Companies consider managed IT services for many reasons, including:

  • access to specialized expertise
  • access to new technology
  • more efficient support
  • reduced downtime
  • reduced costs

Whatever your reason for considering managed services, it’s important to choose the right provider. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Technical expertise. Technical expertise has to be the primary consideration when selecting a managed services provider. It doesn’t matter how cheap or responsive the provider is if they don’t have the skills to actually do the work. Look for a provider who understands the technologies your business uses, who has partnerships with leading vendors, and whose team maintains certifications in the products they support.
  2. Industry expertise. While the technical fundamentals are the same across all industries, every implementation needs to be tailored to specific business needs. If your managed services provider has a strong foundation of experience in your industry already, they’ll come to the task with a baseline understanding of the operational and user expectations the information technology needs to support and use that to develop solutions that meet those unstated requirements.
  3. High availability. Does your data center go dark at 5p.m.? Not likely, so the managed services provider can’t turn off their lights at 5p.m. either. Make sure there’s 24×7 support from a team dedicated to your company, not just an on-call team. Your managed services provider should also be able to provide support either on-site or remotely, as required by the problem or by your preference.
  4. Adaptability. While you’re drawing on the managed services provider’s expertise, you shouldn’t be forced into doing things their way—they should be able to adapt to provide the support you need the way you want it. Their vendor relationships shouldn’t drive technology decisions; your technology needs and business preferences should. In addition to customizing technology decisions, the way support is delivered should be tailored to your preferences as well.
  5. Commitment. The managed services provider should be committed to delivering a high level of service. This isn’t the kind of commitment that’s written down in a service level agreement; this is the kind of commitment that’s expressed through developing a deep understanding of your business, assigning dedicated resources that work as if they’re on your own team, and meeting with you at regular intervals to review how the service meets your needs and whether any changes or improvements are necessary.
  6. Reputation. Look for a managed service provider that’s been around long enough to have developed a good reputation. Be sure to check references and speak to some existing clients to hear how well services were delivered, whether contract commitments were met, and how easy the business was to work with.

Are you thinking about obtaining managed services? Prescient Solutions has provided IT consulting and managed services in the Chicago and Schaumburg area for 20 years. Download our guide to managed services to learn more about the advantages of working with a managed services provider, or contact us to start discussing how Prescient Solutions can support your information technology needs.