Many small and medium-sized companies opt to outsource their IT services rather than hiring one or more IT professionals to handle their needs in-house. Today, maintaining and protecting your business’s technology and data is more important than ever, so when it comes to choosing a provider of managed IT services, it’s important to get it right first time. Here are the three most vital support features you should be looking for when hiring a provider of managed services.
• 24/7 remote IT support: A managed IT services provider should be there when you need them, and in the 21st-century business world that means support should be available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. Your IT contractor should be able to provide continuous remote management of your systems, and have an easily contactable IT help desk to support you should any problems or queries arise. In short, your managed services provider needs to be highly responsive and reliable.
• Robust security support: The level of technological threats facing businesses has never been greater, whether that takes the form of phishing emails, database hacks, denial-of-service attacks or other cybersecurity threats. Leaving your business vulnerable to such attacks – even inadvertently – could see your company facing a loss of income, reputational damage and, in extreme cases, could even result in regulatory breaches that may incur fines or even prosecution. Therefore, any managed IT services you pay for should include a robust suite of security measures to protect your company’s systems and data against cyber attacks, and ongoing support to ensure any security products remain up to date and effective.
• Reliable data recovery: Effective disaster management and continuity planning are vital to any modern business. Data loss – for example as a result of a cyber attack, hardware failure, or a physical disaster such as flood or earthquake damage – can be devastating to a business, so reliable data backup and recovery is a must. If you choose to use a managed services provider for your company’s IT requirements, they must be in a position to help protect and recover your data in a worst-case scenario, whether that involves regularly backing up to an offsite server, or utilizing a cloud-based backup solution.
There are many other factors you’ll want to take into account when looking to engage an outside managed IT services provider, and there’s certainly no one-size-fits-all solution that fits every business, but if the contractor you’re considering doesn’t at least cover these three crucial components – the essential tripod of managed IT support – then you may seriously want to consider looking elsewhere.