Managed IT services are an ideal fit for many modern businesses. With IT budgets in flux due to the coronavirus pandemic, hiring a managed IT company brings a lot of peace of mind: you have a regular predictable cost and a set of services that you can rely on. Yet how can you choose the best managed IT services in Los Angeles and guarantee a noteworthy and positive impact on your business?
There are many different factors that you need to consider when choosing between different IT services companies, and each company will do its level best to sell you on their particular array of services.
In this guide, we’re going to cut through the technical jargon that pervades the world of IT to offer you a usable checklist of what you need to look for in an IT company.
Are you ready to find out how to choose the best IT support in Los Angeles? Then read on!
Find an IT Support Company That Knows Your Industry
No two industries have exactly the same security concerns. If, for instance, your business is part of the healthcare industry, you need to contend with the stringent HIPAA regulations. If you’re in the world of finance, downtime can be truly disastrous.
When you do a search for “IT services near me,” don’t simply go with the first company that comes up. Check their experience and see which other companies they have worked with, especially companies that are in the same industry as you.
If you are curious about the company’s experience and their website isn’t much help, you can always schedule a consultation with the company. In the consultation, you can ask them direct questions about their experience, including about their knowledge of industry-specific threats.
The company needs to be able to develop a specific strategy that is tailored to both your company and its industry. Without the right security measures, the right support, or the right infrastructure, your business won’t be able to grow as efficiently, so find a company that will work with you to create a custom solution.
The first consideration that you need to make, when it comes to price, is whether or not the company will fit your budget. A managed IT services company has the potential to replace your existing IT department, but if this is the case, are you getting a better deal from the managed IT support company?
Compare the services that they offer against those that you’re currently working on in-house, then look at how much your bill will be for these services. Are you getting more services for the same price or a slightly increased price, and are you willing to spend that much? If you want to cut costs, what packages do they offer that will be lower than your in-house IT?
You should also take a look at how the company charges for their services. If they charge per hour, you should think about using another company: one of the joys of using a managed IT support company is the predictability. It should cost the same amount of money every month.
Are They Available at All Times?
Your company likely doesn’t work every hour of the day, but that doesn’t mean that your IT support company shouldn’t. Downtime is expensive and you can’t afford to have your business go down at any time of the day. Customers always need to be able to access your company’s website and resources.
Your IT support company should always have people working and monitoring your business. This way, no matter what happens, you can fix it faster. Take a malware infection for instance: removing the malware fast means less lost productivity, which means higher profits.
Your business depends upon this support. They need to be available all day, every single day of the year.
What Services Do They Offer?
When perusing between different companies offering IT Services in Los Angeles, you’re going to notice that some offer services that others do not. In some cases, these services will be a must-have for your business.
For instance, while every business needs protection from malware, you may also want to invest in disaster recovery. This particular service aims to limit the impact that disasters, both natural and man-made, will have on your business. They’re all about business continuity, maintaining uptime, and protecting both your business and its employees.
If a lot of your employees telecommute, then you may wish to find a managed IT Services in Los Angeles company that will design and implement a VPN for your business. This type of connection creates an encrypted tunnel between your employee’s computer and the computers at your company, which keeps your data secure. This can protect your company from man-in-the-middle attacks and data breaches.
Think of the particular services that your business needs, as well as those that may be useful in the future. Find a company that offers as many of these as possible.
Are They Curious About Your Company?
In a consultation, you shouldn’t be the only one asking questions. Just like in a job interview, there should be some back and forth, and any good managed services provider should be interested in your company.
If they’re going to work well with your company, they need to know a lot about it, right down to granular details. This kind of curiosity is essential: they should know the right types of questions to ask that will result in a tailored solution for your company.
If you feel that you’re the only one asking questions, they may want to offer you an off-the-shelf solution that won’t be able to effectively serve your business.
Are They Good Communicators?
One essential skill for any MSP is clear communication. No matter what your experience level is, your company is full of people who have no practical experience in IT. If they get bombarded with complex language and explanations that cause more issues than they solve, they’re not going to be receptive to working with them.
You can use your consultation and any emails or telephone calls to gauge their communication style. A great managed IT Services in Los Angeles will be able to explain difficult concepts in non-technical terms so that any of your employees could understand what’s going on.
They will also be able to relay instructions to your staff in a friendly manner, which will make them a pleasure to work with. If any of their staff seem poor communicators, rude, or a combination of both, then you should look elsewhere for your IT support.
Do They Outsource Any of Their Services?
The more companies that are involved in your IT support, the more needlessly complex things become. If the company outsources their support to yet another company, this should ring alarm bells.
Instead of clear communication with the MSP, you’ll need to speak to another company through them, which will complicate matters. They will also need to take any instructions that you’ve given them and pass them on to the outsourced company. This could compromise any solutions that you’re looking for, as there is a risk of particular elements of the solution getting lost in translation.
This will also make your IT weaker, potentially. Let’s look at one possible scenario: perhaps a security hole has been discovered in some software that you use, and you need to update the software right away. If your security support has been outsourced, these instructions will need to come from that company, to your MSP, to you.
You need to be able to look your technicians and support staff in the eye. If you can’t do that, then find another company to help you.
How Will They Be Held Accountable?
If you’re looking for IT consulting in Los Angeles, it’s because you need to find a company that will have a big impact on your own. Yet if you can’t hold the company accountable, you’re simply throwing money away.
When you sign a contract with the company, make sure that they can be held accountable if you don’t see the improvements that they promise. If, for instance, they say that they will be able to improve your network speed and security and this doesn’t materialize, then you should have the right to leave and find someone else to work with.
They should also have some form of liability should your company suffer due to their negligence or incompetence. For instance, if they have implemented a security solution for your business but don’t keep it updated, leading to a malware infection, you should not be the one on the hook for any issues that this has caused.
Make sure that the company takes your security and your IT as seriously as you do. Ensure that they will work as hard as necessary to keep you safe, secure, and productive.
Are They Proactive?
Reactive IT support isn’t good enough anymore. This kind of IT support only kicks into action when there’s a problem, waiting until things have gotten bad before attempting to solve the key issue.
The problem with this is that your problem could already be too severe to deal with easily by this point, and it could have already done serious damage. Let’s look at just one common problem that companies need to deal with: ransomware.
A reactive approach to ransomware would mean waiting until your files have been encrypted and you’re being asked to pay the ransom before you deal with this insidious type of malware. If, for any reason, you don’t have backups, you have two choices: pay the ransom (which has tripled in recent years) and potentially get your files back, or lose all of your files.
This is not a pleasant situation to find yourself in. Let’s rewind, and consider what the proactive solution would look like.
A proactive approach to dealing with ransomware would involve making it as hard as possible for malware to infect your computers by utilizing strong security software, employee training, and the right network infrastructure. With this kind of approach, you’re far less likely to get an infection in the first place.
It’s clear to see which approach is better, and proactive IT support isn’t limited to malware, either. You need proactive IT support to keep downtime to a minimum, ensure strong and secure connections, and to make regular backups.
If the company is more focused on reactive IT support, they are not the right company for you.
Find Out What Previous Customers Have to Say
You can tell a lot about a company by what their previous customers have to say. While the testimonials page on a managed IT company’s website is a good place to start, it’s worth bearing in mind that these have been cherry-picked by the company in question.
If you want to get an unbiased look at the company, you could consider asking the company for references that you can speak to. Ask them about any pain points that they experienced, what was good about working with the company, and if they’d use them again.
Another good place to look for unbiased reviews is on Google. Take a look at the reviews that come up when you search for the business’ name. Are they good or bad?
Finding the Best IT Services in Los Angeles
Finding the right IT services in Los Angeles for your company can seem like a difficult task. However, if you use the tips that we’ve given you, you should be able to find a strong IT support company that’s within your budget.
At Bestructured, we work with companies of all sizes in a large variety of industries. We offer world-class IT support and a wide selection of services that could all be of benefit for your business.
If you’d like to speak to us and arrange a consultation, you can contact us here. Alternatively, you could call us on 323-331-9452.