Be thorough in your initial shortlisting process
The more work you do upfront, the fewer potential candidates you’ll end up investigating in detail. This saves everyone’s time and energy. Everything starts with defining your needs and wants and prioritizing the latter. This will give you a solid foundation for determining which companies could do the job.
If you’re looking specifically for a managed IT provider in Sacramento then be sure to check that any potential candidate is both legally and physically based in Sacramento, or, at the very least, near Sacramento. This will filter out companies that offer services in Sacramento but which are not located in the area. While this may seem like a minor point, it ensures that everyone is on the same legal page and answerable to the same local courts.
Read proposals thoroughly
Once you’ve compiled your initial shortlist, you will want to request a proposal from your candidates. Read this with great care and if you have any practical questions, then be sure to email the company and ask them. The term “practical questions” means anything which relates to the “hard” factors of their service such as SLAs and pricing, as opposed to “soft” factors such as customer service.
The main reason you need to read proposals with great care is that it’s quite easy for proposals to look very similar on the surface but have meaningful differences when you look more closely.
For example, most managed IT providers will offer three core pricing options, per user, per device and subscription. This last may have different names depending on the managed IT provider, but it basically means that you pay a monthly fee for a bundle of services. Obviously, you can only reasonably compare the costs of subscriptions if you understand what is included in the price.
To make life even more complicated, the same bundles of services may come at different price points depending on the SLA you choose. Basically the more you pay the faster the managed IT provider will respond to any issues.
As a final point, be very aware that managed IT providers are very much focussed on the management of IT. While this may seem like stating the obvious, the key point to note is that they may or may not include help to fix issues as part of their standard service. In managed IT security, for example, the industry standard is that the managed IT security provider takes care of everyday tasks, but does not get involved in remedial action unless the customer requests their help as an add-on service.
This does not need to be a big issue, but it is something you need to understand so that you can manage your budget effectively. For example, if you know in advance that you will need to find extra funds to pay for help if there is a problem, then you can budget for insurance plus a sinking fund to cover the excess.
Make sure you understand any migration requirements
Any managed IT provider is likely to have a set of minimum infrastructure standards that you must meet to be accepted into their system. You obviously need to know what these are to know whether or not you’re going to need to budget any funds for upgrades. Even if you don’t, you’re still going to need to know what steps you need to take to get your system ready for the migration as you will almost certainly need to dedicate some time to this and this will have a cost.
Remember to consider the human element
As mentioned at the start of this article, a managed IT provider is probably going to end up functioning as an extension of the C-suite, or at the very least have the same level of influence as a senior IT manager. This means that you don’t just need to find a company that can do the job. You need to find a company that is a good fit for your organization. As a minimum, you need to your managed IT provider to be comfortable dealing with companies of your size and preferably to have at least some knowledge of your industry sector.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable managed IT provider in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT
Managed Endpoint security 2020