The Managed Small Business IT Services Industry in Melbourne Is Growing By The Day. But How Do You Choose The Right IT Support Company To Help You Take Your Business To The Next Level?
As we’ve all seen in the lead up to 2020, the business landscape has geared predominantly towards digital transformation and technological advancements. Local businesses of all shapes and sizes are finding themselves relying a lot more on their IT infrastructure and are finding that if they don’t keep up, they will quickly be left behind. The quality of your IT and networks are usually the make-or-break factor when it comes to the successful running of your business. This is especially true in this new technology-focused era. If your organisation is looking into any form of expansion, then technology, in general, will play an integral part. Here’s an overview of some of the benefits of hiring a Managed Service Provider for your Business’ IT Support. In this article we’ll cover:
- Break/Fix vs Managed IT Support Services
- Questions to Ask your Business before Hiring a Managed IT Service Provider
- Questions to Ask Your Managed Service Provider before Hiring One
- Choosing an End-to-End Managed IT Service Provider in Melbourne
Break/Fix vs Managed IT Support Services, Melbourne
If you want your business to thrive, it’s important to be ahead of the technology curve. By taking a proactive approach and making use of Melbourne Managed IT Services, you’re already one step towards this goal. Today, most businesses are run digitally, so it’s important to protect your business from technology-related threats, be adaptable, and keep up-to-date with the evolution. By pivoting from the break/fix method of IT support (in other words, waiting for something to break before contacting an IT support company), and outsourcing your business’ IT to managed service providers, you are able to access the specific skills and capabilities that come with your dedicated IT Support Team that help prevent things from breaking instead of waiting for them to break.
The flexibility of a managed service provider means you can scale up or scale down as needed. You can focus on running your business and leave any IT issues in the hands of experts. However, not all Managed IT Service Providers are created equal. As previously mentioned in our article ‘What You Need To Know Before Hiring A Managed Service Provider‘ – we’re here to guide you in making the right decision for your business when choosing which MSP to partner with. There are certain questions to ask – both internally within your organisation, and externally for any company you’re considering.
Ready to Scale? Here Are Some Questions to Ask your Business before Hiring an End-to-End Managed IT Service Provider
Before deciding to hire the services of a Managed IT Service provider, it’s important to understand what it is your business actually needs. Take the time first to ask yourself these 3 simple questions:
1. What Current Challenges is your Business Facing?
Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know. Bringing in an outsider to help figure out where there are gaps that can give a fresh perspective of what you haven’t previously considered. But, it’s also in the best interest of your business to take the time beforehand and recognise what some of your business challenges are. After all, you are the one who knows your business best!
Here’s some things to consider when looking at your current challenges:
- Are your staff as productive as they should be? If not – why? Do they have access to the right software and tools they need to do their job effectively? Are they able to collaborate easily on tasks?
- Are you spending too much on IT support (either in-house or externally), maintenance or repairs? By the way – ‘spending’ can refer to either time or money.
- Are you (or your clients) experiencing regular network downtime or inefficiencies?
- Is your business progressing as fast as it should? If not – why? Are there certain processes, operations, software/hardware holding you back?
- Is your business running compliantly? How are your customers (or even, potential clients) feeling about the security of their data held with you? A non-compliant business can turn out to be very costly – both financially and in reputation.
- Have you been experiencing any security threats or cyberattacks? Should anything go wrong, do you have a disaster recovery system in place, and how quickly can you restore data?
2. What are some Existing Factors that need to be considered before hiring a Melbourne Based Managed IT Service Provider?
Once you’ve identified your current challenges, there’s likely to be other considerations that can impact the level and type of work a Managed IT Service Provider can help you with. This helps to identify what it is your business needs, so you’re not paying for additional support you don’t actually need.
- Are you tired of the break/fix approach and are ready to hire local, managed IT support?
- Do you need 24-hour support, or just 9-5?
- What level of support does your staff need to operate effectively?
- Does your business operate in multiple locations?
- Is your business ready to transition to the cloud?
- Do you need assistance with communications and client interactions? This can include VoIP, data centre hosting, and in-house communications.
- Are you spending too much on hardware? Or do you need help consolidating and refining what hardware you actually need?
- How flexible is your organisation when it comes to staff movements? If need be, can your staff easily work from home or in remote locations? This is especially important to consider with recent COVID-19 developments.
3. What are the Growth Projections of your Business?
You wouldn’t set out on a holiday without first knowing where you’re going right? This is the difference between break/fix IT and a managed support service. Break/fix is like packing your bags before you know where you are going. So, before looking at hiring a Managed IT Service Provider, it’s good to have clarity and know where your business is heading. So what are your business goals for the year?
- Are you looking at hiring additional staff? If so, good onboarding processes will make their setup and productivity more efficient from the start.
- Are you looking to either relocate your premises, upsize, or perhaps expand into multiple locations? If so, then it would be a good idea to look at the best network configurations that are suitable for your expansion.
- Do you have any upcoming projects that will require specific IT support? The great thing about hiring a local MSP is that you can scale up or scale down your services when needed for specific projects.
Questions to Ask Your Managed Service Provider, Melbourne
Now that you have an idea of where you are going and what your business needs, it’s time to figure out how an MSP can best help your operations. No matter the size of your business, Managed IT Services are an asset when properly executed and are often more effective than the break/fix approach to IT. To avoid pitfalls, it’s a great idea to sit down with a potential MSP and get to know them better. To help with your interview process, we’ve rounded up some important questions to ask a potential Managed Service Provider.
1. What services do the Managed Service Provider offer?
As fast as technology changes, so do businesses. In choosing a Managed Service IT Provider, you have to make sure that they can adapt to change and growth. This determines whether their services can actually help your business move forward or not. The services that are provided by MSPs can differ from each other. Some offer full end-to-end solutions, whereas others may only offer a bespoke range of services. Services can include:
- Small Business IT Support
- Onsite or Remote IT Support
- 24/7 On Call IT Support
- Cloud Services
- Security Management
- Hardware & Software
- Voice & Internet
- Network Design
- IT Consulting
- Business IT Auditing
- End-to-End Managed Services
2. What are their core competencies?
When using the services of any MSP, it’s always important to know where their strengths are focused. Hiring a Managed IT Service Provider is no exception to this rule! Do their values and competencies align with yours? Are they able to effectively assist you as your business grows and evolves? Are they up-to-date with the latest technology? Or are you simply looking for exceptional customer service, a leader in cloud solutions, or perhaps the most affordable solution? Remember, the service provider’s competencies should match your individual business needs. It’s a good idea to ask for their accreditation, and certifications of their IT engineer. You could also talk to other local businesses that have used their services. Otherwise, check out testimonials left by other businesses in your industry that have used their services.
3. How will they contribute to your business’s efficiency?
If your business goal for 2021 is to grow and scale your business, then hiring a local, Melbourne based IT support service that specialises in small, medium and corporate businesses should be top of the list. Remember the goal of partnering with a Managed IT Service Provider – to provide your business with simplicity in its daily operations and help your business evolve with technology. A well-managed service provider should be able to identify material inefficiencies in your infrastructure and propose solutions to address these. They should be able to present more than a “we’ll fix it when it breaks” strategy. With a proactive approach, this can be done by identifying potential bottlenecks and suggesting opportunities for upgrades or improvement.
4. Can the Managed IT Service Provider reduce your business downtime?
Downtime experienced by businesses can lead to frustration, unproductive staff, and poor customer experience. A good Managed IT Service Provider should be able to provide you with robust solutions for IT and Network-related issues. Reduced downtime means greater accessibility. Instead of troubleshooting IT issues, your staff can now focus on the business’s core competencies, all while boosting productivity. Overworked staff can also take some tasks off their hands! Leave the IT-related concerns to the professionals, and you’ll be seeing an overwhelming increase in employee productivity. Managed services that we provide here at Discover IT, can do all of that for you.
5. Can a MSP reduce my Business Operating Costs?
Unwanted and untimely expenses can really hurt small to medium-sized businesses. A good Managed IT Service Provider can help your business expenses by addressing the following:
- Assess and update your hardware and software to something that your business actually needs.
- Providing IT support as needed, without the need for hiring additional full-time staff.
- Offer networking, cloud and/or communications solutions that help your staff and operations run at full capacity with little downtime.
Typically, MSPs offer up-front monthly billing so you only pay for what you need, and budgeting can be set at the beginning of each month.
6. How stable is your MSP business, and do you have experience in my industry?
Discover has been around for 20 years, which is the kind of security you want in a partner. When transitioning from 100% in-house services to hiring a Managed IT Service Provider isn’t just an investment in itself. It also means trusting them with handling your critical business processes. Although it’s great to support local businesses in your area, a start-up MSP business isn’t always the best equipped to serve your needs. Find out how long they have been in business, and what type of clients they have worked with in the past. You have to be able to gauge their performance by looking at their stability. Industry-specific knowledge isn’t always necessary, but make sure they’re able to transition you smoothly through your different business projects. Under performing can be a risk if they don’t have experience in your particular industry or business level.
7. Why Should My Business Move to the Cloud?
Transitioning to the cloud isn’t for everyone, but for most businesses these days it’s definitely something to consider. Moving to the cloud is a great way for your business to keep up-to-date with fast-paced innovations. When set up correctly, the Cloud can provide your business with ease-of-access, better insights, and greater security. With 20 years of experience, a Managed IT Service Provider such as Discover IT should be able to present your business with customised plans that include cloud-based solutions and smooth transitions.
8. Where is the Managed Service Provider located?
Discover IT is based in Melbourne and even though it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker if your Managed IT Service Provider isn’t based in the same location as you – it certainly helps! For example, if you’re based in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, having an MSP in the western suburbs (or even as far as Sydney or Brisbane) can slow down response times if they don’t have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening with your network or IT support in your local area.
Choosing an End-to-End Managed IT Service Provider in Melbourne
The answers provided to you from the list of questions above will give you a great insight into how a potential Managed IT Service Provider can help your business adapt and grow your daily operations. By getting to know the service provider, their values and their competencies, you will be able to gauge whether they will be a good fit for your business. At the end of the day, you both need to work closely as a team to gain the best outcomes for your business. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions (or any other that are relevant for you) – any MSP firm that is willing to take the time to answer will more likely be a better fit.
If you’re looking for a Managed IT Service Provider in Melbourne, why not start your interview process with Discover. Discover has been servicing businesses across the eastern suburbs of Melbourne for over 20 years. Our team of IT engineers are friendly and responsive, and are more than happy to spend the time to get to know your business better. For local or remote IT support, contact the team for an obligation-free chat today.
Discover – helping businesses go from ‘Reactive’ to ‘Proactive’ with end-to-end Managed IT Support Melbourne