Detroit Managed Services Providers: What Should You Look For?
Technology is essential to the operations of nearly every small business. SMBs have dozens of responsibilities on their plates – and managing their own IT can be an added challenge that distracts from more important business goals.
The good news is that small businesses can reduce the stress of IT burdens from their internal operations by hiring a managed services provider (MSP).
A managed services provider gives a company access to skilled IT technicians that aren’t in-house. These experts are dedicated to assisting with onboarding new employees, resolving technological issues, and defending against online threats. In short, hiring an MSP is like outsourcing your most vital IT needs to a team of professionals on standby.
Detroit, Michigan is the second leading city in the Midwest when it comes to startup funding, and there are no signs of business growth slowing down in the area.
The only problem? Many of these local startups aren’t prepared to properly handle their IT needs – especially when it comes to security. Because of this, there is an abundance of small businesses in Detroit that could benefit from partnering with a managed services provider.
Choosing the right IT provider can be a challenge, though, even in a big city like Detroit with many options. That’s why we wanted to write this article and provide a little help for businesses in need of IT guidance.
Here are some of the top things to look for when you’re on the hunt for a technology MSP.
1. Prioritization of Your Long-Term Success
Most small businesses neglect IT support. In fact, around 54% of small businesses lack any plan to prevent cyberattacks, and many others fail to even make regular updates to their devices and software.
Some small businesses will hire an underqualified in-house IT department, hoping that will suffice. They might even assign a few of their employees to handle IT concerns – but they won’t splurge on real IT experts.
These employees are typically equipped to handle minor technology issues, but they are not prepared for large-scale crises or dozens of simultaneous complaints.
If you’re a small business, you need to hire IT experts that can handle system updates, network management, disaster recovery planning, vendor management, etc. In the long run, spending the money to work with real IT professionals at an MSP will save you money. You’ll face fewer technology problems and put less pressure on your employees.
That’s why you need to look for a managed services provider that is thinking long-term, just like you.
We highly recommend partnering with an MSP team that will:
- Stay with your company for years to come.
- Work hard to learn your company’s big goals and dreams.
- Offer flexible, scalable packages that will help you grow.
- Take your budget into account and never overspend.
The goal of working with an MSP is to do more than just slap Band-Aids on your IT problems. You want a partner that will continuously find new strategies, tools, software, and tactics to keep your business growing.
2. Remote Services
Outsourced IT experts can help you from anywhere at any time. Additionally, they will help your business become more remote.
In-person meetings and communications are becoming increasingly less important in our global workspace. At the same time, online communication is becoming more engaging and essential for most businesses.
How do you start becoming more remote-friendly?
Look for an MSP that prioritizes internal communication strategies – a vital part of any productive remote workflow. Additionally, find an IT provider that equips you with the best online platforms for remotely organizing and assigning projects to employees.
You want an MSP that is always looking for newer, better technology that will help you collaborate more effectively. Be on the hunt for an IT provider that will continuously help you adapt to remote requirements and expectations – both from customers and employees.
3. A Team of Varied Experts
One of the biggest benefits of working with a managed services provider is being able to access a range of IT experts for an affordable price – as opposed to hiring them in-house. These IT experts will set your business up with proper infrastructure and are available 24/7 to resolve any IT disruptions your business may encounter.
It’s easy for small businesses to overlook IT improvements and security – they have many other responsibilities to focus on. However, cyberattacks and IT failures can happen to any business, no matter its size or industry.
Hiring a managed services provider doesn’t just get you quick help – it gets you to help from experts who have different backgrounds and advanced skills. No matter what kind of problems you face, you’ll have experts on your side that can help you overcome them.
4. Proven Track Record and References
Deciding which Detroit-based managed services provider to hire for your company requires careful consideration and research. There are plenty of MSPs that provide poor service to customers.
That’s why it’s so important to closely evaluate what kinds of records and references each MSP has. You want an IT provider that has skins on the wall – proof that they’re worth trusting.
A quality MSP will have their reviews and testimonials from past clients available on their website or by request. The more up-front an MSP is with its reviews, the better. If the company refuses to share any customer reviews and testimonials with potential clients, that’s a red flag. There should be nothing to hide.
Another thing to check with a Detroit managed services provider is its credentials. A reputable MSP will be open to sharing these with potential clients. Accreditations, certifications, and other credentials will give you an idea of their training and knowledge in cybersecurity, as well as industry-related expertise.
Some other questions to help you determine an MSP’s trustworthiness include:
- Do you have experience with other businesses like mine?
- Do you have any certifications or qualities that set you apart from other MSPs?
- What size businesses do you typically service?
5. Familiarity with Your Specific Industry
When searching for a managed services provider, you should try to find one that has experience working with other companies in your industry. Any MSP can learn about your business, but when you hire one that already has experience working within your field, you will get better service and advice right off the bat.
For example, the medical field has strict data regulations. Therefore, they legally require that organizations obtain certain credentials before they can handle patient information and other important data.
If you have similarly specialized needs or sensitive information to deal with, you’ll want an IT company that’s well-versed in your field.
A managed services provider that is familiar with your industry will also be able to recommend the best tools and technology to support your business. These tools and technologies can improve your workflow, processes, and internal communication.
6. 24/7 IT Support
Cyberattacks and system failures can occur at any time on any day of the year. A severe IT issue can lead to prolonged online operational downtime, potential loss of sales, and costly recovery.
With 24/7 support, however, any IT issue that a business encounters will be addressed and resolved in a timely manner. It becomes less likely for an IT issue or cyberattack to cause significant harm when a team of experts can quickly resolve the issue.
An added benefit to outsourcing with a local managed services provider in Detroit is that they are more accessible than national or global MSPs. Local IT support is in the same time zone as your business, familiar with common IT threats in the area, and able to send help onsite to resolve an issue when needed.
7. Disaster Recovery Plans and Data Backups
Managed services providers focus on both the digital and natural threats that can harm your business systems. Most offer disaster recovery plans to protect your data in the event of a natural disaster, such as a fire or flood.
With this service, a team of IT experts will create a cloud-based storage system for your data, so it will be recovered if your servers crash or are left permanently damaged.
Other Security Services that Could Benefit Your Business:
- Anti-Virus Protection
- Content Filtering
- Quick Response Time to IT issues
- Routine Maintenance of Firewall Configuration
- Secure Remote Access
- Security Compliance
- Traffic Optimization
Detroit businesses can benefit immensely from outsourcing their IT services to a local managed services provider. MSPs allow more time for businesses to focus on what really matters – long-term growth and success.
Managed IT providers remove the stress and anxiety that small businesses face when trying to maintain and protect their technologies on their own. Want more tips on choosing a great managed services provider in Detroit, Michigan? Let us know.
I’m Dave Goodenough. I started InsideOut Networking in 2004 with the idea that if we could cut through all the jargon and tech speak and just have real conversations about computers and technology, we could help a lot of people out and develop long-term relationships with our clients.
Today, we have over 2,500 clients who trust us to make sure their computers are always up to date and protected from security threats, allowing them to do exactly what they need. If you’d like to find out if we can help your business, please contact us today.