Similar to cloud services, it seems like everyone “does” managed services these days. But there’s a difference between doing something and doing something right — and it can mean the difference between IT solutions that drive business value and ones that cripple your operations. There are a few traits that will set apart the best managed services providers from the average ones. To ensure you are getting the support and enhanced value you need from your IT solutions, look for the following features in your next managed services provider.
1. A local, transparent approach
A “big company” feel in a managed services provider might mean your business gets lost in the shuffle of other clients. Having dedicated, local managed services resources and an open approach to conducting business will help you feel more at ease about getting into a managed services relationship. You should be able to see the price book for IT solutions and know all the details of how the managed services relationship will be handled. Know how often and to what degree you will liaise with not only the provider’s service delivery manager, but also your account manager and any additional managers crucial to your managed services relationship.
2. Best practice IT solutions, with a few tweaks
“Best practice” is a term that’s bandied about a lot in the IT space, but when it comes to managed services, you want the promise of industry-led standards to guide your IT solutions. Delivery models guided by ITIL® are a must, as they will fully help you streamline and transform your business through managed services IT solutions. But having an ability to customise these methods of delivering your IT solutions is also important. Give serious weight to managed services providers that let you tailor your service-level agreements and don’t lock you into a long, iron-clad contract. Providers that offer 90-day flexible contracts and multiple service options are best for organisations that want to stay agile.
3. A seamless fit
Managed services IT solutions shouldn’t disrupt your business — they should enhance it. For that reason, it pays to go with a provider that takes the time to learn your organisation inside and out to deliver IT solutions that truly give better value. Managed services providers that know your business can match their service and behaviour to your brand and be able to react flexibly if your business needs change. Remember, your managed services relationship doesn’t have to be a one and done — you can use the experience to develop a long-lasting partnership that continually delivers better performance and uses IT solutions to optimise your business processes.
Even though managed services IT solutions should help you streamline, they should still be delivered via a model and with a budget that suits your business needs. Choose a managed services provider that listens to your business needs and works through the right way to fulfil them.