I'm in a tightly regulated industry. Can you help me with that?
Regulation is always a concern for companies on the right side of the law. As IT assets become more sophisticated and crucial to business operations, most businesses are finding themselves in over their heads. The typical small to mid-size organization is unable to bear the costs of the technical and human resources needs that are required to keep everything compliant. Forging a relationship with a solid MSP can both aid you in keeping you within your IT regulations and help you save money in the process.
Read more: Part 1-- Managed IT Services for the Consumer
Has your IT infrastructure ever been breached or compromised? How bad would it likely be if a security breach happened to your business? How long would it take to handle the damage and get back to normal?
Most every company that has suffered some kind of security breach or other breakdown of essential security has suffered seriously unpleasant consequences. Perhaps worse is that many organizations that have been hacked or cracked and had their information stolen never even knew about it. The constant vigilance of an MSP can protect your information and keep your operation humming along.
IT focused regulation happens everywhere, and handling the various worldwide regulations can be challenging.
Is IT really that important to my business?
A lot of IT users feel that life would simply be easier if IT didn't exist because it seems to never work properly. Before engaging an effective MSP, many managed services users were constantly frustrated. However, for better or worse the world runs on IT. While many companies today do not have IT infrastructure that works properly, engaging with an MSP can be a serious relief.
What kind of MSP would be best for me?
This is an answer that requires some thought. There is no "one size fits all" solution, and yours will be as unique as your company is. To start with, in the same way there are many kinds of doctors (such as ENTs, podiatrists, cardiologists, etc.), there are several different specialties of managed service provider you may work best with.
One example is if you are a smaller organization and would prefer a more "general practitioner" MSP. This kind of MSP tends to have a very broad set of services and tools that can meet your needs wonderfully. However, some businesses, particularly those that focus on a particular niche, would prefer more emphasis on storage, application management or security. These would then be the traits and qualifications you would seek out in an MSP.
As well, more vertical market operating MSPs also exist. These companies operate in various sectors like healthcare, law and financial services. Regardless of your company's needs, there is most likely an MSP that will bring the skills you need.
Questions to Ask Your MSP
Knowledge is power, and there are some questions you would be wise to ask if you feel you are ready to work with a managed services provider. While these questions should not be the sole determining factor of which MSP you decide to work with, they will provide helpful guidance. The order is random and these questions do not need to be asked sequentially.
Does the MSP in question have a Network Operation Center or NOC, or merely a virtual NOC? A NOC is an enclosed facility which keeps the available resources of the MSP apart from the rest of the company's operation. However, a vNOC or virtual NOC is a growing trend you might look into, as it carries the same abilities as a brick and mortar facility but is hosted over the Cloud instead of having a physical locale.
How available is the MSP? If there is a continual supply of trained employees keeping tab on the network and data and available to help if an issue should arise, the MSP's availability is excellent. While some providers do not possess a resource you can contact at any hour of the day, you should know whether anyone is on call before you sign a contract with an MSP.
Does the MSP offer mere monitoring, or does their offer extend into more proactive management services?
There is a difference between managed services and monitoring services, and the former is far more in-depth than the latter. While monitoring is crucial to managed services, the remote remediation aspect is often absent. Always ask a potential MSP is they offer anything beyond remote monitoring. If they do not, they are only offering reactive IT management that cannot fairly be called managed services.
The chances are good that if you are reading this document, you have received it from a representative of ETech 7. ETech 7 is a world-renowned provider of a wide suite of managed information technology services among other operations. In working with ETech 7, you can rest assured that your needs will be understood, respected and exceeded in every possible way.