How to Evaluate Your Managed Service Provider
With all that’s changing in how businesses work today, how do you make sure that your business is supported by a future-ready Managed Service Provider? The first of a 2-part series, we propose 4 key criteria to keep in mind when you consider Managed Services for your business.
Already valued at around USD186 billion in 2019 and expected to almost double in value to USD356 billion by 2025, the Managed Services market is on the rise.
Managed Services are typically provided for IT processes more complex in nature, such as cybersecurity or hosting solutions, and are subscribed to by business organisations to outsource the management of their networks and IT processes to external expertise. By doing so, you can save on the operational and training costs of maintaining big IT teams skilled enough to manage these IT solutions, freeing up resources for your team to focus on growing your core business instead.
However, as we are experiencing with the outbreak of COVID-19 all across the globe, the way the world works together is changing rapidly. Most who can telecommute are encouraged to do so, those who must work at business continuity sites need to have them quickly set up and ready to go.
Is your Managed Service Provider meeting your needs in a post-COVID world?
As a result, the provision and management of IT solutions for a dispersed workforce will be affected and the benchmarks for what makes a future-ready Managed Service Provider will evolve too.
So, how should business owners and IT leaders evaluate what makes a future-ready Managed Service Provider? There are 4 points to note for evaluation:
A future-ready Managed Service Provider would ideally be able to look into ensuring service continuity across multiple network domains (e.g. Layer 2 or broadband) and across connectivity types (e.g. fibre or LTE). If the Managed Service Provider is also able to coordinate connectivity troubleshooting and hardware replacement across the managed networks, the mean time taken to recover from network issues can also be reduced significantly.
Continuous, Round-the-Clock Support
On top of having pinpoint accuracy in identifying points of trouble, Managed Service Providers that are able to provide round-the-clock technical and helpdesk support have a distinct advantage to help your business with any support needs should anything occur while most of the population is asleep.
This would look like a 2-tiered system that comprises a call center working in conjunction with a Network Operations Centre (NOC), both working synergistically to look into urgent network issues within a short time frame.
Support Availability During a Crisis
Finally, one observation made during the circuit breaker period was that some tech companies may not be authorised to continue providing support to their customers as they did not qualify as a crucial or essential service. This gap leaves business organisations that require urgent support at risk during protracted crisis periods such as this. Those in the financial, physical security, healthcare, transport, logistic, energy, Food & Beverage (F&B) sector face the brunt of this in particular. Thus, selecting a Managed Service Provider that will undoubtedly be authorised to continue daily operations could become a more significant criteria moving forwards.