Today most businesses use some form of cloud service, whether it is for storage, hosting, or SaaS-based applications (SaaS). Approximately 50% of global enterprises are expected to rely on at least one public cloud platform by 2020, which does not even include businesses that access private clouds. Additionally, organizations of all sizes are increasingly using third parties to provide IT support, making Managed IT Services providers increasingly important. Taking a close look at your Managed IT Services provider is essential if your organization has already made the switch to Cloud and IT Support services. Your Managed IT Services provider should provide you with the following four key things.
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In what ways does the company train and educate its employees?
In the first meeting with an IT Services provider, it is likely that they will provide you with a list of all of the employee certifications and accreditations that they hold on a personal basis in the field. Certification indicates a company’s commitment to education and industry trends, which makes it a key factor for any IT services provider. A business that uses Managed IT Services benefits from ongoing training because it ensures that your employees remain current with industry trends and are continually evaluating new technologies that might eventually assist with your technology and business needs.
Moreover, most industry certifications are not easy to obtain and maintain, since they often involve exams, studying, completing lengthy applications, and continuing training. Having a documented plan and setting aside resources shows that your company is committed to employee education, and, therefore, to its future.
Is the Idea Lab brewing anything new?
In essence, Information Technology is a combination of ideas, technology, and concepts that is constantly evolving. In terms of Managed Services Providers, you want the ability to predict the future as one of their core capabilities. If you need IT services, ask your provider what they have in development and how they might be of benefit to you. A static technology company is headed down a dangerous path, and you should avoid being on the same path as them.
What’s the power structure?
It is an IT environment that has many moving parts, including storage, networking, backups, security, hardware acquisition, virtualization, application delivery, and many other aspects. As a client, it is very important that you have a close relationship with the team that developed and built your IT systems rather than just the one that maintains them when you are utilizing an IT support organization. You should have access to the organization’s key figures when using a Managed IT services provider.
By doing so, you will provide yourself with an added layer of comfort, and you will also avoid wasting time with the wrong team or department.
Tools of the trade: what are they?
There is no reason why you shouldn’t know what the tools are just because someone else uses them. Ensure you understand the software, applications, and programs used by your Managed IT Services provider. It is even more important that you inquire as to why they use it, rather than just asking what it is. IT Services providers should be able to evaluate the technology they use, and you should know why and how they select the tools they use for their business.
As a general rule, any person who has had the responsibility of working with your critical IT infrastructure knows that knowledge is power. In order to do a good job, it is important that you get to know them as well as have access to some of their key employees as much as possible.
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