Choosing IT Support Services: 5 Features You Need to Look Out for

Simon Heafield, Operations Director

It’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed when searching for an IT support services provider for your business to work with. There are countless organisations offering different services with each of them promising that they’re the right choice. 

To cut through the noise and make your choice a little easier, we’ve outlined some of the most important features your future partner needs to offer.

  1. Out of Hours IT Support is Vital
  2. An Experienced Partner Who’ll Recommend the Right Long-Term Solutions, Not Short-Term Fixes
  3. Does an MSP Place Importance on Data Security?
  4. Deliver the Correct Services That Your Require
  5. They Have the Knowledge to Aid Your Growth

What to Look For in an IT Support Services Provider

1. Out of Hours IT Support is Vital

How many evenings have you had disturbed by that dreaded phone call or email notification telling you there’s a problem that needs fixing? Working with an external partner would mean that your IT environment is monitored and managed while the office is empty, dealing with issues as they arise. 

Not having to head back to the office is a benefit in itself. But having out of hours IT support also ensures that any business downtime is significantly reduced. The longer your systems or network are down, the worse the impact will be.  

When customers are affected by the issue, your business reputation worsens with every passing minute that the problem isn’t resolved. Out of hours IT support ensures that a situation can never escalate to this level, dealing with problems while you’re relaxing at home. 

Choosing the right MSP is vital because you’ll be trusting an external business with monitoring and managing your network. You need the right partner, it can’t just be anyone. The right MSP for your organisation will have the skills and expertise needed to spot problems before they arise and act quickly and effectively to resolve an issue before it can escalate. 

2. An Experienced Partner Who’ll Recommend the Right Long-Term Solutions, Not Short-Term Fixes

When issues arise, they should be dealt with permanently. You should never be trapped in a cycle of problems receiving short-term fixes, only for them to need addressing again in the near future. 

Choose a partner that can provide long-term solutions. They’ll do this by determining the root cause of a problem, assessing which steps are best to take and ensuring they’re addressed completely. Otherwise, you’ll always be worrying about the same problems, taking your time and focus away from more important work. 

It’s also important to find a partner that already has tried and tested processes in place - as well as them being long-term. The range of solutions they can implement should be able to help create a stable IT environment at your business. 

Their years of experience working with businesses from a range of sectors should allow them to reference real-world examples when making recommendations. Keep everything in-house and you only have your own network, whereas external partners can spot trends and patterns across their wide range of clients.

3. Does an MSP Place Importance on Data Security?

You’ll already be aware of the importance of IT security and it’s something that your customers or clients also take very seriously. An MSP should have the same focus on security and understand that they’re responsible for your sensitive data. They need to have demonstrable measures in place to ensure you’re protected from threats and breaches. 

To prove their commitment to security, they can help your business achieve the Cyber Essentials accreditation. Having this shows that you’re dedicated to data protection and up to date on the latest IT security thinking - something that your clients will appreciate. 

This accreditation isn’t easy to achieve. In fact, it’s extremely difficult, costly and time-consuming without expert help. This is where an external partner comes in. They can assist with the process, making sure you’re successful. This expertise and support will highlight how seriously the MSP takes security, giving you peace of mind that your data and systems are in capable hands. 

So, when you’re considering different partners, remember to ask about Cyber Essentials. 

4. Deliver the Correct Services That You Require

Having one partner that manages your IT infrastructure and another that’s in charge of out of hours support just isn’t efficient. Not only is it more costly and time-consuming but you’ll also have five or six different contracts with providers that need to regularly be reviewed. 

This isn’t an effective solution as you’ll require multiple partnerships. Plus, it can be challenging to build trust with all of them. They’d all need to fully understand your infrastructure which isn’t always achievable.

Instead, a reliable MSP can look after your entire IT infrastructure. They get to know your business and infrastructure to a great depth. This is what allows them to deliver the right services to keep your business functional and scalable.

At BCN, we run ‘pod systems.’ This ensures that you always speak to the same, small group of people who you know and understand. Having this available to you allows the MSP to build better relationships with you and know your IT inside-out. As a result, this offering helps build greater trust and a solid partnership with somebody that you can rely on and one that understands your business.

5. They Have the Knowledge to Aid Your Growth

At the moment, you might not have time to keep up to date with blogs, articles and videos on the IT industry landscape. Your attention is stolen by daily tasks that stop you from focusing on future-planning and strategy work. 

Work with the right external partner and they’ll do this research for you. A good MSP will be made up of dedicated experts who are passionate about technology and ensure they’re up-to-date with any new industry thinking, news or innovations. 

This industry insight is then passed to your business via infrastructure recommendations and testing of new solutions. You can then pass this knowledge onto your customers through expert advice or rolling out of new solutions (the MSP can help you with this) - all of which can put your customers ahead of their competition and aids their business growth. 

To achieve this level of knowledge internally would cost you thousands of pounds and man-hours.

From out of hours IT support to help with obtaining the Cyber Essentials accreditation, BCN can work in partnership with you to understand your business’ requirements and offer the right solutions. Our team offer expert recommendations to make sure your IT environment is efficient and scalable.

BCN Group is the Right MSP for Your Business

We’ve put together an eBook that details exactly why outsourcing is the right step for your business and more information on the specialist IT support that BCN Group offers. Download your free copy now using the link below. 

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