Navigating the maze of Managed IT Services: How to make the best decisions for your company
You can Google “Managed IT services” and get over one billion (that’s billion with a B!) results. The options can be overwhelming. But the following considerations can help your organization find the right IT partner that can help you implement solutions that best fit your business needs.
Here are 8 considerations when evaluating a Managed IT Services Provider:
1.) Can they help you understand and navigate the technology life cycle? Organizations move in and out of different stages of the technology lifecycle. An astute MSP partner will seek to understand where in the technology lifecycle your organization is, and how to move you to the next level. You can learn more at How the Technology Lifecycle Can Help You Attain Business Value
2.) Do they have expertise in your industry? Every industry has its own unique challenges and opportunities, systems and processes. If your partner has worked with clients in your industry they will “get you”. They’ll be able to more quickly identify solutions and know the pitfalls to watch out for. Here at WIN, we have developed expertise working with clients in healthcare, banking, manufacturing and other industries, and understand the infrastructure needed to help clients in these industries succeed.
3.) Do they offer a broad set of solutions? A Managed Services Provider becomes a key partner to your business, and over time you will likely have additional support needs. An MSP with a broad set of solutions can grow with you seamlessly, and you won’t end up in a situation where you need to bring in multiple providers.
4.) Do they offer more than cookie-cutter solutions? You’ll want to work with an IT services provider that will take the time to understand your needs and tailor solutions to meet them.
5.) Do they offer strong project management frameworks? Make sure the provider has a strong project management team that helps define scope and keeps all parties on track in meeting those goals.
6.) Do they offer flexible support options? You may need full managed services support, help with a specific project or a co-managed solution where they can blend their talents with your staff’s to create the level of support that provides the most value. You want a partner that can flex their support levels to adapt to the changing needs and demands of your organization.
7.) Do they provide effective communication that keeps you in the know? Communication components make a big difference, and we believe there are three key levels of communication:
Informative communication moves away from regurgitating data points to dashboards. It articulates the value or meaning behind the data and has the courage to be transparent and pragmatic.
Guided communications is all about transferring information into prioritized, dependable, and risk-managed plans that can be executed. It manages priorities to resources and timing that’s important to the business.
Activated communication pushes the organization toward execution of priorities and shifts the balance from reactive problem-solving to forward planning that impacts the business. It delivers accountability and clarity to perform as a team.
8.) Do they take a consultative approach? Do they offer advice to make the most out of their solutions, versus just implementing technology. They should help you develop a strategic roadmap that identifies the current status, sets performance goals and lays out the steps required to reach those goals. This requires a deep understanding of your business, its operation, types of communication, and the nature and sensitivity of the data – both to the organization and to its stakeholders. This includes the infrastructure hardware, software, and security measures that comprise an organization’s network and other systems.
Have questions or what to learn more?
You probably have questions and we’re here to answer them, help you navigate the managed IT services maze and make the best choices based on your specific needs. To learn more visit Enterprise IT Management or complete our free Internal IT Staff Resource Assessment.