Managed IT is one of the most important trends in the information technology world today. Many more enterprises are taking the plunge and using managed IT to strengthen technology at a fraction of the cost.
Managed IT solutions enable companies of all sizes to compete on a level worthy of the Fortune 50 without wasting years recruiting and developing an in-house team.
In fact, managed IT has already taken billions of dollars in costs out of businesses nationwide.
At Atlantic Communications Team, we’ve developed platforms and staffing practices that allow us to integrate seamlessly into client businesses. However, we understand that the decision to open the door to third-party managed IT is a big one.
Whether you choose ACT or another firm, you deserve to make an informed choice.
Here’s what Boards, the C-suite, and other decision-makers should know:
1. There Is No “One Size Fits All” Solution
Cloud computing makes it easier than ever to customize the provision of IT services. Many key services, such as file storage, can be altered instantly on an as-needed basis.
This means that a customized IT strategy is absolutely essential. A significant part of your cost savings will come from your ability to pay for only what you actually need.
With that in mind, you should have the opportunity to discuss your vision and needs with an IT counterpart who speaks your language. Your vendor must fully understand your business.
2. Don’t Get Misled On Your Data Security
A major part of managed IT is ensuring your network resources are fully secured. In effect, your vendor takes on full responsibility for the security of the services they provide directly.
However, that doesn’t mean your own network, hardware, and software become invulnerable.
For complete security, it’s vital to harden the interface between your company and the vendor, as well as the resources that remain internal to your own enterprise.
Your vendor should be able to offer a complete menu of security services including antivirus and patch management so you’ll fully protect all your investments.
3. Always Minimize Your Risk of Downtime
Data loss and network downtime can happen as a result of natural disasters or other issues, not just hackers. Every hour your network is down could cost millions – not only in terms of the day’s work, but in lost opportunities. Your reputation can suffer, too.
With that in mind, managed IT should fold effectively into your business continuity planning.
If managed IT is built seamlessly into your technology stack, there’s no reason to miss out on data backup and recovery. Likewise, hardware support should remove compromised PCs from service fast and cloud-based platforms should restore mission critical apps quickly.
4. Expect Everything in Writing
A world-class internal IT team provides written Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to their inside customers so that everyone knows exactly what they can expect. That includes measurable KPIs like network uptime and time needed to resolve help calls.
A managed IT provider with truly mature processes will do the same for you, too.
Having it all in writing allows you to check your vendor’s performance against their promises. It’s reasonable to have a check-in meeting every quarter and a more in-depth steering meeting twice a year. You may wish to maintain a standing technology committee to handle it all.
To find out more or get started with an industry-leading IT team, contact ACT today.