Getting the Most Out of Managed IT Services in Phoenix

The Blue Fox Blog
The Blue Fox Blog
Getting the Most Out of Managed IT Services in Phoenix

For any business in the Phoenix area, the IT department is often the backbone of operations. If anyone IT system fails, the entire organization can come to a grinding halt.

For this reason, many companies are turning to managed IT services in Phoenix. Doing so helps ensure that their IT infrastructure remains efficient and up-to-date.

An IT industry trade association called CompTIA conducted a study. The Fifth Annual Trends in Managed Services study said that managed services are the second-most popular business model today.

If you are looking for IT services in Phoenix, consider the suggestions in the next few paragraphs.Your goal is to strengthen your relationship with your managed IT service provider. We’ll also show you how to maximize the benefits of that relationship.

Your goal is to strengthen your relationship with your managed IT service provider. We’ll also show you how to maximize the benefits of that relationship.

What follows is a guide to help you find and then maximize the benefits of your managed IT services in Phoenix.

Managed IT Services Defined

Managed IT services in Phoenix let you offload your IT operations to a service provider. The managed service provider monitors and manages the IT systems in your contract. The IT service provider, in essence, acts on your behalf.

Included Services

The services these providers offer varies with your current and future business needs.

Services can include security, data backup, storage systems, and web servers. They can also include alerts, cloud telephone services, networks, and other applications.

Outsourcing IT management lets you concentrate on running your business without IT interruptions.

The most basic service plan would be some kind of monitoring service. This notifies you of problems that your in-house IT team can then troubleshoot.

At the other end, your IT service provider in Phoenix can manage all your company’s IT needs. In some cases, your company wouldn’t need an internal IT team at all, if the goal was to outsource your entire IT infrastructure.

Needs Assessment

A prospective IT services provider usually performs a needs assessment or gap analysis of sorts in the beginning. This is to identify any gaps in your current IT infrastructure.

After the IT service provider performs that assessment, they can make recommendations. They’ll also negotiate a custom package with you. This package includes the service level you need for your company.

Why You Should Consider Managed IT Services in Phoenix

Whether you are a larger company or a smaller business, you need a set of technologies to operate.

The systems involved in running a business are becoming complex. Smaller businesses may not have the resources to keep up with those changes and other maintenance issues.

It is easier than you think to become overwhelmed with the basic, everyday tasks associated with maintaining your IT networks and infrastructure. When one or more of these systems break down, production stalls.

Routine tasks such as applying patches, executing backups, and installing updates seem mundane until they cause an IT breakdown.

If you cannot communicate with customers because your email client is down, or if you cannot access files from the cloud, or conference from a landline to a cell phone, you lose both revenue and productivity.

If you have an IT services provider in place, they can take care of these routine tasks and monitoring duties. This enables your IT staff to focus on other, more innovative projects.

Get the Most Out of Your IT Services

In some outsourcing situations, the company surrenders control of the service in question. Then, the service provider takes that over. In the case of IT services in Phoenix, you decide what level of service the IT company will provide.

You decide what areas will remain with your own in-house team, and what will be handled by both teams.

Additionally, you should have full visibility into the management of your systems and the processes used to manage them. Your provider doesn’t operate in a bubble. Whatever processes they use should be documented and accessible to you.

What to Consider When Shopping for IT Services

IT services in Phoenix come in a vast range of IT solutions. Some providers will focus on storage management. Others tout desktop and help desk management.

Some provide management services for server hardware, cabling, operating systems, and middleware. They may have limited support for email and cloud services. Others may provide adequate onsite services, but have limited ability to cover regional or local areas.

Understanding the strengths and limitations of the provider becomes more useful when you can compare those characteristics to your own company’s needs.

These options can be confusing. A good place to begin then is with your own company.

Conduct Informal Gap Analysis

What are your company’s requirements? How satisfied are you with your support as it is, whether that be outsourced or in house? What are the gaps?

What aspects of IT support are missing from your current infrastructure? Where do you have frequent breakdowns or need constant troubleshooting?

Answering these questions is a high-level gap analysis. That may be enough to give you an idea of what you need and what to look for in a provider.

Internal IT Assets

Also, think about your internal IT professionals as assets. Could their skills and talents be better used for development rather than maintenance? Are there current projects that need a new IT perspective to get it going?

If so, outsourcing some of your IT processes could open the door for a great many opportunities using in-house talent.

A Flexible Service Plan

From these gaps and points of breakdown, you will be able to identify the areas of need. You can then compare them with your budget.

From there, you can request a flexible service plan that can meet your current needs as well as adapt as your business grows and your needs evolve.

Any IT services provider in Phoenix will most likely conduct a needs analysis of its own. Surveying your current situation help you understand their analysis. It will also allow you to pose intelligent questions from your own IT team.

From there, you and the IT services provider can combine gap analyses and draft a service contract.

Quality Over Cost

Cost is a consideration when contracting with any provider of IT services in Phoenix. Yet, you should avoid going with the lowest cost provider.

It is often more helpful to choose a provider that shows an understanding of your business needs and can help you achieve specific goals relating to your IT systems.

This steady growth of managed IT services in Phoenix has created an ample supply of potential service providers. This can lead to competitive pricing.

A Customized Package

While you may want to go with the lowest bidder for your managed services for budget’s sake, we recommend that you search for quality instead.

What you want is a service provider who offers collaboration and can target business outcomes for your company and not only technology packages.

A provider should offer that customized package rather than a generic contract.

Experience

As with any hire, you also want referrals and testimonials from that provider’s existing customer base.

Ask for references and check around for reviews. A solid provider of IT services in Phoenix will have a track record that speaks for itself.

Hiring IT Services Can Free Up Resources

Hiring managed IT services in Phoenix for some or all your IT systems can free up your in-house IT staff for other projects. These projects can be related to future expansion or other innovation specific to your business and mission.

The provider can handle routine domain maintenance, cloud management, web and email hosting, and so on. Your internal team can focus on special projects and company initiatives.

IT Services Partnership

IT services in Phoenix, or anywhere, work for and with your company, in partnership with your internal IT department.

The more your IT team is open to that partnership, the better and more productive that relationship will be.

Collaboration Between Provider and Client

More and more companies are partnering with managed IT service providers in Phoenix to handle pieces of their IT needs. The arrangements are wholly collaborative with the client company’s internal IT department.

The service provider in effect complements your IT team rather than replaces it.

These companies are becoming familiar with the idea of managed services and are using them for email hosting, storage, customer relationship management (CRM), network monitoring, and backup and recovery.

Your organization has its own unique business needs. Through collaboration with your managed IT services in Phoenix during the consulting stage, you can create a service plan that matches your business needs now. It can also be expanded as your business grows.

A Customized Service Plan

Whether your service needs include risk management of IT assets, IT securing, software security testing, cloud strategy, or help desk, a provider of IT services in Phoenix can customize a plan for your company.

Such a plan can take your IT management to a higher level of efficiency and productivity.

For these reasons, IT services in Phoenix are growing, and several providers are at the ready to start that collaboration with you and your IT team.

Advanced Services

Your IT needs may be complex. Your future business plans most likely call for advanced services like business process outsourcing, or cloud infrastructure management.

Phone Solutions

Speaking of cloud infrastructure, smartphones and cloud communication have changed the way businesses operate. Mobile communications technology is advancing, and it’s hard to keep up with the emerging technologies. New tools and apps are introduced daily.

A managed phone services provider with specialization in mobile communications can ensure your company maintains strong internet performance in this area.

From Cost Savings To Streamlining Business Processes

In the beginning, the main benefit of using an IT service provider was the cost saving involved in offloading the more routine tasks.

Today, cost benefits are still desired. Yet, companies like yours are now looking to their service providers to assist in generating revenue by streamlining processes and communications.

Increased Security

While security was once considered a reason NOT to hire a managed service provider, it is now considered a reason to hire one.

Companies have found that IT security problems are often caused by human error by the company’s internal staff. Having an IT services provider tasked with maintaining security protocols helps to mitigate those issues.

Small and medium-sized businesses often have a greater need for managed security solutions. While their IT departments are smaller, they must still maintain compliance with regulations and maintain data security, but with fewer resources to do so.

This is where managed security solutions can be effective.

End-to-End Management

Many service providers are capable of providing their clients end-to-end IT support. They can manage all your company’s technologies from networked computers and laptops to mobile devices, cloud technologies, security, printers, and so on.

The greatest advantage to this is that it frees a considerable amount of internal resources. This can allow your company to allocate more resources to business initiatives and gain a competitive edge on the competition.

Business Growth

Whether your company is established or a small business starting out, your IT network and infrastructure is what keeps everything flowing. Whatever your business strategy, your IT systems, technologies, and processes are essential for that forward motion.

Managed IT services can be one of the most important, and best, decisions you can make for business development and growth.

Continue the Collaboration

This brief guide was intended to give you some direction when it comes to choosing and partnering with a managed IT services provider.

Any solid provider of IT services in Phoenix will create a custom package for your company. It is up to you and your IT team to maintain a collaborative relationship with that provider.

Doing so will allow your team to communicate company goals and needs. It will also give your service provider the opportunity to exceed your expectations in meeting those goals.

If you would like to contract with an IT services provider, we invite you to contact us today.