First of all, decide what you need and want
The term IT managed services covers a huge spectrum of possibilities. In principle, you could have an IT managed services provider build and run absolutely every element of your IT infrastructure for you. This is actually increasingly common, especially with younger and/or smaller companies, which would really struggle to recruit skilled IT staff of any description.
Alternatively, you could have a managed service provider act as an overflow for your regular IT team. For example, you could use managed services for everyday housekeeping tasks and leave your in-house IT team to focus their energies on areas where they could add real value. You might even want an IT managed services provider to take care of just one area of your IT systems. This is most likely to be IT security, where the global shortage of skilled professionals is particularly acute.
Secondly draw up a long-list of companies which could do the job and request a proposal
At this early stage, there are basically three points you want to check.
Does the company offer the services you need and want?
Is the company actually located in Sacramento, CA?
Are there any obvious red flags which suggest you should drop the company?
The first point is fairly obvious and should be easy enough to check. Most IT managed services companies will have a list of exactly what services they provide and if they don’t, then they will have a contact us section on their website which you can use to send them any questions. Since you’ll be asking for general information on the services they offer (rather than a customized proposal) they should be able to answer fairly quickly and it will be a good test of their customer service.
The second point may be less obvious but it can still be very important. If you just do an internet search on “IT managed services in Sacramento” then you’re probably going to get quite a few results for IT managed services companies that just offer services in Sacramento, but which aren’t actually located in Sacramento. In fact, they may not be located anywhere near Sacramento. This may not sound like a big deal, but it could actually have some major implications for you.
The key point to note is that IT managed service companies tend to become very important partners for their clients. Not only do they perform the vital function of keeping their clients’ businesses running smoothly, but they can also guide clients as to how technology can help them moving forward and also keep them on the straight and narrow with regards to data-protection laws and compliance.
For all these reasons and more it can be very helpful to work with an IT managed services provider which actually is in Sacramento. This not only means that it should be very easy for you to keep in touch with them (for example you’ll be working the same business hours as your account manager), but also means that you’ll be working on the same local footing and under the jurisdiction of the same local courts.
The third point is just a basic hygiene check. Is there anything you notice which gives you cause for alarm?
By this point, there is a good chance you’ve brought your initial longlist down to a maximum of 10 companies anyway, but if not, then go through your remaining candidates and select at most ten, then request a proposal from them. Please note that 10 is a limit not a target. Only request a proposal from a company if you seriously think they could be a good potential fit for you, otherwise, you’re just wasting everyone’s time.
Thirdly, select at most five candidates for interview
Similar comments apply to selecting candidates for interview. Only request an interview with an IT managed services company in Sacramento if you think they could be a good fit and treat the interview process as seriously as you would treat the recruitment of a senior IT executive as that is basically exactly what an IT managed services provider is likely to turn out to be.
If you’d like to speak to a top IT managed services company in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Aperio.it.
Managed service company definitions