As time progresses, the need for IT continues to grow in all companies regardless of scale. When it comes to small and medium sized businesses (SMB), those needs can get even more detailed. Companies below the enterprise level could have unique, potentially limiting software applications that have small scale development teams which may not be optimal for mass production or constantly updating functionality. Others may have an in-house IT resource of one individual who may have been drafted into the role earlier during their formative years, but could really use some assistance on a global scale. Whatever the situation, these circumstances may contribute to a lack of access and adaptation to the constantly evolving hardware and software technologies available in today’s market. More and more businesses are outsourcing their IT and relying on their Managed IT Services Provider (MSP).
With offerings including HaaS (Hardware-as-a-Service) and almost fully integrated cloud solutions, the sky is literally the limit for today’s SMB IT growth opportunity. These companies can get everything they need, and trust that a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) is making sure their expectations are met.
What does this also mean for IT services companies? Most SMBs have a general direction of where they would like to see themselves. With IT being such a vast and fluid landscape, it is up to the Managed IT Services Company to ensure that a collaborative partnership is established to work in tandem with your company. This is imperative for fleshing out those goals so there is a solid plan of action and also on how to achieve them in a timely manner. MSPs provide the strategic guidance necessary to plan for the short and long-term goals to increase profitability and meet, if not exceed, business objectives and goals.
One important factor with most (if not all) SMB environments is the relationship development between the SMB and MSP to ensure a successful partnership. The relationships you build inside the industry as a whole are important to maintaining reliability and integrity, even up to and including your own competition. As new products are tested and trialed, software and hardware continue to be an ever-changing market based on the client’s needs. The MSP IT offerings provided are certainly crucial and of that there is no doubt. Business leaders will continually value solid, beneficial relationships where they know that their IT providers keep their best interests at the forefront. This is a key area that will help to make an IT Services Company stand out from the rest of the candidates.
As far as expectations are concerned, what are some important focal points?
Strategic planning with IT insight assistance
Remember that partnership we talked about above? Your IT Services Company doesn’t only have to suggest the hardware / software updates and upgrades your company requires to have that technical edge. Your provider can be involved in the day-to-day business as it relates technology and your business needs. This can be anything from your provider working with you to improve productivity with your users by better managing their Internet exposure to providing data regarding your application network usage to determine why things always seem to slow down around the 3 o’clock hour.
No client likes to suffer through an outage. Employees need to make up the difference in work and the top brass are stressed due to the lost opportunity that downtime represents. An MSP can maximize uptime and increase your business profitability. With all the available options in place for a Managed IT Services Provider to monitor your network, they can tackle the problem and keep these issues from crippling your productivity. As a small to medium business owner, wouldn’t it would be nice if your MSP could take over for your internet service provider (ISP) when they go down or generator handy when the power goes out? A strong MSP has options (such as recommending and helping to put into place a solid backup ISP or offsite / cloud solutions that aren’t affected by your local power grid) to share with you so you can keep working without those concerns.
This is an important aspect to any IT environment. The average response time for a competitive Managed IT Services Provider may well be in the 1-2 hour range, with some providers going as long as 4 hours. As with most things, your provider may be able to customize your response times based on your needs. It should be noted that the more expedited the response, the more premium value associated to the service.
Backup, Backup, Backup
While all the above points are important, nothing is more critical in business than a solid, stable backup solution. Click here to learn more about the importance of a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution. Your provider is going to be your disaster recovery expert. It’s important for you to know that they are backing up your data to the fullest and testing those backups to make sure they are working within the agreed upon guidelines. Solutions out there now can take a catastrophic server failure and have that server back up and ready to go in as little as 15 minutes.
If you are interested in taking advantage of increasing profitability by partnering with an established Managed Services IT Provider, give us a call. We specialize in working with businesses to meet their business goals and strategically plan for the future. We take the success your business, personally.