Managed Services is the practice of outsourcing the maintenance, management and monitoring of your technology infrastructure. It is a strategic method for improving operations and reducing costs.
Managed Service Providers (MSPs), like R2K, offer businesses peace of mind by providing the technical competency required to ensure system stability and maximum efficiency.
Following are six things to consider when choosing an MSP to support your business.
- Proactive Maintenance – Are your IT systems up to date with service packs, antivirus updates, and security patches? Patch Management is a core offering that makes managed services attractive. If these updates are applied proactively many problems can be averted saving you time to focus on your business.
- Daily Backups and Periodic Testing – Are you backing up your data regularly and offsite? Reliable backups are another critical function provided by an MSP. They are checked daily so that any problems are addressed immediately. Periodic testing is also key to making sure your data is retrievable – a step often missed.
- Guaranteed Response Time – How fast will the provider respond to you during business hours, after-hours, on weekends, and on holidays? These guarantees are referred to as Service Level Agreements (SLA), and it is important to make sure that the offering matches the needs of your company.
- Disaster Recovery Plan – Are you prepared for another event like Hurricane Sandy? Having a Disaster Recovery plan is important for any business, large or small. A good managed services offering will help your company develop a practical disaster recovery plan by balancing costs with your specific requirements.
- Vendor Assistance – Are you tired of calling four different vendors to get something fixed and frustrated when trying to speak their language? If your MSP provides third party vendor assistance, they will manage your hardware, software, phone and Internet vendors for you.
- Reporting – How do you know how well your MSP is doing? This is apparent through reporting. A good MSP provides detailed reports about problems addressed, maintenance completed, and the total health of your network. Decide how often you want to receive reports so that they do not become another of those annoying emails filling your inbox.
When you outsource the management of your IT resources, it is a key partnership. Your technology needs to work at peak efficiency and reliability levels, allowing you to focus on running your business, not your technology. Your MSP reduces the business impact of IT problems by minimizing their occurrence, and any unforeseen issues are dealt with as a top priority.