Technology is key to running an efficient business. This is true for businesses of all sizes in Kansas City and other regions of the United States. In fact, a recent report found that 44% of US businesses plan to increase their IT budget in 2020.
If your company is looking to invest more in technology, you’ll need a dependable managed IT services provider (MSP). These companies employ dozens of IT technicians who can look after your technology needs for a fraction of the cost of hiring in-house IT staff.
But don’t just partner with the first MSP you come across! Do your research and above all, make sure your MSP has these five core services:
1. Proactive maintenance
Every second your systems are down due to a technical problem leads to lost productivity and revenue for your business. Ideally, these problems should be anticipated and eliminated before they develop to minimize downtime. That’s why you need an MSP that offers proactive maintenance to make sure your computer network runs smoothly without any interruptions.
Proactive maintenance means that IT technicians will look after your systems around the clock, detecting and addressing small issues that crop up before they become catastrophic problems. For example, to avoid potentially devastating data breaches, MSPs will install the latest security updates so hackers can’t exploit critical vulnerabilities that give them unfettered access to your systems.
Proactive maintenance also goes beyond patch management. For a flat monthly subscription fee, top-notch MSPs will schedule routine data backups, monitor devices and applications, and optimize network performance, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
2. On-site and remote support
When you experience IT issues that can’t be fixed with a simple Google search, having an MSP that can provide on-site support is a lifesaver. It involves professional technicians visiting your premises to oversee, maintain, and repair your company’s IT infrastructure.
These technicians can immediately resolve any issue they come across in their inspections and answer any questions you may have about IT. And if you’re not confident with managing technology by yourself, it’s comforting to know that a professional has got you covered.
However, not all issues require hands-on service, so MSPs that provide remote support are also essential. This type of support is more cost-effective because it doesn’t require as much time as it would if an IT issue was addressed on-site.
Note that if you are looking for a remote support provider, make sure they guarantee fast response times, same-day ticket resolutions, and 24/7 service if necessary.
Related article: Working Remotely Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak
3. Cloud services
Cloud services represent over 30% of a company’s IT investment and it’s easy to see why. The cloud allows your company to access fully-managed, enterprise server resources and applications from any internet-connected device. This makes it easy to collaborate with other users and significantly reduces costs associated with procuring and managing on-premises servers and workstations.
If you want to experience these benefits for yourself, then your MSP must specialize in cloud services. Summit Advisors, in particular, assists with cloud migrations and customizing cloud environments to fit your needs. Our team provides secure data backups and recovery systems to make sure any information you store in the cloud is safe and sound.
We even implement Microsoft 365 — a cloud productivity suite that comes with intuitive team communication tools, shared storage, and online versions of Microsoft Office software.
4. Cybersecurity services
Cyberthreats are growing at unprecedented rates, especially because organizations are relying on interconnected technologies to store and manage sensitive information. Statistics show that US businesses suffered over 1,400 data breaches in 2019 alone, and this likely won’t slow down by the end of this year.
To make matters worse, cybercriminals continue to discover new ways to compromise business networks. They can use advanced ransomware attacks, exploit vulnerable smart gadgets, and concoct more deceptive online scams.
The best way to mitigate these risks is to work with an MSP that provides robust cybersecurity services. They must be capable of performing thorough vulnerability assessments to identify your current infrastructure’s weaknesses and formulate an appropriate cybersecurity strategy.
A first-rate MSP should also offer multilayered security solutions to protect your business from every angle of attack. These solutions include:
- Next-gen firewall – detects and blocks dangerous network intrusion attempts
- Anti-malware software – scans and removes malicious programs lying dormant in company devices.
- Endpoint protection – allows you to monitor company-registered devices, set device restrictions, and even remotely wipe lost or stolen devices
- Identity and access management – prevents unauthorized access to critical data using role-based access privileges, password policies, and multifactor authentication
- Email security – filters spam and phishing emails from employee inboxes
- Military-grade encryption – converts data and communications into indecipherable code to protect them from prying eyes
- Workplace security – deters cybercriminals from breaking into your office using advanced physical security measures like surveillance cameras and keypads
5. IT planning and consultation
Hiring MSPs with IT consulting services will put your business ahead of the curve. These consultants conduct several assessments to understand how your company operates as well as its inefficiencies, compliance obligations, and budget constraints. They then use this information to develop a suitable IT strategy that will allow your business to grow.
For instance, if your business plans to go forward with a long-term remote work arrangement, consultants may recommend cloud migrations, mobile device management, and advanced business phone systems to streamline your operations.
Technology is also constantly evolving, with artificial intelligence, lightning-fast 5G networks, and Internet of Things devices becoming increasingly widespread. Any consultant worth their salt stays up to date with these IT trends and uses their vast experience with technology to future-proof your business. They’ll even create custom plans for transitioning toward new technologies, so your business can quickly reap their benefits.
Finding the right MSP can be a daunting process, but if you’re based in Wichita or Kansas City, then Summit Advisors is the best choice. From proactive maintenance to IT consulting, our team of experts will ensure high-quality services. We’re also partnered with industry leaders in cybersecurity and cloud technology so we can provide state-of-the-art solutions to your business.
Call us now to inquire about our services.