Choosing a business IT support partner

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How to choose an IT provider for your business

Posted on 4 September 2020 by Beaming Support

Having the right IT partners can help your business grow.

Bringing in some outside help for business IT support presents many advantages including highly trained staff members that are always keeping their skills up to date alongside predictable, reduced monthly costs. But when you need some support to help your business’s IT run smoothly, it’s important to choose the right partner. Here’s what to look for when choosing small business IT support

 What level of support can you expect?

Good small business IT support does exactly that – supports. Your managed service provider should give you everything you need to operate effectively, running in the background at all times but not something you have to think about frequently. Preventative maintenance and proactive support will help you achieve just that, and if something should go wrong, you want to be able to report it, see it resolved and know that everything possible has been done to stop the same problem from occurring again.

Make sure to ask about response time. For a partner who is handling something as dynamic as IT itself, response time should be as low as possible. Whether it is to address a regular IT glitch or to roll out a disaster recovery routine in case a security breach occurs, your MSP should be available on a short notice.

Will they take a unified approach?

Your IT, telephone and internet connectivity are all in some ways reliant on each other to work smoothly. An MSP that can provide all of these vital business tools will be of great value when it comes to making system changes, procuring new equipment and reporting faults. Many managed service providers out-source their customers’ internet connectivity to an ISP, but if you can find one that has its own network, as Beaming does, you’ll know that you’re not dealing with any unknown third parties. Your provider will know your systems inside-out, there’s never any worry that one hand is not talking to the other, and there’s no chance of various providers passing the buck between each other.

For you, this means that things get done quickly, and by keeping the number of service providers to a minimum you reduce the risk of cyber security breaches, too.


How do they approach cyber security?

Our research shows that cybercrime has doubled since 2015, costing UK businesses a total of £87 billion in equipment and data recovery, damaged reputation, ransoms and associated fines.

Any managed service provider should be looking at your business’s cyber security as a top priority.  Look for a provider who’ll take care of the complicated stuff -Router and firewall management, network configuration and monitoring, server patching – but can also offer you plain English guidance to help keep your systems as safe as possible.

 What certification do they hold?

On the subject of cyber security, look out for a provider with ISO:27001 certification. This means they have made a tangible commitment to best practice in data security and have proven that they manage customer data securely and to a high standard. ISO: 9001 is another internationally recognised standard for the quality management of businesses, showing a commitment to quality, customers and improving efficiency.

 What’s included in your monthly fee?

Be clear on what’s included in your monthly fee and what could cause your regular price to increase. It would be usual to pay an extra one-off fee for a site visit, for example, but not for vital server updates. Will you be paying on a per user basis, and what kind of services are included within this? Do you need your managed services partner to take a very hands-on, consultative approach or are they just there to provide support when users need it?

How will you know if there’s a problem?

Would you like to wait until the end of the month to find out there’s been a problem with your network? An MSP with your best interests at heart will proactively monitor your network and bring issues to your attention in real time.

 When will maintenance take place?

We often talk about the importance of updates, they keep your systems protected against known security flaws and keep things running smoothly. Whether it’s an obligatory security update or a system change you’ve requested, make sure your managed service provider will schedule maintenance at a time that’s convenient for you to avoid disruption to your business.

Are they asking the right questions?

This guide should help you to make sure you’re asking the right questions as you speak to managed service providers, but have you considered the questions they are asking you?

Your MSP should have a good understanding not only of your current business requirements, but also your challenges and what you’ve got planned for the future. That way they can ensure that all decisions centre around your specific business needs and you’ll know that they’re looking out for your best interests.

Enquire about Managed Services

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