How to choose the Right Managed IT Services Provider
ITaaS – IT as a service is an operational model where the information technology (IT) service provider delivers IT services to a business.
The service provider can be an internal IT organization within the company or an external Managed IT Services Provider company.
IT is typically used within the context of business operations as opposed to personal or entertainment technologies.
Small businesses always have to keep their budgets in mind.
However, when choosing an Managed IT Services Provider, they often make final decisions based primarily on contract price, when they should make them based on total cost of ownership.
It’s tempting to make a decision on price alone, but initial contract price is only one of the factors that goes into calculating the total cost.
With regard to IT Consulting and Services or IT solutions in particular, there are many other factors that will determine the total cost including hardware costs, software costs, total time to problem resolution, employee downtime, and poor technology related choices and decisions.
All of these factors should be considered when choosing IT consulting & a Managed IT services provider.
Some IT services and solutions providers just don’t have the resources available to provide services that adequately address these issues on behalf of their small business clients.
So, they try to compensate by marketing their services based on initial price.
While you may save some money in the short term, your business could ultimately pay a high price and employee frustration, lost productivity and technology purchases that aren’t the best fit for your business.
But obviously, you can’t expect that a higher price service provider will automatically be a better fit for your company.
So how can you avoid these challenges?
Here are three ways to ensure that you choose the right Managed IT Services Provider for your business:
1. Meeting Managed IT services provider: What to Ask?
First, meet with the Managed IT service provider face to face and if possible, meet with the employees of the company that you’d be in contact with on a day-to-day basis.
Make sure they have the team and resources to provide immediate service to you when your company needs it.
Here are some questions you may want to ask when meeting with a managed IT services provider:
1. What services do you provide?
It’s important to understand what services the provider offers, whether it’s cybersecurity, data backup and recovery, cloud solutions, or other IT services.
2. What is your pricing model?
Ask about the pricing model and any additional fees for services. Determine whether it’s a flat fee, monthly retainer, or pay-as-you-go, and whether there are any discounts for long-term contracts.
3. Can you provide references?
Ask for references or case studies to help you understand the provider’s capabilities and track record. This will help you determine whether the provider is a good fit for your business.
4. How do you handle security?
IT security is a top concern for businesses today. Ask how the provider handles security, including cybersecurity, data encryption, access controls, and monitoring.
5. What is your availability and response time?
It’s important to understand how quickly the provider can respond to IT issues and what their hours of operation are. You may also want to ask about their disaster recovery and business continuity plans.
6. How do you stay current with technology?
Ask how the provider stays up to date with the latest technology trends and advancements. This can help you determine whether they will be able to provide you with the best possible IT solutions for your business.
2. Flat Fee Service Model: Benefits and Incentives
When looking for an IT consulting and services provider, one key consideration is the pricing model that they offer. One option to consider is a flat fee service model. Under this model, the provider charges a fixed fee for a set of services over a defined period of time, such as a monthly or annual contract. This can provide several benefits for your business, including greater predictability in your IT expenses and improved budgeting and planning.
In addition, flat fee contracts incentivize the service provider to reduce the number of problems that you experience. Since the provider is being paid a fixed fee, they have a vested interest in keeping your IT systems running smoothly and proactively addressing any issues that arise. This can lead to better overall performance and reliability for your IT systems, which in turn can lead to improved productivity and lower costs for your business.
Overall, a flat fee service model can be an effective way to get the IT support you need while also maintaining predictable costs and incentivizing your service provider to deliver high-quality service. When evaluating potential IT consulting and services providers, be sure to ask about their pricing models and consider whether a flat fee model could be a good fit for your business.
3. Response Time and Performance: What to Expect from IT Service Providers
Finally, ask if they offer any agreed upon timeframes for response time and performance. You always want to know what to expect if and when things go wrong with your technology. You would want to ensure Business Continuity.
By focusing on these issues rather than price alone, your small business can avoid experiencing an unnecessarily high total cost of ownership and regard to your business IT system.
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