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Choosing a managed IT services vendor in Woodland
Managed IT services can be a great way for SMBs to ensure that their essential IT infrastructure is maintained without any hassle to them. For this to work, however, SMBs need to understand what managed IT services vendors can do and what they do not do. They then need to pick the right managed IT services vendor for their organization. Here is some guidance on choosing a managed IT services vendor in Woodland.
A quick overview of the managed services concept
In simple terms, managed IT services companies are the housekeepers or janitors of the IT world. They are the people who undertake the essential care-and-maintenance tasks which keep the lights on and everything running smoothly. That’s a lot of important work and a huge weight off the shoulders of many SMBs. It is not, however, all you’re ever likely to need.
If you need to implement any projects or handle any break/fix work, then you will either need an in-house IT support team or an IT support vendor in Woodland. These days, it’s probably more likely to be the latter as many SMBs neither need nor want (nor have budget) to hire permanent staff for occasional tasks.
The good news is that a lot of managed IT services vendors also offer IT support services. Using their IT support services can be both very convenient and very cost-effective, just remember to budget for them as an additional expenditure over and above your managed services fees.
Managed IT services providers will expect to be handed working systems
Managed IT services providers will take care of your systems from the point your contract with them starts. Up until that point, maintenance is your responsibility. This means that if you’re behind with it, you need to catch up before the migration. Likewise, if there are any known problems with your infrastructure itself, you will need to deal with them yourself (or have an IT support partner deal with it for you). You may even have to upgrade your existing systems to meet their minimum standards.
Managed IT services providers will generally offer a range of different pricing models
The four standard pricing models supported by the vast majority of managed IT services vendors are per user, per device, on subscription and ad hoc. For the most part, you will want to be on one of the first three. Very small SMBs might be best to use per user or per device pricing. Most SMBs, however, are probably going to want to be on subscription pricing. This is typically the most cost-effective option, provided that you avoid over-committing.
Remember that the difference between a need and a want is that a need is, literally by definition, something you must have and therefore something for which you must find budget. Wants, also literally by definition, are negotiable. If they are really high-priority, close to being needs, then it may be sensible to include them as part of a subscription, if you are comfortable you will have the budget for them.
Otherwise, you might find it best just to pay the ad hoc price whenever you are comfortable doing so. If you use the service consistently, you may well end up paying more for it than you would have done had you just gone for a subscription, but flexibility can be worth the price, especially when you’re an SMB and you need to manage your cash flow very carefully.
The key point to remember is that using managed IT services can go a long way towards reducing infrastructure failures, but it is impossible to guarantee that they will be eliminated and this means that you need to account for the possibility of needing to find funds to pay for reactive break/fix work.
Remember that managed IT services companies take care of your systems not your data
The law and compliance programs both expect you to supervise any vendor with access to your sensitive data (including the data of your employees). You’ll probably find this a lot easier if you make sure that you’re dealing with a managed IT services partner located in Woodland (or at least near Woodland), rather than one which offers managed IT services in Woodland but is based elsewhere.
Staying local will not only make it easier for you to keep in touch with your vendor (and keep your ears open for what other people are saying about them) but will also mean that they can be held to account by your local authorities.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced managed IT services partner in Woodland, please click here now to speak to Salient IT.