5 Elements You Should Be Keen On When Selecting a Managed Service Provider
Managed services are increasingly being implemented to support critical operations in businesses and organizations. Businesses in the United States alone are currently spending more than 13 billion of their IT budgets on these strategies to reduce their overall costs and improve service delivery. Managed services’ benefits are widely acknowledged by business owners, IT architects and CIOs- consequently fueling continued growth which has seen the rate climb to 22% over the past couple of years. In fact, the growth rate is expected to further escalate to 58% by 2018.
Because of the excitement and buzz surrounding managed services, many organizations are now rushing to join the bandwagon and implement them in their operations. This unfortunately, leads to many errors which could potentially reduce the efficacy of their entire managed services framework. To prevent such a scenario, you should implement your services strategically by executing your migration plan in stages.
The first stage, of course, is selecting a stable managed service provider. With a market of thousands of vendors managing different services, you have a wide pool of choices to pick from. To discern the most effectual from the rest, here are 5 key elements you should critically assess:
Businesses usually depend on a set of collaborative processes to sustain workflow maintain normal operations. You should therefore focus on holistic vendors with a wide range of services to support each of your business IT processes. A standard comprehensive suite of solutions has application management, end user computing, co-location, storage, virtual infrastructures capabilities, and more. They should also be delivered in flexible multiple systems and single uniform platforms to ensure compatibility with various business IT architectures.
Choosing a comprehensive solutions provider not only grants you access to a wide range of services, but also gives your business the flexibility to scale your services according to emerging trends and needs. You could even experiment on various services to evaluate their suitability within your information technology framework.
Each business is unique and requires special attention to efficiently sustain the processes and service delivery. It’s not advisable to go for a large scale service provider who may not deliver the requisite flexible customer-centric support. A small scale MSP on the other hand, may lack the requisite technology and expertise to offer comprehensive support. A standard medium sized service provider is therefore the most widely preferred choice for businesses seeking an MSP with the relevant technology and expertise to deliver timely, personalized services.
Your MSP should be easily reachable and fittingly responsive, especially on major technological issues affecting your business. The professional relationship built through such interactions should ultimately build a platform for you to receive additional advice on various IT issues, including implementation strategies on suitable solutions. MSPs who are interested in becoming FileCloud partners click here
Security is the single biggest concern for most managed service users. According to IDG’s publication titled ComputerWorld Forecast Study 2015, CIOs are expected to increase their security spending by 46% in a bid to boost their technologies against increasing security threats. Managed services, among other IT architectures, are a primary focus because of their multi-dimensional accessibility, which makes them particularly vulnerable to hackers and malware.
To avoid becoming a security statistic and potentially risk the well-being of your business, you should keenly evaluate all the security features installed by various vendors. A good system should be supported by a robust security framework with dedicated competency and proactive intrusion detection across all the system’s components. For maximum protection, the vendor should additionally have a dedicated team of security experts monitoring all the channels and optimizing system security both virtually and physically. In case of a data breach, disaster management should automatically kick in to restore critical operations and track lost data to avert potential damages.
Apart from increased convenience and reduced operation costs, one of the primary reasons of adopting managed services is flexibility- and that includes expansion and growth of a business. As your business grows, you may need to outsource some operations beyond borders or establish overseas branches. Of course the possibility of this depends on the globalization features of your managed service provider.
Your vendor should have an operation fabric and expansive infrastructure that efficaciously operates across borders. This grants you unlimited success to your applications across geographies with stable internet connectivity. Additionally, the vendor’s infrastructure should be self-sufficient to allow switches between servers in case of any system failures- hence giving you uninterrupted access to your services regardless of any technical difficulties experienced by your provider.
Finally, you should only consider vendors who can deliver exclusively customized solutions tailored according to your business goals, needs and best practices. Since customization is best effected from the design phase, your vendor should have the requisite expertise and technology to implement custom features on your entire IT architecture according to your individual business needs.
Great customization capabilities also come in handy when migrating your processes from your internal system. An efficient vendor should execute the process seamlessly by combining excellent onboarding features with customer support to evaluate your physical machines and subsequently virtualize them. This will not only save you the headache of migrating an already expansive system, but also the costs of hiring an external team of IT architects.
As you make your final choice on MSPs to entrust your business with, go through a couple of user reviews to comprehend what each company offers its customers. A simple statement from a past customer may ultimately save you potential headaches and disappointments of working with an ineffective provider.
Author: Davis Porter
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