If you’re looking for comprehensive, long-term technical support for your business, a managed services IT company is the ideal choice. These companies specialize in getting businesses up to speed with the latest technology and giving them the tools they need to compete in their respective industries.
However, not all managed services IT companies perform at the same level. Some offer a much longer list of services than others. There are four qualities in particular that the best companies use to help them stand out from the crowd. By choosing a company that leads in these areas, you’ll get the greatest support.
Managed Services IT Companies vs. Other Service Companies
Managed services IT companies all have one thing in common: Their services are open-ended. This differs from other types of IT services, like professional service companies, which are more rigid in their approach.
A professional service company usually asks you what specific project you’re currently working on and will charge you based on how long it takes to complete the project. This is a perfectly good option for some businesses, but for many, it’s too inflexible. Professional service companies don’t leave room for last-minute changes and won’t help you maintain the project once it’s done. When you hire one of these companies, you must be absolutely certain about the project’s direction from the start. The more changes you make, the more expensive it becomes.
This is why most businesses turn to managed services IT companies instead. These companies provide a much wider range of technical support services. They’re not narrowly-focused on just one project at a time. When you hire one of these companies, you are essentially hiring an on-call IT team to handle any project or troubleshooting issue that you need resolved on any given day.
While all managed services IT companies are flexible, some are particularly experienced and skilled. The best managed services IT companies go a step further, leading in four key areas.
What Great Managed Services IT Companies Have in Common
There are four main qualities that separate an average managed services IT company from a truly great one. They are:
- Cost. A top-quality managed services IT company will offer comprehensive IT support for a predictable fee each month. In other words, they won’t charge you more based on the number of projects you need to complete or whether it took them more time to finish a task than they expected. The best companies listen to what you require and come up with a custom fee that is fair from the start. If your needs change, the company will negotiate a new fee with you. This is especially beneficial for small businesses because you can predict exactly how much you’ll spend on the IT budget and plan accordingly.
- Stability. The best-managed services IT companies offer certain guarantees of quality service and stability over time. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) may include a guarantee of very little downtime (typically <1%). The company may guarantee that it will always have staff ready to take troubleshooting calls and work on tight deadlines. The specific guarantees vary from company to company, but they all achieve the same goal: Ensure your projects are completed on time and that quality of service remains high.
- Long-term support. Great managed services IT companies will perform an audit after a new project is complete to determine whether it was successful. They also provide support long after the project is finished, looking for ways to improve your existing systems and find software patches and other updates that keep your business moving forward.
- Business intelligence consultations. The best companies look beyond simple IT support, helping you decide which business decisions are right for your enterprise. These companies recognize that IT and business intelligence are closely linked. You need both if you want to be successful. BI consultations and roadmaps give you the tools you need to decide which technical areas to focus on and whether you should prioritize certain IT projects—like transitioning to cloud storage—sooner than later.
These four services aren’t guaranteed by every managed services IT company. Only a handful of exceptional firms do all of this. However, when you find a company that cares about all of these points, you’ll hire the best partner for your IT business needs.
The Best Company Approaches Every Client Differently
Some managed services IT companies take this process to yet another level. Not only do they offer all of the four benefits above; they tailor their services specifically to each client. Customization is very important when you hire a managed services provider. They need to adjust their services constantly based on client feedback. They don’t work on specific projects with precise start and end dates. Consider that when sourcing managed service providers. If the company charges a monthly fee that rarely or never changes, then you may pay more for services you aren’t currently using.
IT companies that take time to understand their clients and solve their greatest challenges make the best long-term business partners. Whether you’re a new customer or a well-established client, your managed services IT company should work equally hard to push your business forward and keep you on the cutting edge of the latest technology.
If you’re ready to work with an experienced managed services IT company that offers fully customized options, contact Tek Leaders today. We listen to our clients’ needs and come up with novel solutions for each. If you have more questions about managed services, you can reach us by email directly.