When it comes to IT, businesses have a lot of options. You can manage IT in-house, hire an IT consultant, or outsource to a managed services provider. 

Each of these options has its own set of pros and cons, but for most businesses, the best option is to outsource to a managed services provider (MSP). MSPs tend to cover all the skillsets that one- or two-person internal IT departments just don’t have. 

Not sure what that means for your business or how such a relationship would work? This article will discuss what leaders should expect from their IT provider to prepare you for working with an MSP.

IT Provider Support

One of the most important things that leaders should expect from their IT provider is reliable support as well as reduced risk from an outage or cyber event. At TAG Solutions we have a measurement tool that is a clear indicator of the health of your network. Ask your TAG representative for a demo.

Your IT provider should be available to help you with any IT issues that arise, and they should be able to do so in a timely manner.  

IT Provider Proactive Maintenance

Another important thing to expect from your IT provider is proactive maintenance. Proactive maintenance and patching means that your IT provider will proactively monitor your IT systems for any potential problems and address them before they become actual problems. 

Businesses need to ask their IT provider for their proactive maintenance schedule. Your IT provider should have a schedule for regularly maintaining and patching your IT infrastructure, including your servers, network, and computers. 

This will help to prevent issues from arising in the first place and will keep your IT infrastructure running smoothly. It’s important that the schedule works for your business operations, so be sure to share any relevant information with your MSP. 

Critical network updates that could require downtime should be done off hours or during periods that your organization isn’t reliant on your infrastructure.

IT Provider Security

Another thing to consider is the level of security your IT provider can offer. In 2022, 60 percent of all businesses experienced a data breach. It’s important to make sure that your IT provider can keep your data safe. They should have experience dealing with data security and should be able to provide you with a detailed plan on how they will keep your data safe. 

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Ask what tools they use, what their process is upon breaches, and how they plan to keep your business data secure. It’s imperative they adopt a framework for security such as the NIST framework. It doesn’t hurt to educate yourself in this space (or ask them to provide you some resources) to be sure you have done your due diligence in selecting an MSP to partner with.

System Monitoring Backup 

System monitoring and backup is an integral part of what your IT provider should offer. Ask if your MSP follows the 3-2-1 backup rule and if they follow procedures like those from NIST’s cybersecurity framework. These are gold standards in IT, so don’t select a provider who doesn’t adhere to them.

Off-Hours Support

Cybercriminals and network outages aren’t limited to business hours. Your MSP or IT provider should have off-hours support, just in case you need help during the night or on weekends. It might seem like this situation would be unlikely to arise, but it’s better to be prepared.

VCIO and Business Strategy

A Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO) is a senior executive who provides strategic oversight and guidance for an organization’s information technology (IT) initiatives. The VCIO works with the organization’s leadership to ensure that IT investments align with business goals and objectives. The VCIO is responsible for developing and implementing IT strategy, as well as overseeing the day-to-day operations of the IT department.

The VCIO role is becoming increasingly important as organizations strive to remain competitive in the ever-changing business landscape. In many cases, the VCIO is the bridge between the business and IT sides of the organization, providing insights and recommendations that can help shape strategic decision-making.

The role of the VCIO is evolving as organizations face new challenges and opportunities related to technology. As businesses become more reliant on technology, the VCIO must be able to provide strategic guidance that can help the organization make informed decisions about its IT investments. The VCIO must also be able to adapt to changes quickly and be able to adjust the IT strategy accordingly.

The VCIO is a critical member of the organization’s leadership team and plays a vital role in ensuring that the organization’s IT investments are aligned with its business goals. 

IT Provider Cost

Finally, you’ll want to consider the cost of outsourcing IT. While it’s important to get a good price, you shouldn’t sacrifice quality for cost. Make sure to do your research and compare different IT providers before making a decision. 

Outsourcing IT can be a great way to improve your business’s IT infrastructure. Just make sure to do your research and find an IT provider that can meet all of your needs.

IT Provider Expertise

When looking for an IT provider, you’ll want to find one that has deep experience. We recommend looking for a provider certified in all Microsoft products as well as AWS, CCSP (certified cloud security professional) IT providers with a lot of experience will be able to offer you a higher level of service and support. 

They’ll also be able to provide you with more comprehensive IT solutions. If you’re not sure where to start your search, ask for recommendations from other business leaders or look for online reviews.

Do you have any other IT outsourcing tips? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re looking for a reliable IT or managed service provider, be sure to check out our Albany, NY managed IT services. TAG Solutions can help! 

Not sure where to start? Request a free network assessment to learn more about where your systems are vulnerable.

We would be happy to answer any of your IT outsourcing questions. Contact us today to get started!