What You Need to Ask
When you are choosing an IT managed service company, it is important to know their managed services definition so that you can determine if the company you are considering will exchange your monthly fee for fully managed services or a package to which they have applied a "Managed Services" label. Being knowledgeable about different managed services definitions, and having some questions to ask during your decision making process will help you to choose the provider that will get you the best results from their work with you.
Managed or Merely Outsourced IT?
When you hear the term IT Managed Services, what is sometimes being presented is just one form of outsourcing. This could be the case when you are offered standalone services such as backup, cloud, or firewall solutions. Services might even be packaged together to look like you are getting all of your IT bases covered for one monthly fee. If all you are getting is the deployment of services, and not a whole IT department then you aren’t really looking at fully managed services.
Proactive IT or Reactive Break/Fix?
Beware that your costs will jump when something unforeseen occurs if a company you are considering refers to a set number of hours each month as "Managed Services." Having a fixed budget for your IT costs is very beneficial, but if what you are getting is a pool of hours for your fixed monthly fee, then you aren’t really looking at fully managed IT services.
IT strategy and management that has a proactive approach to guide service delivery cost more if they need to spend more time on your behalf to assure that you get your expected deliverable. Reactive support on its own won’t improve your IT and you will likely spend more, too.
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IT Strategy or Project Consulting?
There are so many choices available when you are trying to decide how best to support your business operations with technology. IT consultants may be extremely knowledgeable about your hardware, software and network options, and the combinations that work best together, but what seems like the right direction could lead you astray.
Discussions about your IT investments and future technology needs should begin with a thorough understanding of your business objectives, not just your business processes. Managed IT service providers that bring IT leadership to your team and facilitate IT strategy with a proven process that will help technology play an integral role in how you achieve your goals.
How to Evaluate Managed IT Service Providers
The discussions that you have with potential IT Managed Service Providers gives you the opportunity to determine what company is offering proactive IT strategy and management and which company is just packaging services, labor and consulting. Whatever questions you ask, the provider that is going to bring your company the most business value is probably going to be the one that focuses the discussion on you and what you want to accomplish.
It just takes a 30 minute discussion to explore how you can get better IT results. Contact us at 855-767-2571 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a discovery meeting.
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