Data and technology drive almost every aspect of business today—from streamlining operations to enabling collaboration and knowledge sharing. But the pace at which technology evolves makes it difficult to keep up with the changes under the best circumstances and have some seeking alternative methods for staying on top of their IT services.
In our current, not-the-best-of-times business climate, we are all looking for ways to control technology costs but still innovate and move the business forward. This puts a strain on smaller businesses, and they are finding it even harder than usual to manage their IT functions efficiently and cost-effectively.
Hiring a managed IT services provider helps businesses fill that gap between the need for new technology, tools, and services and finding the budget to pay for them. In the long run, hiring an MSP is less expensive than hiring a full-time IT employee, and a good IT services provider brings a lot of value and experience to the table.
Why should you hire a managed IT services provider?
Every company has its own “why,” but the most common reasons businesses turn to managed IT services include access to the latest technology, around-the-clock service and monitoring, the benefit of a broad range of technical expertise, and freeing up internal IT resources to focus on growing the business.
What are some misconceptions about hiring an IT services partner?
Despite the well-documented benefits of partnering with an MSP, there are a few negative myths floating around that need to be put to rest.
An MSP will replace your internal team
A good (operative word, good) MSP wants to enhance your in-house IT team, not replace it. The goal is to take on the functions that are keeping your internal team too busy to focus on the high-value innovative work.
It costs too much
At first glance, the quote you get from an MSP might seem like a lot. However, when you add up how much it would cost to hire the people needed to support all of the services an MSP provides, you see the real value of managed IT services.
It wants to take away all of your control
This is one reason why it’s important to work with an MSP with a partnering mindset. The right IT services partner wants to collaborate with you, not silo itself deciding what’s best for your organization in a vacuum.
Hiring an outside IT provider creates a security/compliance risk
Security and compliance are valid concerns. Do your due diligence and conduct a third-party risk assessment before signing on with an IT services provider to ensure the company takes security as seriously as you do.
What are some risks of outsourcing to the wrong IT partner?
No service provider is perfect, but it’s OK to have high standards with all that’s at stake when you outsource IT functions. Here are some common red flags to watch for that indicate it may be time to find a better IT partner:
- It wants to replace—not partner with—your in-house team
- It offers inflexible programs
- Customer service is automated
- Response time is poor
- It uses outdated technology
- There are hidden costs
- Its solution doesn’t meet your needs
What makes a great IT partner?
Every managed IT services provider sounds perfect when you’re getting the sales pitch—that’s the salesperson’s job. However, once the contract is signed, you will notice pretty quickly if those red flags above start to pop up.
Fortunately, great IT services partners have their own set of “tells” that show rather than tell that they want to be an extension of your IT team and that they are committed to helping your organization succeed.
Here are the top ways to know you have found the right partner:
Supports the in-house IT team
A great MSP takes on the day-to-day tasks so your internal IT talent can focus on innovating and moving the business forward.
Understands the problems you need to solve
An IT services partner should invest time in fully understanding the depth and breadth of your IT pain points and challenges so it can help you find appropriate solutions.
Responds to and resolves issues quickly
Your MSP should react quickly to issues and tickets to ensure minimal impact to business operations or employee productivity.
Vast industry experience
Industry experience (theirs and yours) is essential to providing services efficiently. A great MSP should be able to step in and get right to work with minimal friction because it knows the ropes.
Culture is compatible
Culture is crucial to team satisfaction and productivity. Your IT services provider should reflect the same values as your organization to prevent conflicting priorities and low morale.
Good references and outstanding reputation
If the only testimonials you can find about an MSP come from its own website, dig deeper. Chase down references and ask hard questions. A prospective partner’s reputation will reflect positively or negatively on your own reputation.
Focuses on partnership
A great IT services provider comes in with an attitude of, “We’re in this together.” Strong partnerships will help further business objectives because there is no us-versus-them mentality and everyone has a vested interest in success.
Account manager is available
Having a real-live human to bounce ideas off of or voice frustration to fosters a sense of being heard and understood. This helps create a strong and trusting relationship.
Constant firefighting is exhausting, expensive, and unnecessary. Great IT services providers monitor your systems and applications around the clock to proactively address problems often before they become actual problems.
Why is IT Weapons the ideal partner?
When you partner with IT Weapons for managed IT services, we bring two decades of experience laser-focused on client satisfaction. We strive to create a culture of support and peace of mind for your business by providing these core benefits:
- Industry-leading certifications and SLAs for uptime and problem response
- 100% Canadian data centres and systems boast SOC 2 Type II accreditation for premier security and regulatory compliance
- Award-winning desktop and user support, on-site support, and bilingual coast-to-coast coverage
- 24/7 system monitoring and performance management for network, storage, and servers
- Simple, per-user costing for every piece of your technology infrastructure
- Incident and problem management
- Software licensing renewals and hardware lifecycle management
- Software patching, maintenance, and backups
- Data protection and archiving
- Monthly system health reporting, ongoing trend analysis, capacity planning, and support ticket and service level review
Want to see how our managed IT services align with the needs of your technology environment? Reach out to one of our experts to learn more.