Managed Services: Performance And Compliance With Trust And Efficiency
Technology is increasingly becoming more complex, although even more valuable at the same time. Despite the sophistication, businesses today need technology to grow and remain competitive. In the traditional business setting, an in-house IT team was enough to support IT needs and infrastructure. However, that has since changed.
Maintaining an in-house team can be quite costly. Also, most in-house teams can’t keep up with tech challenges and innovations without investing in upgrades to infrastructure, hardware and software, not to mention the certifications they’ll need for your new investments. This isn’t the tech support businesses want, resulting in their turning to managed IT services. But picking a service provider with performance, compliance, trust and efficiency in mind is a difficult task. (1)
However, this process all starts with getting it right from the search process to ensure that you get the right fit for your business. This blog shares some crucial factors you need to consider when making that decision.
Service scope and offering
Each business has its unique IT needs arising from its model, objectives, culture and industry. In the same way, different managed services providers also have varied services in their offerings. Some focus on specific sectors, such as health. Others focus on particular IT fields, such as cybersecurity. Ask yourself what you really need from the managed service provider.
Assess your IT needs and what you want to achieve both in the short term and long term. From there, start looking for a managed services provider who’s capable of meeting these demands.
Credibility and references
It can be tricky to judge a provider’s professional character and credibility correctly through the relevant certifications and qualifications. Any provider could have those and still not be credible or professional. You need to get firsthand experiences from previous and current customers. This is the best way to know if you’ll be wasting your money or if the provider is a good business partner.
Looking at previous customer reviews, testimonials or asking the clients directly is one of the best ways to tell if a provider is professional, dependable, credible and trustworthy. There are many clients eager to share their experiences with managed IT solutions providers. They’ll let you in on valuable insights you wouldn’t know otherwise, including working relationships, trust and confidentiality issues.
Relevance to your industry and business
A managed IT solutions provider isn’t only there to repair and maintain your IT and network infrastructure. They should also be relevant to your business, offering other solutions to propel your business forward. Remember, compliance issues vary from one industry to the other. You need a partner who understands your type of business and can proactively meet the standards and regulations required.
Apart from compliance and performance, they should be able to make actionable recommendations to ensure that your IT investments are in line with your business goals. That starts by making sure your business isn’t violating any data and information regulations.
Work culture and practices
In hiring a managed IT services provider, you’re essentially getting a business partner, and their work culture and practices matter to you. Every service provider has its best practices and code of conduct that determines how they relate with customers. Ensure you understand how the relationship or business partnership with a provider aligns with your culture and practices.
Besides, you want to work with an IT services provider who demonstrates a high level of commitment, professionalism, organisation and diligence. This is in terms of how they deal with their clients and how they treat each other.
Cybersecurity standards, practices and expertise
Given the fact that you’ll be allowing third-party access to your systems and hardware, cybersecurity standards and practices are an essential factor to consider. In the same breath, the increasing number of breaches also create a reason to care about these standards and practices. You want to be sure you’re not exposing the business to further risk instead of making it more secure. (2)
Trusting a managed IT services provider may come in several ways. But the crucial one is whether they follow and comply with strict and vigorous third-party cybersecurity standards. Issues that involve availability, integrity, confidentiality, privacy and security should be top of your list when examining a managed service provider.
One of the audits that assess the above critical areas is the Service and Organisation Control (SOC) report. For a managed services provider to pass this audit, they must have strict internal standards and practices, documentation and prioritisation of data protection and IT security. Such measures and practices help build the confidence you need to risk giving third parties access to your systems. (3)
Hiring a managed IT services provider is a serious business undertaking. Between performance, compliance, trust and efficiency, you have to ensure that there’s a perfect balance. However, they can help your business grow through lowered IT costs and streamlined operations when you get the right pick. You shouldn’t take any chances when choosing a service provider. Do your research properly to ensure you’re getting the most out of the services to enhance the growth of your business.
- “How to efficiently manage third-party risks throughout the management life cycle”, Source: https://www.ey.com/en_gr/managed-services/how-to-efficiently-manage-third-party-risks-throughout-the-management-life-cycle
- “ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report 2020-21”, Source: https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/reports-and-statistics/acsc-annual-cyber-threat-report-2020-21
- “System and Organisation Controls (SOC) reporting”, Source: https://www.grantthornton.com.au/services/risk/cyber-resilience/cyber-security/system-and-organisation-controls/#