Qualities you should look for in a managed IT services provider

Qualities you should look for in a managed IT services provider

Choosing a managed IT services provider (MSP) is one of the most important decisions you have to make as a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) owner. A solid IT infrastructure is what keeps your employees productive, your company competitive, and your profits growing. To determine whether your IT provider is up to par, look for these qualities.

24x7 Availability

As experienced IT technicians, we can confirm that downtime and computer problems happen at all hours. Businesses without in-house IT staff, in particular, need a provider that will respond to a technology emergency day or night. Ideally, you would partner with an MSP that offers both on-site and remote support so overnight issues can be resolved before you even know they happened.

Although remote support is convenient for issues that are quickly resolved, there are undeniable benefits to working with a local IT support provider like Online Computers in New Jersey. If there is a disaster, a local MSP can come to your offices and fix IT problems quicker than an unfamiliar repairman or a tech support hotline. What’s more, MSPs offer personalized and hands-on assistance that learns your business over time.

Deep technical expertise

Reliable MSPs should not only respond to support calls quickly but also have deep expertise in a range of IT skills -- from fixing mundane issues like setting up workstations and fixing network connections, to complex tasks such as protecting your systems from ransomware and migrating your data to the cloud.

MSPs hold relevant certifications and offer industry-specific solutions to IT problems. A provider that offers a single all-in-one solution for all types of businesses may be able to perform routine IT tasks, but a lack of compliance expertise won't cut it in the long run. For example, companies in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance have unique requirements that can be met only by a team of technicians with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Comprehensive cybersecurity measures

Your staff may be able to follow simple cybersecurity best practices like regularly changing passwords, prohibiting external drives from connecting to the office network, and installing the latest security patches on their PCs, but these are not enough.

Instead, you should work with an MSP that offers comprehensive cybersecurity services to protect you from the countless sophisticated threats that emerge every day. Protecting your systems is a full-time job, and a dependable IT provider should safeguard your devices, data, and network from hackers using virtual private networks, intrusion prevention systems, email security, and more.

Robust backup and disaster recovery strategies

Hurricanes, flash floods, fires, and man-made disasters can strike anytime, and when they do, SMBs are usually hit the hardest. In fact, a recent study found that of the small businesses struck by disaster, 35% lost at least $25,000 in revenues.

A trustworthy MSP will go to great lengths to prepare you for a disaster with robust business continuity solutions that ensure your data is securely backed up in multiple redundant on-site and cloud servers, which let you restore business-critical data within minutes.

Cost-efficient services

The subscription-based monthly fee plans MSPs offer are one of the many reasons SMBs are outsourcing their IT. They are more economical than building an in-house IT team because you don’t have to spend time training current or new staff on the latest technologies.

Paying a fixed monthly fee also simplifies your IT budget and eliminates the surprise charges that often arise when paying for support by the hour. And because MSPs are expected to provide proactive IT monitoring, they ensure you don’t experience IT problems in the first place.

Selecting an MSP can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Many vendors vie for your business by offering loads of services and add-ons that don’t fit your needs, while others do not offer the services that you do need. Call us today if you need reliable IT support for your New Jersey business.