Outsourcing your IT needs to a managed service provider (MSP) is one of the best ways to scale your small business rapidly. However, although the benefits are more than evident, the process of ceding responsibility for managing and monitoring your IT infrastructure to a third-party is not without risks. The arrangements can range from IT Consultant taking full control over your IT operations to extending your existing IT staff. The stakes are high, and you need to learn to get the most out of this relationship.
Here are five best practices to maximize the value of your managed services.
- Build a Relationship Based on Trust
- Understand that MSPs are Partners, Not Replacements
- Establish Clear Roles
- Have a Clear Data Backup and Recovery Plan with Your IT Consultant
- Don’t Be Afraid to Move On
The only way you can work efficiently with your managed service provider is by communicating regularly and openly. A trustworthy IT Consultant should be able to open an honest conversation with you and make it easier for you to understand their strategy. Make sure to ask any prospective managed service provider anything and everything about how they will help your business improve its operations and achieve its goals. Schedule regular meetings to get news about your project’s development and plan for the future.
More and more companies are turning to managed service providers to help them meet their IT needs. However, it’s important to understand that a managed service provider doesn’t act a replacement for your existing IT department. Working with an MSP is a way to take some burden off your IT team’s shoulders and let them focus on more strategic projects.
If you want to make the most of your IT consulting and managed IT services, it’s important to make it very clear who will be performing which roles. It’s also essential to have a very specific reporting structure, especially if you have an in-house IT department that will be working with the MSP. That way, you will avoid redundant requests and job functions that ultimately lead to a decline in performance.
No matter how cutting-edge your security systems are, you can never ensure that your data is fully protected. Anything, from a natural disaster to human error or a malicious attack can put your systems at risk. Considering how important data is to your company, it is vital to have a well-designed plan to guard it. Work with your MSP and create a complex data backup plan along with a disaster recovery strategy.
Like most things in life, your business needs to be able to adapt in order to evolve. It is possible that the managed service provider that served you so well in the past won’t be capable of doing so anymore. When that happens, you need to be able to move on and find a new partner that can add value to your business.
By following these practices, you should be able to get the most out of your managed services. What’s left now is to find an IT Consultant in Winnipeg that can become a strategic and tactical extension of your IT department.