You don’t have to look far to learn about the many benefits of managed IT services. But despite the fact that outsourced tech support has become the norm among small- to medium-sized businesses, that doesn’t mean migrating is a decision to take lightly. After all, when you’re outsourcing information management and security to a third party, you need to be absolutely sure your provider is as invested in your success as you are.
Here are some questions to ask when evaluating potential IT vendors in the Atlanta area:
“Are You Familiar with My Industry?”
Technology alignment should be at the forefront of any IT strategy, especially when migrating to the cloud. That means you need a vendor who can evaluate the needs specific to your industry, as well as your existing IT systems and your corporate goals. If an IT provider comes across as a vendor rather than a business partner you can depend on, then chances are they don’t care too much about your unique demands.
“What is Your Pricing Structure?”
An oft-cited advantage of the managed services model is that it costs less and provides excellent scalability. In other words, you should only pay for what you use, and you should be able to add more users or accounts whenever necessary. Furthermore, reputable managed services providers (MSPs) generally don’t command high up-front costs, but you should compare data migration fees, if they exist at all, when moving from one provider to another.
“How Secure Are Your Services?”
When you’re entrusting mission-critical applications and potentially sensitive data to a third party, you’ll want nothing less than best-in-class security and compliance. Any dependable IT provider should offer regular hardware and software updates, round-the-clock monitoring, proactive security measures, and disaster recovery plans. Industry compliance is also a must, especially if you’re operating in a highly regulated sector like healthcare or law.
“Where Is My Data Stored?”
A good MSP should have access to the best technology in the industry, as well as the expertise needed to ensure an impeccable level of service. It’s hard to evaluate those things if you don’t know where your data is going to be stored and which administrative, physical and digital security measures are in place to protect it. Make sure your provider has the certifications and partnerships to back up their expertise as well.
“What Is Your Service Uptime?”
When you move to an outsourced IT support model, you’re giving away a great deal of responsibility, so you need to choose a company with an excellent uptime record. Even the best MSPs experience some downtime, but it should never exceed an average of 2 minutes per day. Transparency is key here, so you’ll want to be wary of providers who are reluctant to provide you complete and honest data into their past track record.
“What Support Services Do You Offer?”
A great MSP is a technology partner that has a vested interest in providing excellent continuing support. Without exception, you’ll want a provider with 24-hour availability every day of the year, holidays included. They’ll also provide service level agreements (SLAs) stipulating a guaranteed minimum level of service and estimated response and resolution times.
“How Scalable Are Your Services?”
Scalability is a core benefit of outsourcing IT support, which is why you don’t want to work with a company that you have any chance of outgrowing in the foreseeable future. As your business grows and technology evolves alongside it, the last thing you want is to run into a brick wall the moment you experience periods of increased demand. Always choose a provider who lets you easily add more users and who doesn’t insist on charging you for services you don’t need.
Poor IT support can cripple your business, which is why ATS Tech Solutions helps businesses in Atlanta and Sandy Springs build dynamic, cloud-based technology infrastructures that adapt to the ever-changing needs of modern businesses. Download our eBook today for more details.