a rapport with your MSP and let them know when they aren’t meeting your needs. Also don’t be afraid to choose a different MSP if you need to.
Staying on top of your managed IT services will allow you to stay on top of the competition and help you keep your competitive advantage.
If you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your managed IT services contact us today!