Choosing to go with managed IT services is a great way to make sure that your IT equipment, data and functions are properly managed at all times. It also saves you money – you don’t have to hire permanent employees. The question for many small business owners is what kinds of services they should be looking for. Whatever niche you are in there are some critical services that must be included in every managed IT service package. Before you hire a company make sure they can provide the following services:
- Hardware installation and support
This is one of the most important and basic services that you should get from any managed IT company. They should be able to help you source for new equipment, install it and also maintain it on a continuing basis. Make sure that they are available when needed for hardware services – if, for example, you would like to have some computers moved over the weekend or after office hours they should have no problem coming in ad getting the job done.
- Domain registration and maintenance
This may not seem like a big deal, but what if your website is suddenly offline because you forgot to pay for domain registration? It is best to hire a company that is able not only to source a reliable domain company, but also to keep track of all renewals and other changes. If a domain provider turns out to be unreliable they should be able to find you a better provider.
- Website design, redesign and maintenance
It is important for your website to be in top form at all times – it is what users see when they find you online. Any good managed IT company understands the value of a good website, and the first thing they will do when you approach them is an audit to see the condition yours is in. They are experts not just in design but redesign as well – they can make changes as and when they are needed.
- Search engine optimization
The only way for users to see your website is to get it ranked, and this can only happen with consistent SEO. Some businesses prefer to hire a separate SEO company but this only complicates matters and can be more expensive. As you interview managed IT services find out whether they can do SEO and what kind of success they have had in the past.
Data management and storage
Your business collects all sorts of data which needs to be properly processed and stored. You may need specialized software for these functions, which the managed IT service should help you source. They should very keen on ensuring that all data is secure and that backups are made in a timely fashion and stored safely.
Disaster recovery and reputation management
What happens if your system crashes or you lose all your data? What if there is a negative review online that is affecting business? Can the managed IT company handle these sorts of situations?
Lastly, make sure to compare prices before you hire managed IT services – some of them are expensive but don’t provide real value for money.