Managing IT in-house is a daunting task. If you have the resources to do so, then it’s great for your company. But if not, then hiring an outside firm can be a much better option. It will save you time and money in the long run by relieving you of some of the burdens of managing your IT infrastructure.
At the very least, it’s important to evaluate things before making a decision about whether or not you need managed IT services for your business. Choosing the right IT service provider is not an easy task. There are many things to consider, and not all providers offer the same level of services. Here are six questions you should ask yourself before making a decision.
1) Your company’s security practices.
Managed IT services can be a great way to address any risks your company may be facing with your security practices. Because a managed IT service provider has a vested interest in your business’s security, they will work to keep your company secure.
However, don’t take the advice of a provider just because they’re a third party. You should actually look at their security practices when considering what type of managed IT services to use.
You should work with an IT support services’ provider based in a highly competitive tech area, such as San Diego, so that you know they have high standards in security and have survived against the competitors – not only financially, but in protecting themselves from blackhat hackers and corporate espionage as well.
2) How stable are your back-end systems?
It’s not enough to simply install all of your applications and applications servers, because your systems may have dependencies. For instance, if you’re installing all your applications servers to Linux and a third-party operating system goes down, you may lose a lot of work that relies on that OS.
A managed IT service provider will be able to provide support for your IT systems, and most will also have more than enough resources to analyze your application workloads and identify the needed fixes so that your back-end systems can work smoothly.
3) Do you have a network policy in place to ensure that your remote workers and clients can’t access sensitive data?
Your systems will likely have access to most of your internal systems, but remote workers or clients may have access to more sensitive systems. Even if you have policies in place to protect certain areas, you need to make sure your remote workers and clients understand how they can access those areas, and if they need to be reigned in so that they don’t share data with those who aren’t supposed to have access.
A managed IT service provider will carefully review your existing policies and suggest new ones, such as those which would govern remote workers or clients’ access to sensitive data.
4) Are you willing to allow IT service providers access to your network and internal networks?
Managed IT services provide you with access to monitoring services, as well as security audits. Many of the top managed IT services will review their client’s networks, equipment, applications, and policies – which means you need to be comfortable with giving this much access privilege to a third-party entity.
If there is any critically sensitive data that absolutely cannot be seen by anyone outside of your company, you need to make sure that any managed IT service provider or any third party with access to your internal and external systems is fully aware of it.
5) Are you familiar with the security protocols and practices used by your preferred vendor?
One common way that enterprises are compromised is through supply chain attacks. The cybercriminals will exploit weaknesses in third-party vendor systems that are connected to your network, using the vendors as a gateway into your system architecture.
An experienced IT service provider will be able to verify that your vendor’s security protocols and practices are secure enough and will have the capability to protect your data should any threat arise.
6) How easily can you keep track of IT changes?
As digital security is a constantly evolving industry, an IT service provider will implement the latest strategies to help prevent you from being a victim of a network attack. However, this means that your company and employees need to be able to quickly adapt to new threat protocols and that you need to be familiar with the new security protocols your preferred managed IT service provider or a third-party managed IT service provider will implement.