Business owners with limited in-house IT service capabilities generally have two options to ensure their IT infrastructure is up and running.
The first is to employ a service provider on an ad hoc basis and the second is to partner with a Managed IT services provider (MSP).
Here we examine which option is the most suitable one, depending on your business.
Ad Hoc Service Providers
Rather than investing in an MSP, you may choose to call upon an IT services provider every time a problem occurs and your internal IT team is unable to find a solution.
The provider will investigate the issue and charge you for the amount of time it takes to fix the problem.
An evolution of this is the proactive model where you ask the IT company to spend a set amount of time per month to perform routine tasks on your network. This could involve investigating backups or known issues.
With this model, you are paying for time and it is hard for you to evaluate whether the company is doing a good job and the time utilised for fixing the problem is reasonable. If the problem is a major one, your staff will be unproductive and you could face a barrage of complaints from customers who are unable to buy or communicate with you online.
In these situations, you lose money because your system is down and face a staggering bill from the IT company for fixing the problem.
The problem begins to get more perverse when you realise that your IT company only makes money when you have problems therefore they have a natural conflict of interest to get to the bottom and fix the problem permanently.
However, there may be situations where a business is looking to cut costs or does not have the financial ability to make recurring monthly payments associated with managed services.
If the company is very small or has an onsite IT staff member who can manage most IT related requests, opting for Ad-hoc IT services may be more cost-effective.
Managed Service Providers
When partnering with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) instead of paying for the time it takes to fix a problem, you are paying for results.
It is in an MSP’s best interest to make sure your server runs smoothly and there are no major problems to be fixed as it takes up valuable time which could be allocated for productive tasks.
For the same reason, resolving support requests quickly in the unfortunate situation where you have a major IT problem is also a priority as the MSP is highly motivated to fix it and fix it once and for all.
When your operations are running trouble-free and smooth and your staff are productive your business will be profitable. You have at your disposal a true business partner.
If you have a budget for IT Infrastructure management, partnering with a MSP is worthwhile as you don’t need to pay more for a problem that takes longer to fix. Also, if they need to get Microsoft or other providers involved and spend more hours troubleshooting, the onus is on them.
Another reason is that a professional MSP will have a proactive approach in ensuring that your IT infrastructure is always in great shape.
There are several instances where IT environments are completely unpatched, the firmware is out of date, server configurations have not been updated in months or years which lends itself to all kinds of problems.
Patching and firmware updating is critical in today’s IT landscape and with technology becoming more and more important to your business it is essential to stay safe and secure.
A flat rate contract with an MSP includes all the services required for firmware updating and patching, so you can go about your work without worrying about the safety of your IT infrastructure.
Other Important Criteria for Choosing an IT Services Provider
Whether you opt for ad-hoc IT services or choose a MSP, look for a company that will work closely with you to meet your requirements. They should be willing to work closely with your management team to understand the business goals and how their technology solutions can help in meeting them.
The IT services provider should have a team of experts with the knowledge to support the software packages used in your business. They must be knowledgeable about practice management software and privacy compliance.
A key factor you should look for in an IT solutions provider is their ability to respond quickly. Find out how long they normally take to respond to support tickets as well as the time they take to resolve issues.
If you are looking for world-class IT support from a company that prides itself on its reputation, we are here to help. Feel free to browse through our website to understand the services we offer and call us on 1800 538 488 or contact us to discuss your requirements.