What to look for when outsourcing IT

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#GoToGetsIT: This article is part of an ongoing series from GoTo’s thought leaders on the frontlines: Our Solutions Consultants deeply understand our customers’ unique challenges and connect the right solutions to meet their goals using GoTo technology. Here, they share their industry knowledge on what it takes to help businesses everywhere thrive in a remote or hybrid world.

Technology is critical to the success of any business in today's digital environment, but hiring an in-house IT team can be cost-prohibitive for most small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

That's why more savvy businesses outsource IT support to managed service providers (MSPs) to implement and maintain a dependable and efficient IT infrastructure and ensure smooth business operations.

To reap the benefits of outsourcing your IT support, such as lower costs, access to the latest technology, flexibility, and scalability, you must select an IT service provider that can deliver high-quality and responsive monitoring, management, and remote support. This article shows you what to consider when choosing a managed IT solution.

5 key factors to consider when outsourcing IT

Managed IT service providers come in many shapes and forms. Here's what to look for to ensure that a provider can meet your requirements and expectations:

1. Industry experience and expertise

Look for an MSP with expertise in your industry that has worked with clients of a similar company size as your business. The provider should understand the specific requirements of your vertical and have certified professionals to deliver tailored solutions that meet your needs.

Additionally, your provider should emphasize ongoing, internal training to ensure its team is up to date with the latest IT best practices, regulatory requirements, and technology advancements to help you adapt your IT strategy as your expectations and market demand evolve.

2. Technical knowledge

Today’s IT involves more than just setting up a server and installing a few applications. Working with an MSP with a broad range of technical knowledge and skills can help you keep up with the latest IT best practices to stay relevant and competitive.

For instance, your IT service provider should help you implement cloud-based services and ensure all your hardware and software work together seamlessly to maximize cost-efficiency and deliver a modern user experience.

3. Regulatory compliance and governance

Data security affects businesses of any size, and your MPS must have the capability to handle network security concerns, incident response, and backup and disaster recovery. It should also help you achieve and maintain compliance with relevant data privacy laws (e.g., CCPA, GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, etc.).

Additionally, the provider should have the appropriate controls and secure remote access to protect your data and network. Many hackers try to target MSPs to infiltrate multiple companies in one fell swoop. As such, a reputable provider should take proactive measures to prevent supply chain attacks.

For example, your IT provider should use tools with a zero-trust security model that authenticates, authorizes, and continuously validates users before each and every remote access action is executed to protect against supply chain attacks.

4. Availability and communications

Your managed IT provider should have technical staff available around the clock to monitor your systems and address network problems or security concerns immediately to minimize costly downtime. It should also have a comprehensive communication protocol to keep you informed and escalate issues efficiently.

Your service level agreement (SLA) should outline the MSP's responsibilities and the level of support you can expect. The vendor should provide an open line of communication, take a proactive approach to IT management, and share weekly reports to keep you current on your network's status.

5. Tools and technologies

Your managed IT provider should use cutting-edge technologies to deliver their services and help you implement the right processes to achieve your business objectives. One of the most critical tools an MSP should have in its arsenal is a remote monitoring and management (RMM) platform.

RMM software allows MSPs to manage networks, workstations, servers, and endpoints remotely. With a robust platform, your IT provider can effectively mitigate cyber security risks, automate routine IT tasks, gain visibility and control over all devices, and provide timely support through remote access and remote support.

For example, GoTo Resolve for MSPs is a cloud-based, all-in-one IT management and support solution that covers asset management, network monitoring, helpdesk, on-demand remote support, and automation capabilities to facilitate IT service delivery. It also supports a zero trust infrastructure to help eliminate the risks of supply chain attacks.

Successful IT outsourcing for SMBs

Outsourcing IT helpdesk tasks can be overwhelming — after all, many of your business processes and customer interactions depend on your systems and networks. Finding the right managed service provider is critical to ensuring your IT infrastructure is in good hands and supports your long-term goals.

When you select your partner, consider the five key factors above:

  1. Experience and expertise in your market and industry
  2. Technical knowledge to support every aspect of your IT infrastructure
  3. Compliance with data privacy laws and appropriate security controls
  4. An SLA to guarantee sufficient availability and communications
  5. Advanced tools and technologies for seamless remote monitoring and management

Businesses can ensure that their IT infrastructure is reliable, efficient, and scalable by partnering with the right IT service provider that leverage tools like GoTo Resolve to support seamless implementation.

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