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How to choose the right managed IT services partner in Sacramento
Managed IT services are now a huge industry, which means that you’ll probably have plenty of choice. That means you need a clear strategy for working out which specific managed IT services company in Sacramento is the right partner for your organization. With that in mind, here are some tips to help.
Make sure your goals are clear before you even start your search
It’s a whole lot easier to find what you’re looking for if you actually know what it is. That means you need to have internal discussions with all relevant stakeholders to figure out your needs, wants and budget. You also need to prioritize the wants so you are clear about which ones are close to essential and which are just handy if it’s possible.
While undertaking this exercise, think about what the future might bring, at least the next five years if not the next ten. In particular, think about any legal or regulatory changes which might impact your industry. As a rule of thumb, even if you’re not required to participate in any compliance programs right now when it comes to data security and privacy the direction of travel is clear. Expect more legislation and regulation and more compliance.
Get everyone on the same page before you even start your search so that you avoid the frustration of having to change approach later having wasted your time and possibly the vendor’s as well.
Decide if you’d prefer a generalist or a specialist
Managed IT services is now such a huge industry that it can now be divided into niches (e.g. managed IT security) and even subniches (e.g. managed endpoint security). Some managed IT services companies are generalists. They may not cover absolutely everything, but they usually cover the main services most people are likely to want. Other managed IT services companies may specialize in particular niches or even subniches.
When addressing this question, your first step is to assess your current requirements and work out whether they call fall into the same niche or whether they cross different niches. Your second step is to repeat the exercise with your likely future requirements.
Unless you are looking at one very specific part of your business, for example, your IT security, you will probably find that even your current requirements fall into niches. Add in your future requirements and anything you haven’t thought of and it’s almost guaranteed that you will need expertise across different areas of IT services or at least have the potential to do so in future.
The advantage of using a generalist for everything is that they will really get to know your business and be able to “connect the dots” between business areas much more than you could reasonably expect from a managed IT service partner which only covered a small part of your business. This may also be the most cost-effective route.
The advantage of using a specialist is, of course, that they are likely to have a greater level of expertise in their specific area, but this does raise the question of just how useful this would be in practice. In other words, would you, in your particular situation, really benefit from this additional expertise?
Do some background checks before you even request a proposal
Requesting a proposal is easy. Responding to one takes up the vendor’s time and analyzing a response takes up yours. Therefore, while you want to hold off on full due diligence until much later in the proceedings, it makes sense to do some basic hygiene checks early on so that you can quickly identify any potential warning signs and either address them or move on.
In essence, you’re looking to check that the company is who it says it is and is based where it says it is. For example, if you’re looking for a managed IT services partner in Sacramento, then you want to see an address in Sacramento and a phone number in Sacramento (or a freephone number).
You also want to see how long they’ve been in business and who their clients are. Some companies may include reference customers on their website, others may just give general indications of the types of companies they serve. A few may not give either although this is fairly unusual.
This is also a good time to check that a potential managed services partner can actually offer the services you need (and ideally the ones you want as well). If you’re not sure, then you can just contact them and ask. Since you’ll just be looking for simple, factual, information, it should be easy (and quick) for them to answer and this could be a good indicator of their customer service.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable managed IT services partner in Sacramento, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.