Most IT professionals would agree that managed services can offer benefits to both the client and the provider. Here are reasons to consider using managed services and how to pick a managed services provider (MSP). Managed services allow the client to focus on the core line of business, leaving management of expectations and service delivery to the managed services provider. The MSP can make long-term investments in IT infrastructure that could indirectly benefit the client.
Hardware and software vendors can offer their best practices to the infrastructure project, improving key processes. The service-level agreement (SLA) can resolve the client’s worries over project management. The service-level agreement approach can also result in key process improvements for the direct benefit of the client. Lastly, knowledge retention is more efficient and sustainable under managed services.
Amongst the factors to look for in selecting a managed services provider is the depth of staff in both its knowledge and ability to meet the SLA. To achieve a predictable cost for the managed and professional services, you should have a flat monthly rate. The MSP should monitor all mission-critical equipment in your network 24/7/365 to reduce downtime proactively.
The provider should help manage vendors, provide advice and research on selecting vendors for applications, networking equipment, servers, and data communications. Also, inquire of the MSP’s ability to provides specialized services, such as developing and designing network concepts, provide onsite implementation, project management, security assessments, and disaster recovery solutions.
In summary, finding a corporate culture match with an MSP can be a crucial component in selecting a provider. Clients should look for a provider that can handle a wide variety of support services. Most important, seek a managed services provider that has a proven track record in the business; ask business colleagues and disinterested third parties for recommendations.