Jun 13 2017

What’s Your Smartest Choice in an IT Service Provider? (Part 1)

startup-photosIn this four-part series, we will look at two options for small businesses seeking to support a key element of infrastructure: information technology (IT). What’s the smartest choice for an IT services provider for your business?

Paying for your IT services on a time-and-materials basis means you pay for exactly what services you need—no more and no less—with no long-term commitment required. With managed IT services, you sign a contract, typically for one year at a time, to receive—for a fixed monthly cost—as many services as are needed.

You may be wondering what the best choice is for your small business. Let’s look at each option in more detail. These days, the goal of most IT service providers is to get you into a contract, and for good reason, it appears. A contract supplies the IT service provider with a steady stream of income, even when your systems are running fine and the IT service provider doesn’t have to do much, if anything, for many months. This sounds like a good deal for the IT service provider, but what’s in it for you, the client?

Managed IT (service contract) providers tell you that they are “actively monitoring” your systems in order to spot problems and take action before you experience any downtime. The reality is, more often than not, you will know there is a problem before they do. For instance, if you get a virus, your computer generally will start behaving badly immediately; you don’t need the support people to tell you your computer is behaving badly. Another common source of failures is the hardware itself: hard drives, power supplies, motherboards, network switches, etc. These components almost never give any warning before failing. All the “active monitoring” in the world will not predict these failures.

Do you know what is most effective in preventing and solving computer problems? It’s not “active monitoring.” No, it’s simply good old-fashioned relationship building. Read part 2 of this discussion.