10 Things to Include in your Managed IT Services

There are a number of key elements to ensure that managed IT service you choose suits your business needs and your staffing arrangement. By using the list provided here to bring the best onboard, you’ll ensure that any IT problems and challenges are seamlessly taken care of without any negative impact on your business.

The ten things that must be in your contract include:

1. Cloud capability

Your business must be provided with access to the Cloud as a place to store documents, have your online range of products and expand your reach. This not only allows you a platform for data storage but will allow your staff to work remotely and have access to this data from anywhere with internet access.

2. Security

Once you open up the wonderful world of cloud computing, you will also be susceptible to a number of viruses and cyber-attacks. Your data security must be paramount and is not negotiable. Ensure the company you contract has a strong reputation for building security into their services in a way that is not only easy to manage but also allows you the power to adapt to new threats as they arise.

3. Data recovery

Saving data in the Cloud is great for space-saving and eliminating the need for a local server. However, the data must be secure and able to be recovered at any time. Should your local area network go down or office hardware fails, you need the ability to perform a full, current recovery. This must be guaranteed by your service provider, and clear procedures put in place should there be a need to recover data.

4. Network design and install

The firm you choose must be able to advise as to the best way to network your business functions in a way to integrate your entire supply chain. They must also be able to then install a cogent network that keeps you in touch and up to date. A network such as this will need ongoing maintenance and strong security protocols for it to remain safe and beyond attack.

5. Hardware support and repairs

The most common reason given for delays in production or missed commitments and deadlines in the age of big data is not that the dog has eaten it but that my tech failed. Don’t let this happen to you, have credible support for hardware and access to localized repairs. This could be something that comes as part of the package provided by the managed IT service provider; if not, look elsewhere.

6. Ongoing IT consulting

If you have a project that you are working on implementing, you must be able to call on your IT provider to advise as to the IT needs and means to improve the business flow and integration with your supply chain. The key to any managed IT service is that they are available when you need them and are able to communicate effectively with you and your staff for both ongoing and projected work.

7. Include a whole of office service, print, phone, and tech

Consider including print and printer support and services in your contract. Many businesses ignore print as they believe that all work is electronic. However, there is always a need for paper and hardcopy documents in a business setting, and a professional company such as Complete Document Solutions can provide this service. Having a faulty printer when you have a deadline can be costly and frustrating, so having support on-call is essential.

8. 24/7 support, remote support, and help desks

You and your team must be able to call on IT support at any time; if you are running an eCommerce concern, the shop is always open. Encountering problems may result in a significant loss in income if you are made to wait till Monday morning for the issue to be resolved. There is no use contracting a managed IT service provider if you can never get a hold of them or they never return your calls. Communicating for support should also be easy and systematic so that all your staff knows the best way to get support when they need it. 

9. Direct access to tech products

If you need specific tech or hardware, the IT provider should be able to advise as to compatibility, source the item, and install it with the appropriate warranties. There are those who can do this, so look carefully. Having a provider that can ensure a holistic service from hardware, printers, and scanners to cloud services takes the stress out of the entire business admin process.

10.   Software as a service

Apps and software that will allow your staff to work remotely or customers to access their account details and make payments are a vital part of the current business model. Include this in your discussions, and make sure to use the available software to improve workflow and processes.

These ten aspects of your business-managed IT service contract will ensure that regardless of whether you have never dealt with this aspect of the business before, you will now be clearer as to what to look for.

There are other aspects of the contract that would be nice to have, but the ten aspects noted above are the bare necessities. Getting all of your IT needs met, in a timely fashion, from tech to printing and digital support, is essential for any business; this guide will help you plan this process.

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