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How to choose a managed IT services provider in Sacramento
Managed IT services are a convenient and cost-effective way for companies of all sizes to ensure that their everyday IT needs are met without the hassle of recruiting, retaining and managing in-house IT staff. They are particularly useful for SMBs who need to manage their budgets especially carefully. Here is some guidance on how to choose a managed IT services provider in Sacramento.
Make sure you understand the basics of managed IT services
This may seem like stating the obvious, but it’s still easy to misunderstand what managed IT services is all about, especially if you’re only just starting to investigate the possibilities it offers. Managed IT services providers are all about offering regular services for a fixed price. Basically, if it’s an IT service that can be predictably scheduled and costed, then the chances are that it will come under the heading of managed IT services. Anything else, however, will be the responsibility of another IT service provider, usually IT support.
As an analogy, think about a cleaning service. A cleaning service’s job is to clean. If you wanted your office fittings upgraded or something repaired, you would never expect your regular cleaners to do it. You would call in specialist companies for the job. The same principle applies to managed IT services.
Possibly the reason why there can be so much confusion about what is included as part of managed IT services and what is not is that many managed IT services vendors in Sacramento also offer IT support services. This can be very convenient but you do need to remember that there will be an extra charge for using them.
Resolve any issues with your system before looking for a managed IT services provider
If you plan to have a managed IT services vendor in Sacramento take over your IT infrastructure and sort out any issues with it so that it runs smoothly, then you are viewing the situation from entirely the wrong perspective. A managed IT services vendor will expect you to have your IT infrastructure in good running order before they accept responsibility for it. In fact, they may even require you to upgrade it to meet their minimum standards.
Treat hiring a managed IT services provider as seriously as hiring a CIO
There are two reasons why you should be rigorous about making sure that you hire the right managed IT services provider for your organization. The first is that migrating to managed IT services inevitably involves some degree of upheaval (and usually expense, particularly if you have to upgrade your systems. The longer you stay with the same managed IT services provider, the longer you have to recover from the upheaval (and turn the initial expense into cost-savings) – and, of course, vice versa.
The second is that a managed IT services company can effectively become the equivalent of a CIO. As your providership develops, they will come to understand not just your IT systems but the business they serve and hence be in a better position to guide your use of technology. This can be a massive relief to SMBs, many of which fully understand that technology is already playing an important role in their present and will play an even more important role in their future, but do not necessarily understand exactly how this will work.
Getting the right managed IT services provider starts with understanding your needs and wants
This is true of any hiring decision, but arguably has particular relevance for managed IT services as it is such a huge area with so many different options and so many different variables to be taken into consideration.
The first step in the process is to define your needs and wants and to rank the latter in order of priority. Then you need to think about your budget and this is where you need to be careful. As previously mentioned, managed IT services only deal with regular maintenance tasks. Having these tasks completed effectively and promptly can go a long way to reducing the need for reactive break/fix work but it cannot guarantee to eliminate it. Therefore, you need to avoid overspending on managed IT services and risking being caught out when there are problems.
One way to address this would be to use a combination of sinking funds and cyberinsurance. This is becoming increasingly popular, especially as a means of safeguarding against the consequences of a major security breach. If, however, this was your plan, you’d have to double-check that the relevant IT services vendor would be happy to support it.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced managed IT services provider in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Salient IT.