IT Services in Sacramento

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How to choose the right IT services in Sacramento

Choosing the right IT services in Sacramento can be a challenge for SMBs. There are lots of IT service partners out there and while they may be great companies they may or may not be the right choice for you. With that in mind, here is a quick guide as to how to choose the right IT services in Sacramento.

IT Services in Sacramento

First of all decide if you need or want your own IT infrastructure

If you need or want your own IT infrastructure, then you either need to host it in your own premises (not necessarily at your main office but at a location you own), or use either collocation or managed hosting.

Collocation is essentially when you site your own infrastructure at an external location, which is managed by a third party. The third party takes care of the infrastructure (e.g. the building, power and internet) while you manage the infrastructure yourself.

Managed hosting is essentially a subniche of IT managed services. It’s where you lease infrastructure from a third party and they take care of almost all management functions. Typically, they will manage everything up to and including the operating system, leaving you to look after applications and data.

If you don’t want your own IT infrastructure, then you can use the public cloud and you may be able to use some private cloud services. Many companies are adopting an approach of using the public cloud whenever possible (due to its flexibility and cost-effectiveness), but, for the time being at least, quite a few are also running private clouds in order to have full control over how their most sensitive data is stored and managed.

Secondly, decide if you need or want to run your own in-house IT team

There is a global shortage of IT staff from all disciplines and the shortage is particularly acute in some areas, notably anything connected with security. This means that if you’re going to run your own in-house IT team, then you need to be prepared to manage recruitment and retention in a challenging market.

You’re also going to need to be prepared to cope with all the usual staffing issues (e.g. personal and professional development, inter-staff issues, absences etc) in the knowledge that it may be extremely difficult for you to replace a member of staff who becomes unavailable if only temporarily, even if the absence is planned (for example vacation).

An alternative approach, which often makes a great deal of sense for SMBs, is to use managed services to deal with day to day tasks and, if necessary, projects as well, and keep in-house IT staff for value-add tasks, where it helps to have the sort of knowledge of your business which only comes when you actually work in it. For example, you might have managed services take care of keeping your infrastructure running and have an in-house team to manage any in-house/customized apps you use and support your website.

If you’re thinking of going down the managed services route, then it’s important to be aware that the whole essence of managed services is that the client pays a predictable fee for the managed service provider to perform routine tasks. Anything over and above this will either be referred to the client or treated as an additional service and billed accordingly. This often includes remediation of any problems identified as part of the managed service.

Working on the principle that you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst, you should be ready with one or more options for dealing with any extraordinary situations which are sent your way. One option is to have sinking funds and/or insurance in place so you can just pay your managed service partner to sort the problem. Another is to have your own in-house IT team with the knowledge and experience needed to deal with anything which is thrown their way. A third is to have an in-house IT team supported by an external partner.

Ad hoc IT services

Although managed services have largely become the mainstay of IT, there is still very much a place for ad hoc IT services. Basically, these are the kinds of services you’re probably only going to use (very) occasionally, but which can be extremely useful when you need them.

Possibly the most obvious examples of these are IT support services and data recovery services. IT support services differ from managed IT services in that they still operate to a break/fix model (whereas managed IT services aim to stop services from ever breaking in the first place).

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