Managed service providers

News: February 2012

Managed service providers

Many businesses are starting the New Year with plans to reduce costs and increase efficiency. From an I.T. perspective, firms may consider utilising managed service providers as a more cost efficient alternative to employing in-house I.T. support staff. Managed service providers can service and run everything from networking, hardware, software and data recovery through to storage and servers. Some providers specialise in servicing large corporations while others provide solutions specifically targeting the SME market.

When choosing a managed service provider, your business should assess its needs and the capabilities of the various providers before making a decision. Data security is of paramount importance, as is the ability of a managed service provider to minimise the “down-time” of your I.T. systems. You must ensure that your infrastructure, resources, systems, etc are clearly understood by the provider.

The company providing IT management services should take the time to learn about the systems and technology utilised within your business in order to ensure that system performance and business-critical processes are efficiently managed. A thorough understanding of your business increases the reliability and effectiveness of your managed service provider. Communication is also key as this will ensure that the managed service provider knows what is needed by your firm at any given time. After all, the needs of your business will change over time — therefore it is important that your managed service provider is kept up to date.

Before choosing a managed service provider, you should research potential providers in order to learn about each firm’s reputation, areas of expertise and so on in order to determine which provider is best suited to your business. You should also consider budget — can the managed service provider supply what is required within your available funds?