Recently, a friend of mine needed help in choosing a managed information technology service provider. He was stranded not because of no managed service providers but because of their abundance and hence did not know how to choose. It then came to me that there are many people out there who may be having the same problem. Here is a short guide on factors to consider when choosing Manage IT Service providers, but first, what is Managed Information technology service providers?
Managed Information Technology Service providers simply mean a team of information technology professionals who are dedicated to providing software, hardware and network maintenance on behalf of your organization.
Like I said earlier, many firms are available that offer these services. These firms have different capabilities of service provision and therefore finding the most appropriate for your needs means taking consideration of various factors. These factors include:
Understand your industry – When choosing a service provider, efforts should be made to ensure that that firm has or is familiar with your business logistics and industry requirements. A good understanding of these logistics will ensure your provider gives the best and timely responses to various needs and situations. This means that your service providers will be able to have minimal or no gap between service delivery and expected service.
Cost – Resources are always finite in most case, and for many, price is usually the only consideration made when choosing an IT managed service provider. However, prices have to be compared with due diligence to ascertain the quality of service that accompanies it. Very lows prices may be a way of enticing new customers by upcoming service providers but may come at a detriment to quality delivery. A comparison of pricing and payment modes thus should be done thoroughly. Below models could be of help:
? Pay per device: A customer is billed regarding the number of gadgets supported by the service provider.
? Pay per user: Individual user covers every cost.
? Monitoring and alerting: Regularly software alerts are sent by service providers to your IT guys in to handle.
Priorities and experienced firm – With many firms opening doors daily, the number of IT service providers had to shoot up. In this vast pool, experience plays a big role. A company that has been in business for a while has more knowledge and customers (both happy and unhappy) who can offer an insight into its operations. Established firms also have flexible terms because of their diverse customer base and can have reasonable prices.
Scope of Service – Managed IT is a big deal and the whole reason for outsourcing, is that you get better services. It is important to clearly know to what extent is the service being offered, and boundaries must be precisely set. Be absolutely clear in the scope of services that you want. Do you want everything managed or just some aspect? What is managed? Security? Networks and infrastructure? Software? These are questions that help you narrow down on scope.
The key to finding a good IT service provider thus lies on your ability to question the above issues during the hiring process. Note that experienced IT providers will be comfortable and even offer advice on what best suits your needs as they continue to understand your business logic.