In small to medium sized business, having a dedicated IT person on staff is a hard balancing act as SMBs tend to require same levels of day-to-day user support and higher end infrastructure/application support. Providing the correct level ofservice can result in employing a highly skilled (and costly) IT professional capable of looking after the most demanding support tasks. As a result, most SMBs benefit from outsourcing their complete IT requirements to a Managed Services Provider.
If you currently utilise an external provider, there are a few aspects of their service that should be reviewed to ensure your business that the MSPs costs are justified and you are getting the most out of the agreement. The first are the hidden costs of managing a service provider. If it is your role to interface with your provider, do you find yourself spending much of your day organising, checking and following up with them? Your provider should have the skills and management ability to save you time, not cost it.
If your monthly costs are a bit chaotic, there could be a number of reasons.
The service level may no longer match your company’s requirements
If your company has expanded, you may have outgrown your provider. It happens more often than you would think; small IT providers sometimes can become over stretched or not keep up with advancing technology. It’s also quite common to have a dedicated engineer to your company, while this means you have someone very familiar with your users and infrastructure, it does lack flexibility and cover of a team based approach.
Your provider’s service offering might not be flexible enough
A lot of providers stick to an adhoc arrangement or a combination of onsite visits. This can result in fluctuating monthly fees. Fixed fee services will allow monthly costs to be controlled, constant and fully manageable. Any tasks outside of this service, also known as out of scope, should be fully agreed first. You should never get any surprise costs from your provider!
High level of outages
Proactive monitoring is key to managing ICT infrastructure by either identifying an issue before it causes downtime or by notifying quickly to an outage allowing any downtime to be minimised. Your provider must be on top of all the areas of your infrastructure and ensure that risks are mitigated with a reliable monitoring structure.
IT budgeting & planning
Just like monitoring, IT budget planning should be proactive. Your provider should be in contact frequently during the year and work with you on future IT plans and requirements, also recommending solutions that can improve overall business performance. Upgrades and expansions should be planned well in advance and should be suitable for you current and future needs.
If you relate to any of the above, perhaps it is time to conduct a review of your IT and your provider. If you would like more information on show an IT review can help your business, please contact one of our consultants on 1300 991 351 or email email@example.com. They will go through your expectations and concerns with you and can help you make the call on the next steps to take regarding your IT. Sometimes all you need is a bit of guidance and that’s what we are here for, so give us call!
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