Managed services are a fast-growing subset of technology spending. Between the rapid growth of cloud-based IT service delivery, and the need for internal IT teams to focus more on strategic business outcomes, managed services are a no-brainer for organisations who want simplified and streamlined technology management.
Yet choosing the ideal managed service provider isn’t quite so simple. With so many providers in the marketplace (all having varying degrees of quality), we’ve together some simple advice for helping you choose the ideal managed IT service provider for your business.
1. Experience as a service provider
There are many different providers and vendors, who specialise in their own niche of technology. As the managed services market has grown, technology businesses have “tacked on” their own managed services offering to take advantage, but it may not be a core competency of their business. Ask questions about how long your potential provider has been delivering managed IT services specifically - not just how long they’ve been in business.
2. Industry knowledge
Managed IT services are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. The needs of a small retail operation will be vastly different to a large manufacturer, or a state government agency. When exploring the prospect of bringing a provider on board, ask them if they’ve worked with similar organisations and industries. An experienced managed services provider should be able to provide examples and case studies of their work with similar clients.
3. Breadth of solutions
Although it isn’t essential that you hand the keys over for your entire IT estate, the wider the breadth of services your provider offers, the greater flexibility you have. While you may begin with a simple storage and backup relationship, you may eventually have a need for managed security services, virtual desktop infrastructure, device procurement and management, or hybrid cloud infrastructure management.
4. Local footprint, national presence
For many Australian organisations, there are growing concerns about data sovereignty and compliance regulations for the location of data. Having a managed services provider who can offer backup, disaster recovery, and private cloud solutions in a local data centre has become more important than ever. Even for SMEs, there is peace of mind knowing your managed service provider offers you the same reliable capacity and scalability as a large enterprise.
5. Service quality
Managed IT services are just that – services. While there are many technical components and SLAs within these arrangements, they ultimately come down to how well your provider is able to respond to and meet your needs on a daily basis. In an increasingly complex technology environment, you need a managed service provider who will proactively ensure your environment is operating at its best, while quickly troubleshooting and solving problems as they arise.
Area9 offers flexible Managed IT Service options allowing you to outsource part or all of your infrastructure. As a nationally renowned provider of technology services, and cloud solutions since 2007, Area9 has been delivering managed IT services to organisations of every scale and industry.
Get in touch with us today to learn how you can begin focusing more on business outcomes, and less on complex technology problem-solving.