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The Complete Guide to Selecting the Right Managed IT Services Provider

Are you planning to add a managed IT services provider to your business operations? There are many reasons to do so, including the ability to save time and money, receive 24/7 cybersecurity monitoring, and benefit from the latest IT technology. Yet there are many points to consider before you select a managed IT services provider for your business – this guide will cover them in detail.

Go local

Say your business is based in Los Angeles. In this situation, you should look to select the best managed IT services in Los Angeles. You may feel this is restricting your options. After all, there’s a whole world out there – why stick to LA? With managed IT services Los Angeles, you gain numerous benefits by sticking with a local option. Naturally, you will experience less downtime while getting improved security and productivity by picking a managed IT service as opposed to an in-house team, but by going local, you will be saving money and strengthening your local economy. It is much easier to align both your in-house and outsourced teams. Customer service is, on the whole, improved. Plus, if you need to meet to discuss IT solutions or have an on-site emergency, this is possible with a local provider.

You shouldn’t be considering outsourcing overseas. Understandably, going abroad offers plenty of positives. For example, you might find IT services cheaper than somewhere like Los Angeles and have access to a global talent pool. Yet there are more negative aspects to going further afield. These aspects include possible time zone differences, language barriers, and even the potential to negatively affect your in-house team’s morale.

Sticking to a local IT provider might be a little more costly than an overseas company, but you get what you pay for, and in this case, with a Los Angeles company, you get quality, reassurance, ease of use, flexibility, and expertise. There are also actually many cost-effective businesses right under your nose, and many that don’t make you pay for all the benefits you get.

Compare what IT services are provided

When you are putting together a shortlist of potential managed IT services providers, there are certain key aspects to compare against each other. One of the biggest points is the IT services they offer to clients.

If you are seeking an all-inclusive package, you will undoubtedly want to see as many IT services crammed in as possible. The more tools that are supplied as part of the package, the more IT benefits you enjoy.

In terms of what IT services to look out for, here are some of the main ones to keep in mind:

  • 24/7 monitoring of your systems
  • Data backup and protection
  • Cybersecurity solutions, including antivirus protection
  • Robust cloud services
  • Disaster recovery planning
  • Network and infrastructure management
  • Live support services

Of course, your business might not need every IT service that is available. You could decide to go with a hybrid approach with your IT structure, where certain elements are kept in-house – such as your cloud-based working solutions – while others, like security, are handed over to a specialist agency.

Either way, you need to ensure a prospective managed IT services provider offers what you require and allows for flexibility.

Do they go beyond managed IT services?

As mentioned in the previous section, you generally want a provider that delivers a robust, wide-ranging collection of managed IT services. However, there is a point where a potential agency can go overboard in what they offer.

That may sound rather dramatic, but it’s true. Yet it is not related to the managed IT services they supply – it is if they go beyond these services. If you find an agency that offers digital marketing solutions and competitive research, that’s not a good sign.


The reason is simple: it suggests they are not laser-focused on their managed IT services. If they are spread out across other services, they cannot give their full attention to IT, and that’s not good when all you want is the best managed IT services.

Think of it like spinning plates. The more plates you add to the equation, the less attention each one receives. A managed IT service provider with a sole focus on IT only has a single plate that gains all of their care and attention. That being said, services that are related to IT services are more than acceptable, as it shows their expertise. For instance, security, cloud, and hardware services are all interlinked with IT services. You know that you are getting the best experts working for you if they have services like this.

It’s not just about the price

Your shortlist of potential providers will cover key information like the aforementioned services offered. Another vital aspect that will be part of your comparison analysis is the price charged by providers.

As an example, if you come across a provider that is half the price of the other despite supplying the same services and support structure, you will justifiably be more interested in hiring them for your managed IT needs. With that said, cost should not be the central focus of deciding which provider to choose.

The lowest possible price is always welcome, of course, but this typically isn’t indicative of the best service. When it comes to managed IT services, a low price suggests corners are being cut, and you will end up with an inferior overall package. Customer service could be slow to respond, the latest technology might not be utilized, certain services won’t be available, and so on.

When selecting a provider, ensure you get a great deal where you can but don’t go too cheap – otherwise, it could end up costing you more money in the long run.

Another recommendation is to opt for managed IT service providers that, rather than bill by the hour, charge flat fees. If your expenditure is predictable and controlled like it is when paying by the hour, providers are sometimes not as pressed or committed to complete tasks. When paying flat fees, however, a provider is more committed to completing work swiftly and correctly, ensuring they avoid having to fix any issues in the future.

An understanding of how your business operates

A managed IT services provider doesn’t necessarily have to know specific details about your business before working together. That’s not realistic. Nevertheless, they should understand your industry and the general challenges your company faces.

You may feel, ‘It’s only IT. Why does a provider need to know more about how my business operates?’ Well, a managed IT services provider does more than simply supply you with outsourced resources. They create strategies and objectives. They account for your sector to deliver a roadmap with the aim for your business to not only chug along but also grow and thrive.

They can only achieve this with a full understanding of your industry and, eventually, your organization. The more a provider is familiar with your business, the more they can enhance your IT arrangement.

Seek a proactive provider

A managed IT services provider that takes on a proactive approach is the type you want in your corner. When an agency probes for answers and doesn’t sit still with their IT solutions, there is one outlet that benefits most: your business.

For instance, asking questions should not be a one-way street. You want to gather positive responses from your chosen provider about certain topics, yes, but they shouldn’t only be receptive to questions. To be effective, they need to ask their own. They need to receive information about your needs, challenges, and goals. They also have to learn more about how your company functions.

When a provider knows who you are, your current position, and where you want to go, they have a better platform to oversee your technology needs and help grow your business.

It’s not just about asking questions. A proactive provider is also one that takes a forward-thinking mindset into their services. You do not want an agency that will simply settle for break-fix services. A provider which incorporates proactive remote monitoring, the type which is able to identify and circumvent issues prior to a crisis situation, is highly beneficial for your business. This can stop major disruptions such as data loss and downtime.

Read reviews and references

When you plan to buy a product online, you need some reassurance that you’ll get the real deal. A description, pictures, and even videos can assist with illustrating how a product looks and functions, but that is not enough. There is one element you need along those points: customer reviews.

The same is applicable when it comes to a significant investment like hiring a managed IT services provider. This is a big decision. It is a long-term commitment that should, hopefully, last for a number of years. As a result, you want to get the decision right the first time of asking. That is more achievable with the right vetting process.

Begin by analyzing customer reviews that have been left for any providers you’re considering. These reviews are insightful and, to a certain degree, impartial – at least more so than the sales speech you see when visiting a provider’s website. Look for reviews with substance that cover both positives and negatives.

For more in-depth insight, don’t be scared to request references from a provider. These references can discuss how the provider’s managed IT services helped – or continue to help – their companies.



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