Start by taking stock of where you are now and set out where you would like to be
Now is a really good time to double-check that your IT infrastructure actually is the way you think it ought to be. If not, you need to update your records so that they accurately reflect your current infrastructure. You then need to check and see if there are any known problems with your current set-up and if so get them fixed. If you need help with this, then you need to look for an IT support partner in Placerville. Managed IT service companies only deal with systems that are already in good running order.
Once you have your current infrastructure running smoothly, get all relevant stakeholders together and define your needs, wants and budget, preferably over the next 5-10 years. This may seem like a long time, but the fact is that there is always some degree of upheaval involved in moving to a (new) managed IT services partner so you want to give yourself the best, possible chance of forming a managed IT services partnership which will last over the long term.
At the risk of stating the obvious, think carefully about what is a genuine need and what is a want. Listing an item in the wrong category can get expensive. Listing a want as a need can lead to you overpaying for your regular service but listing a need as a want can lead to you having to find extra budget to cover it.
Once you have defined your needs and wants, prioritize the latter and give them a score that reflects their importance to you. Then set your budget based on how much you can actually, comfortably afford. When setting this amount, remember that your monthly fee will only cover predictable services (essentially care and maintenance). It will not cover ad hoc projects or break/fix situations. This means that you will need sinking funds and/or insurance.
Filter down your long-list using your defined needs and wants
Usually, the most efficient way of filtering a long-list down to a short-list is to start by filtering out any managed IT services company, which can’t meet your needs. No matter how good they seem in other ways, needs, literally by definition, are non-negotiable. If you’ve agreed on them, resist any temptation to change them.
For the remaining companies, see how they score with regards to fulfilling your wants. If you can’t tell this from their website, then it’s up to you whether or not you contact them to ask if they are capable of providing the relevant services. At the end of this process you should have a list of managed IT service companies with an initial score and you can then proceed to request a proposal from the top contenders.
Analyze the proposals carefully
When it comes to contracts, you are only guaranteed anything which is specifically included in the agreement. Anything else, by definition, is either excluded or an extra, probably a chargeable one.
This isn’t necessarily a problem but it is a reason why you should analyze proposals very carefully to ensure that you are comparing like with like. This is particularly the case if you’re looking at paying for your managed IT services through monthly subscription (as is usually the case). You need to look at exactly what each fee tier includes and hence, by extension, what it doesn’t include, at least not as standard.
Speak to a company representative before signing anything
Most of your selection process is going to be based on objective criteria. Essentially, you’re going to be looking to see which IT service companies in Placerville are capable of doing the job and what sort of value they offer. The final stage in the selection process, however, really comes down to the human element. This is much more subjective and more a matter of “feel” but not only is it perfectly valid, it’s absolutely essential to get it right.
In simple terms, you and your chosen managed IT services partner are hoping to work together over many years and so it is vital that you are both comfortable with that prospect.
If you’d like to speak to an experienced managed IT services partner in Placerville, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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