Outsourcing the management of IT services is an ideal way to ensure expertise in technology and support in a crucial area of your business. Professional experts can help deliver flexibility and scalability whilst ensuring control is at the heart of the solution. IT managed services can include management of Networks, IT services, Communications, Data and Infrastructure. In an optimal scenario, this can be a partnership which frees up resources from IT infrastructure and allows you to focus on the heart of your business. Benefits of managed IT services By its very nature, managed IT services are there to reduce your business costs and increase efficiencies. Any world where you can spend more of your budget on new initiatives and less of it maintaining and repairing your existing ones is a place where your business will flourish. Correct management and maintenance of IT infrastructure is critical for success, read our IT Audit Checklist. Embracing managed IT services can mean: • An improved focus on your core business – with someone else managing and improving your IT services, you will be empowered to devote the time, money and resources required to grow the heart of your business. • Freeing internal resources to work on more strategic initiatives – employees work smarter with improved IT and communications. They are also proven to work happier when there are fewer IT problems, interrupting their workflow and taking up their precious time. • Working with multi-skilled talents – IT managers are experts. Inviting them into your business means increased IT efficiency and the possibility of tailored advancements. • Reduced costs – prevention is better than cure, and this applies to business expenses too. Keeping your IT systems in good nick means a healthier bottom line for you. • Access to new technology, tools and best practices – partnering with IT managers can mean unfettered access to, and seamless integration of, the latest and most appropriate technologies for your business. • A predictable annual budget – managed IT services are generally charged as a recurring rate. Your costs will generally not change from month to month, making it easier for you to create budget and expenditure forecasts. Who should use managed IT services? This is a service that can benefit almost every organisation. In the case of small business, IT services can truly become a part of the company. Many IT management services will also provide a dedicated helpdesk which can be crucial in an organisation where hiring a full time IT consultant is simply not feasible. Larger businesses can collaborate with IT managers and select a team with the most appropriate skills to be profitable. This may include an on-site manager, part-time or ad-hoc consultants, or a remote team of helpdesk professionals on standby. How to choose the best IT managed services Choosing your MSP (Management Service Provider) is not a decision that can be taken lightly. In many cases, the factors to consider may seem like common sense, but there are also some little-known things to consider. Here are four of the most important things to think about: 1. Experience and reputation First of all, have you or anyone you know heard of this company? Do they rank well in search engine results? How long have they been in business and what is their reputation in the industry? If you can find out who their current clients are and how they feel about working with each provider that will prove to be very telling. Testimonials are an easy way of checking this, but you are always free to ask a MSP for references. 2. Approach to IT management As well as being a partner in your business, the provider of your IT services should act as a well-informed advisor. IT service managers are there to foresee future IT needs and pave the way for their implementation. If your MSP does not work with your company roadmap and business goals front of mind, they are not the sort of company you need to be working with. For a detailed example, read What to expect from VoIP Service Providers. 3. Stance on industry best practice Will your MSP act as a silent and unseen force, working behind the scenes to ensure your IT works without a hitch at all times? Or, will they present interruptions to your business and cause delays? Your IT provider should always fit seamlessly around your working environment. When you are looking for an MSP, ask whether or not they: • Provide uninterrupted 24/7 monitoring • Guarantee a single contact with an innate understanding of your business • Have tested and consistent processes for maximum efficiency • Deliver documentation of network and asset tracking, including daily backup verification and periodic testing restoration 4. Pricing Model An ability to show you potential savings that can be made with managed IT services is the mark of a great MSP. Your future IT managers should be able to outline your return on investment, based on previous success and a strong understanding of how your business operates. In this market, there is no good reason why companies need to resist the idea of having their IT systems managed by experts. IT is a major contributor to the growth and innovation of basically every organisation, and it makes sense to have it handled by people who are acutely aware of its many facets and developments. Further reading: Read our experts evaluate Security and The Cloud is in this special Whitepaper download. Experience and Expertise where it counts Vita Enterprise Solutions draws on the insight, expertise and know-how generated from 20 years of servicing the Australian market. Contact us on 1300 139 310 or make an online enquiry today.