You might have the mistaken assumption that old Jim from the office can work on the servers and provide computer support whenever your business experiences technology hiccups. While it’s true Jim might have some computer support knowledge, he doesn’t have the expertise a managed service provider can give you. Not to mention, you can free up your employees to focus on the more pressing issues that keep your business productive. However, when you first begin your search for a managed service provider, you are likely to be faced with a plethora of good and bad choices. What do you look for, and how do you know when a managed service provider will measure up to their promises?
Fixed Monthly Cost
An MSP with a fixed monthly cost puts you on a predictable payment plan. What’s the advantage? Your technology could break down six or seven times in a single month, and you’d still pay the same price for computer support. As a small business owner, predictable monthly expenses make it much easier to manage. Having a fixed monthly payment plan is possible with an IT partner, so why make it unnecessarily hard on yourself?
Fortune 500: Don’t Be Fooled, Go Small
One of the most common advertising ploys you see used by MSPs is when they brag about how they provide computer support for big Fortune 500 companies. Don’t let that fool you. While it might be true, if you’re a small business, hiring an MSP that works with Fortune 500 companies can be a recipe for disaster. Think about it: A Fortune 500 company has a seemingly bottomless and extravagant budget to spend, spend, spend! When you’re a humble company of 10 to 25 employees, this type of budgeting is out of the question. An MSP working with big companies might not understand your budgeting needs or business requirements like someone who manages the technology of small businesses for a living. For example, because we work with small to medium-sized businesses on a daily basis, we can understand their requirements and needs much better than an MSP who handles a different type of business. Here’s what an MSP that serves small businesses can do for you:
-Stick to the budget
-Know the technology valuable to a small business owner
-Give you specialized advice that you couldn’t get from someone specializes in big business
-Understands how many employees you have working for you and doesn’t advise technological implementation that would be disastrous and too labor intensive for a small business
Computer Service Provider That Stays Current
Managed services should also look at how you can maximize your technology for better productivity, greater security and more automated processes. Another sign you have a good IT partner is when they can suggest valuable technology to do more with your business for the same effort. A company that specializes as an MSP keeps their ear close to tech news about the latest technology and how to use it. They will also look at your budget and not make constant suggestions about expensive technology that put you unnecessarily deep in the hole financially.
Daily Cloud Backups: The Key to Peace of Mind
Good computer support emphasizes adequate cloud data backups. What’s the advantage of backing your data up via the cloud? Instead of just saying why, let us tell you the story of a company that experienced a two-hour power outage because of a severe thunderstorm. They had a vital deadline to meet, and the clock kept ominously ticking away closer to the moment of truth. They rang us up panicked and seeking answers. As unhelpful as it sounds, we told them to go home.
Why We Told Them to Go Home
Readers might be raising their eyebrows at this advice, but wait a minute! Let us tell you the rest of the story. Their data was backed up to the cloud, which means as long as you have internet access, you can continue working on important deadlines. Knowing the power outage was confined to a specific region of Mississauga, we knew they’d be able to continue working on the deadline from home. That’s the value of having redundant backups through the cloud. Even if one server crashes and burns, you still have redundancy through other servers that keep your data safe and ready to use for those important emergencies.
Regular Security Testing and Monitoring
Good computer service providers regularly test and monitor your network to keep it safe from the exploitation of hackers. Your plan through managed services should include regular security tests and ongoing monitoring for attacks. In the past, you may have been able to get away with a monthly test or even a six-month test, but today’s threats have expedited the need for even more monitoring over your computer network. These tests should be weekly or possibly even daily to eliminate the threat of hackers and data loss. Your MSP should also regularly be testing your servers to make sure that if something happens to your business, you will not lose all your data. Most businesses that experience a loss of data do not survive the following six months, or they incur such severe financial losses that it makes for deep financial hardship in the business world.
If you have never tried a managed service provider, you will love how when technology problems arise, you can just let your IT partner handle it. They should also be able to handle it in a timely fashion so that you can get back to doing what counts most—meeting deadlines, staying productive and satisfying customers. We serve Georgetown, Brampton, Mississauga, Oakville, Milton and Guelph and surrounding areas. If you’re interested in discussing on how we can help, please contact us.