Key Questions to Ask That Can Validate Your Need for Managed IT Services

Making the wrong decision about using managed IT service provider can be a lot like what happens when the check engine light comes on while you’re driving. You come to a sudden stop, and you’re stuck until the expert shows up to fix things. You’re being held hostage if that’s your take on how the relationship with an IT company is supposed to work. The decision to outsource IT is supposed to maximize your company’s productivity by removing a drain on resources with nothing to do with your core competencies.

If your company engages in managed IT services, you need to make sure your provider isn’t just going to sit there and wait for something bad to happen. They should be your partner in productivity and innovation, not a tow truck service. Now, on to the questions:

 How long have your company’s computers or network systems been down in the past 12 months?

Dig deeper after you come up with a number. Did this completely stop your employees? This research will allow you to specifically calculate the ROI of engaging a managed IT services provider if you can tie downtime to a rough estimate of lost revenue.

What were the most frequent causes of any downtime?

You might be tempted to take a few things off this list, thinking that even a super-responsive IT organization couldn’t have prevented some issues. Don’t. We’ll show you why you need to keep everything on the table later in the piece.

Are you able to “take the pulse” of your systems and network health? 

Use the car analogy we started with again here. Do you have the ability to get advance notice on preventative maintenance?

Was cost a concern (or a massive, unexpected consequence) when you faced network downtime or an equipment malfunction?

It’s important to remember that IT upgrades are often considered capital expenditures—whereas moving to managed services transforms many of them into a smaller, routine operational expense.

Finding comprehensive answers to these four questions can help you decide if managed IT services will provide the ROI that justifies the cost. That said …

Not just any service will do

We started with an analogy of what can happen when you choose the wrong managed IT service—and then we jumped over to get you to think about whether you should be considering any managed IT service. There’s a method to this madness. Once you’ve decided you need an IT provider, it’s crucial to understand that not all organizations offer this outsourced service approach in the same way. It’s critical to choose a partner who will provide a level of oversight that truly takes these responsibilities off your shoulders.

Which approach?

There are generally two types of managed IT services companies. One takes an a la carte approach where you’re charged based on the services you consume. Since we’ve been playing with analogies here, you might think of them as similar to Chinese dim sum restaurants. The tab can be anyone’s guess because no one really paid much attention to how many little plates you snagged off the carts rolling by. Other managed IT services companies approach it from a flat fee standpoint. It’s a comprehensive service that includes everything from hardware and software management to many upgrades and helps desk services. There are no hidden, additional charges. One of the main reasons IT organizations in this second category can offer these complete, bundled services is highly proactive. You may not have been able to “take the pulse” of your network health—which is the way you detect and defend against problems—but these managed IT services companies can. They’re so good at it that they’ll come to you with a problem-in-the-making – or fix it – long before you even notice it.

Addressing these issues proactively benefits both your business and the full-service IT provider, as they have to absorb lower expenses than they would if they wound up dealing with a full-scale breakdown. This flat-rate, all-inclusive approach also makes budgeting for IT services much easier. It’s not a series of unforeseen charges, including large capital expenditures; it’s simply a monthly line item that impacts your operating budget. Ask each of the above questions to get a clear idea of the ROI of managed IT services. And once you’ve decided to engage a provider, figure out whether they want to be your proactive partner … or show up with a tow truck when you’re stuck on the side of the road.

We offer reliable, cost-effective computer support for which you pay a fixed price with no extra charges for onsite visits or hardware changes.

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