For over a decade now, the business domain has changed drastically. Small to large organizations are now transitioning digitally to keep up-to-date with the information technology trends. They depend on a pool of third-party vendors to aid them with the assets they need to develop and meet the requirements of their customers.
How do these businesses accurately keep up with the ever-growing IT industry? To drive business growth, these organizations outsource help from service companies. These third-party organizations are called managed IT service providers.
What is a Managed IT Service Provider?
A managed IT service provider maintains a client’s IT infrastructure and usually takes place in a remote setting. Most of the time, this is done in a subscription-based contract and on a proactive basis. Managed IT service providers secure, supervise, and monitor their customers’ various functions and processes to cut costs and provide efficiency in operations.
In the 90s, the popularity of managed IT services rapidly rose due to the fall of the break/fix service model. Managed IT services also began when application service providers
emerged. Managed cloud service providers are also compared to managed IT service providers. However, over time, they added and extended the scope of their processes to have unique features compared to other services providers.
The relationship between the managed IT service provider and its client is agreed upon the service-level agreement. This is a contractual agreement between the two involved parties that involves the breakdown of quality and performance metrics that will control and administer the relationship.
Importance of Managed IT Service Providers
Now that we have defined what a managed IT service provider is, let’s talk about its importance. What are the advantages of this managed service?
These are the following:
1. Reduction of risks
Every organization carries a particular risk when investing in something. Managed IT service providers are essential because they handle much risk for the organization because of their expertise in many IT areas. These areas include security and network issues and government compliance and regulations.
2. Costs are low
One of the importance of deciding to outsource a managed IT service provider is that it alleviates the probability of cybersecurity disasters occurrence. Hence, managed IT service providers can lower business costs and help control fiscal spending.
3. New technologies are applied
Implementation of new trends and technologies can be incorporated into an organization through managed IT service providers. They have the expertise and latest industry knowledge and skills to execute specific tasks and projects an organization needs or requires.
4. Solutions are proactive
Managed IT service providers give their organizations fewer glitches, almost no downtime, and improved performance. Proactive solutions include tasks such as preventing cybersecurity issues from becoming worse, turning expensive repairs into cost-effective fixes, and increasing uptime.
5. Security and compliance
Managed IT service providers are knowledgeable about specific standards and regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Utilizing their knowledge of these regulations, managed IT service providers will help minimize cybersecurity risks and protect sensitive data.
What to Look for in a Managed IT Service Provider
Technology has become so complicated over the years. That’s why it can be daunting for an internal IT team to keep up with technology’s complexity. Managed IT service providers can provide various degrees of help to meet its customers’ requirements. However, what should an organization look for in a managed IT service provider? The following is a list of qualities that an organization should consider when finding a managed IT service provider:
An organization doesn’t work 24/7, but their IT system and computers need to. So, when deciding what managed IT service provider to choose, it is essential to consider its availability. Because an organization depends on its managed service provider in its IT operations and processes, it has to ensure that its managed IT service provider works 24 hours, all-day and all-night.
2. Proactive maintenance
A busy organization tends only to fix its IT system when it is not working. It is essential to choose a managed IT service provider that proactively runs the updates you need today to prevent encountering issues and risks later.
3. Employee support
There are chances that an organization’s employees might struggle with malfunctioning computers and devices. This instance can’t get their jobs done. It is essential that an organization’s managed IT service provider is available for support when there are technical questions from employees.
4. Security testing and monitoring
An organization should choose a managed IT service provider that will protect its IT systems from hackers and cybercriminals. Furthermore, an organization should make sure to select a service package that includes regular security testing and monitoring for risks and attacks.
5. Cloud services and daily backups
One of the best reasons to use managed IT service provider is it ensures that an organization’s sensitive data is protected and safe. There are managed IT service providers that offer consistent and automatic backups. For safety, vulnerable data backups are stored in a remote server.
6. Local on-site support and maintenance
It is vital for an organization to choose a managed IT service provider that is available for on-site maintenance and support. Choosing a local vendor is a huge advantage.
7. Fast response time and service
An organization does not only need to choose a service provider because of its availability; it has to consider response time and service as well. A managed IT service provider should respond swiftly to an organization’s issues and requirements.
8. Third-party vendor partnerships
One of the best advantages of choosing to use managed service providers is their ability to handle technology vendors for an organization. This results in saving an organization time of tracking down many vendors for support and service. An organization should choose a managed IT service provider with partners that use the tools it needs for its operations.
9. Disaster recovery planning
What if an organization encounters outages, vandalism, or weather disasters? An organization should choose a managed IT service provider that will aid it in planning for future risks and failures. This is to protect an organization’s sensitive data and to make sure that an organization can recover from these disruptive events.
10. Annual IT budget planning
An organization should choose a managed IT service provider that will assist it in planning for the future of its IT systems. An organization should also look for a service provider that has expertise in handling annual planning of budget for IT. There are managed IT service providers that find ways for you to save money and develop technological efficiency. An organization should ensure that its service provider is thinking forward, helping it grow to the next level.
More Things to Consider When Choosing a Service Provider
Aside from the qualities mentioned above, there are more things to consider when looking for a managed IT service provider. It is essential to take note of its industry experience, longevity, ability to innovate.
When looking for a managed IT service provider, it is best to invest in a provider that has real experiences working in an organization’s industry. These first-hand experiences ensure that a managed service provider will be able to anticipate an organization’s operational and technological needs and foresee potential issues.
Moreover, what an organization should look for in a managed service provider is its longevity. An organization should select a service provider who will be around as long as an organization exists and continues operating. An organization can confirm a service provider’s history through research, press releases, and by asking good references.
Most importantly, a managed IT service provider’s ability to innovate gives a great advantage to an organization. Any organization doesn’t want to fall behind, so choosing a service provider that offers the latest services and adapts to new technology will eventually give an organization advantage and edge over other companies in the same industry.
An organization should find an IT partner that they can work with. Technology is rapidly changing, so it is essential for an organization to choose a managed IT service provider that will keep it up-to-date and adapt to new tech and trends.
When choosing a service provider, considering the qualities and factors mentioned above is essential to make sure it is a good fit. An organization should always remember that all managed IT service providers are not the same, so it is imperative that it narrows down the choices and choose wisely what speaks its language. Thus, when an organization encounters a problem, a profitable and beneficial relationship will be formed. Contact RSI Security to get started with Managed IT Services.