Best Practices for IT Managed Services in Chicago
As an SMB or Mid-Market in Chicago, you may be considering a Managed Services contract in order to outsource your daily IT operations. However, with such a critical component that will be responsible for your company's success, it is not a decision to take lightly or a process that should be completed in one day.
Just as in any industry, the MSP (Managed Service Provider) industry has certain key accepted best practices. If you know these, you can ensure the company you hire is the best fit and the process can be a successful. If a MSP is lacking in any of these areas, it may be time to find a new one, or strike that candidate from the potential list of providers.
Ethics & Confidentiality
Streamlined Managed Service Providers in Chicago need to have a standard of ethics that is beyond reproach. Imagine for a minute the amount of access that a MSP will have to your organization. A true MSP relationship is unlike any other IT provider in the past. They may have access to your entire network including your sales channel data, HR records and customer records. Of course this is necessary for them to do their job, but this also means there is a responsibility of ethical practices on their part.
An MSP is responsible for their employees just like in a lawyer or doctors office, because of the highly sensitive information they may be subject to. Having an ethics policy, code of conduct and non-disclosure agreements for their employees is a must beyond your own contracts with them. They need to show you their ship is air-tight, especially in relation to how your business information is protected.
Although MSPs are not lawyers, they should definitely know their way around the legal regulations of information laws and consumer privacy as well as your own industry's regulations if there are any. A Managed Services company needs to be especially aware of the rules of law and regulations surrounding data breaches and what exactly must be done when reporting these breaches.
Ensure they have a specific plan in place to deal with the major security concerns regarding your network, IT systems and data before contracting a company.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Lastly the most important aspect of hiring any streamlined managed services company in the Chicago area is their ability to meet your service and performance goals via a Service Level Agreement (SLA). MSPs generally have a number of areas of proficiency that you will need to understand in order to make the right decision.
At the very outset, you need to establish whether or not a provider has the expertise needed to provide your services. You may need to plan out our requirements, or better yet, ask the MSP to provide a review of your current systems, networks and data processes. Let them provide education on how they plan to manage your systems and where cost-effective improvements can be made. Although education and certificates show traditional learning, nothing can beat real-world experience. See how many similar clients they have in your industry and how those companies are serviced to keep their data separate and secure.
All MSPs have plenty of support tools. What many lack is the ability to form a quality process that is employed for every client. It is a quality process that provides the backbone to every great managed service provider. It is these processes, that are well vetted, that provides the very backbone of your IT support. When something 'breaks' how does it get fixed. Make sure processes are proactive and not reactive or you may be over-paying for an outdated "Break-Fix" mentality.
Ensure that your streamlined Managed Services provider in Chicago meets these industry best practices in order to compete for your business.
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Equilibrium IT Solutions, Inc.