We are moving into an age where IT seems to advance at the speed of light.
You wake up one day and install the latest state-of-the art-updates and upgrades, and seemingly have an out-of-date system the next day.
Yes, we know that is a bit of an exaggeration, but who hasn’t purchased a phone upgrade only to see a commercial three days later for something better?
It’s one thing to be personally inconvenienced or disappointed when we miss the boat on the latest tech and gadgetry in our personal lives but imagine the legitimate impact that something like that has on a business.
Failure to use the current software versions, hardware, security patches, communication tech, data storage, and backup, or any of the dozens of other business-critical solutions can have a profound and lasting impact on any sized company from mega-corporation to a small business.
This is where Managed Service Providers (MSP) comes in.
This term can sometimes be a little open to interpretation, as there are several business services that can be organized and run from an outside, third-party provider. These services might include transportation, marketing, supply chain, media, and many others. But for this post, we are referring strictly to IT for businesses.
Navakai, located in Colorado Springs, is not only changing how full-on tech support is done between companies, but it is also changing the way it’s done across the industry. At Navakai, we are focused more on the client/provider relationship and creating a long-term partnership.
With that in mind, let’s look at 10 things that you should expect from your MSP.
1. Infrastructure for IT Transitions
The main example we used earlier was that of a person getting “left behind” on some new device or IT upgrade. Well, that happens in business every day. A companies’ in-house IT department is not properly equipped or set up for a major change or shift in technology, and by the time the owner or manager realizes how critical that transition was, it is oftentimes too late to implement it in an advantageous way.
A good example of this was the countless businesses and corporations that weren’t prepared for the coming data storage transitions to cloud computing over the last decade, and in the time it took for them to actually catch up and get all of their systems online, countless millions of dollars (as well as massive amounts of data) were lost.
2. Monitoring of Network Operations Center
This is a critical aspect of making sure the base of your entire business structure stays up and running at peak efficiency. This is something that takes highly trained IT teams who are well versed in the ins and outs of system monitoring and testing.
It integrates everything from communications to sales into this infrastructure, and if it fails, it could have catastrophic results for your business and your customers. This is why Navakai focuses so heavily on this service.
3. Maximum Security
The term “maximum” needs to be understood and applied correctly to any of the individual services provided by MSPs. While it is the job of these IT specialists to design and manage a system that reaches and stays at peak efficiency (as we just mentioned above), the limitations of exactly what maximum performance is for any given function within that system wholly depends on the capacity and abilities of the existing infrastructure.
In other words, you can’t hook up a 1987 Commodore to WiFi and get blazing internet speed. It isn’t designed for it. It has its own design and engineering limitations. While your MSP can and should get your system running its best, it will still be bound within the confines of its own network and components.
4. 24/7 Remote Support
What good is the best IT management organization in the world if you can’t reach them after 5pm during the week or anytime between Friday and Monday? Managing the technology and data of someone’s business takes a full-time effort. By full-time, we don’t mean forty hours a week. We mean 24/7/365.
Every minute of every day of the entire year; nights, weekends, and holidays, there absolutely has to be someone there to handle any serious situation or emergency that may arise. This is not even debatable.
5. Detailed Reports and Analytics
MSPs don’t just provide reactive and defensive services; they also offer many features and benefits that are proactive, such as deep analytics. Because the model for this partnership discards the old “break-fix” dynamic of IT specialists coming to your place of business, solving whatever issues you were having, and then leaving, modern-day collaborations are more permanent and involved.
This allows the MSP to collect massive amounts of data and information from all the inner workings of your infrastructure and digital systems, effectively producing a chart of which things are working well and which ones need attention.
6. Natural or Digital Disaster Preparation
If we had to pick just one service that was critical to have above all others, it would be this one. Fortunately, this isn’t necessary as this is just one of many IT tasks that can be performed offsite at a location other than your office. It isn’t only digital or server catastrophes that you need to worry about, natural disasters can have the same effect on your business and your data as well.
Fires, power outages, earthquakes, and any number of accidents or natural disasters can impact all the hardware in your building and at your server centers, as well as anything that is stored. Therefore, having separate storage facilities, far from your geographic region, is an essential part of any managed service.
7. Cloud-Backed Systems
Although we briefly mentioned this earlier, it is one of the biggest and most critical aspects of modern technology, and it is worth looking at a little further. Long gone are the days of entire rooms or basement levels being devoted to the housing of numerous file cabinets with countless physical documents and sheets of paper. Not only is that a major security risk, but it’s also about as inefficient as a business can possibly operate.
That all changed with the advent of digital storage devices, and the process of data storage is ultimately being perfected by cloud technology. These systems are impervious to the damage caused by digital or natural disasters as it is always backed up and stored in cyberspace immediately upon receipt.
8. Mobile Integration and Management
One key to a successful business is effective communication between management, staff, and other employees. Lack of communication and awareness can lead to a myriad of problems from incomplete projects to failed shipping and expediting.
Today’s technology allows for platforms that can integrate all of your companies’ communication processes and devices into one system. That includes mobile devices, desktop, email, instant messengers, and text messaging.
In all reality, most businesses will not opt for every single service that an MSP offers, at least not at first. Just as you would with any other service provider or product that required time and financial commitment, you would want to see what they can do for you first, and how well they do it.
With that understanding, a smart MSP will offer various packages to allow the client to try out their services without committing to a substantial financial agreement or long-term partnership. Something along these lines should be expected:
Moving from the top of the list to the bottom, you would start with basic security measures, system monitoring, and other simple tasks that may not take a lot of time and effort, but can yield fast and notable differences.
From there you would move up in scope, equipment, and software at each stage until you ultimately reach the point where the client wants to incorporate all of your services into their systems. Navakai regularly reaches this stage with its clients both in the local Colorado Springs area, as well as all over the world.
10. Corporate Responsibility and Community
There is a lot of talk these days about corporate footprints, environmental impact, and the responsibility and role that business has in the world today. These phrases get thrown around a lot and used as talking points by corporations and other organizations that want to appear conscious of the world around them and the impact that they may have on it, but in reality, it is merely a smokescreen to continue on doing business as usual.
We take our corporate responsibility here at Navakai very seriously and expect a similar philosophy from the businesses we partner with. Working together is a two-way street, and since the goal is to achieve a long-term association on both sides, it only makes sense that we both share foundational values and ideals.