Your IT department has a lot to manage. Every day, they juggle an insurmountable list of responsibilities beyond their expertise and bandwidth. Organizations are increasingly turning to managed services to fill the gaps and take their digital strategy to the next level.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 7 assets to look for in a managed services partnership to maximize the benefits.

7 Qualities to Look for in a Managed Services Provider

1. High Availability & Guaranteed Response Time

Your business may not be running at full capacity 24/7/365, but your network and security need to. Your managed services provider shouldn’t just offer an on-call team. You need a team dedicated to your organization with support available all day, every day.

Still, constant availability doesn’t guarantee fast service. When your network has a problem, your managed services team should be able to respond quickly. Make sure your provider won’t forward your calls to a call center but will give you direct service.

Fast response time also extends to employee support. Productivity goes out the window if your employees endure long waiting periods to resolve their technical issues. Ensure your selected provider has the expertise and bandwidth to answer questions without delay. Your provider should also have the knowledge to educate your team(s) as needed and remote access to resolve issues even faster.

2. Technical Expertise

Facing a shortage of knowledge workers? You aren’t alone. Gartner’s 2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap Survey revealed that IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, compared to 4% in 2020. For many organizations, this shortage limits their ability to implement new solutions and chase their digital transformation goals. Fortunately, with the right managed services partner, you can easily gain access to the expertise you need.

Technical expertise is a critical asset of a managed services provider. Look for a provider with comprehensive knowledge and experience with your business’ technologies. At Naviant, our Managed Services team offers a vast pool of resources who specialized in specific technologies. In addition, these IT professionals maintain certifications in the products they support and stay current on the latest updates.

3. Flexibility & Scalability

While your managed services provider should be the experts, you shouldn’t be pressured into doing everything their way. Managed services shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all service. Your provider should listen to you and adapt to provide the support you need.

At Naviant, our Managed Services team understands and appreciates that each company has unique, ever-changing goals and needs. What works for one organization won’t necessarily work for another. That’s why we offer flexible plan offerings and embrace the opportunity to pivot as your organization’s needs and goals change. We support the full spectrum of service needs, including:

  • Operate – Covering full IT operations to keep the lights on
  • Assist – Filling vacant positions temporarily or permanently with experienced IT professionals, especially amid the Great Resignation
  • Enhance – Helping you implement enhancement requests to increase your solution’s value
  • Expand – Providing 1-on-1 meetings with our Consulting teams to design and implement new solutions or expand current technology

4. Annual IT Budget Planning

Your managed services provider should be a forward-thinking partner that helps your company grow and evolve. An excellent provider should offer regular advice in your annual IT budget and future technology planning. This way, they can use their expertise to help you optimize your solutions and discover opportunities for savings. After all, in a managed services partnership, your business’ success is your provider’s success, too.

5. Disaster Recovery Planning

We hope your business never has to face a natural disaster, vandalism, security breach, or other outages, but it’s critical to be prepared. Look for a managed services provider that will help you plan, take preventative measures, and ensure that your business can recover from potential disaster.

6. Commitment

You need a managed services provider that’s committed to delivering a high level of tailored service. This dedication goes beyond the provider meeting the written commitments detailed on your service level agreement. Rather, it’s the kind of devotion that’s expressed through collaborative actions like:

  • Cultivating a deep understanding of your industry and unique business
  • Assigning specialized resources that are fully committed to your business’ success as if they were your own employees
  • Meeting with you regularly to review your current level of service for opportunities to decrease or increase services as needed
  • Proactively monitor your systems and processes in search of ways to optimize them or reduce costs, as experienced by a current Naviant managed services customer:

“Previously, we had a full time Records Technician position that dedicated about 75% of her time to manually importing and scanning documents for OnBase. With the DRIP Process implemented [by our Managed Services Team] for our large volume documents, there is not a need to hire a Records Technician to replace the one we had.” – Current Naviant Managed Services Customer, Leader at Tribal Nation

7. Proactive Maintenance, Security Testing & Monitoring

For many busy, growing companies, the tendency to only address technical issues when things go awry is too common. Neglecting maintenance can lead to downtime, outages, and even security breaches. An excellent managed services provider ensures that you have a team dedicated to constant improvements, security testing, attack monitoring, and updates. This proactive approach means you can avoid problems down the road without having to reallocate internal resources.

Get Back to Your Core Business

Your managed services provider’s role should go beyond providing a cookie-cutter array of IT services. As a current Naviant customer says below, it should be a partnership of “determination and collaboration.”

“As you know the Content Services team is working with Naviant on working down our ticket queues. The team recently hit an all-time low on open Incidents tickets at 10! In August this was as high as 50 and there were probably another 20 that were being handled in email that weren’t being tracked. Now everything is in ServiceNow and you can see the trend line downwards. This is a great example of determination and collaboration, everyone on the team has done a great job. This is allowing us to now shift our focus on our backlog of Request tickets which is the next area of opportunity…” – Current Naviant Managed Services Customer, Vice President of Automation at Fortune 500 Organization

The right managed services partnership allows you to create your ideal blend of people, optimized processes, and expertly managed tools. And with the perfect balance of the three, you can meet your evolving needs and business goals and focus on what you do best – your core business.

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About Kara

As a Naviant Content Writer since 2019, Kara is passionate about helping organizations unleash the power of technology to solve their business challenges. In her weekly articles, Kara breaks down the latest research, trends, and tips in the digital transformation world, specializing in intelligent automation, the cloud, AP & HR automation, artificial intelligence, change management, and more. She is also a Copywriter for the American Marketing Association-Madison, where she contributes bimonthly articles that interview industry experts and highlight the latest marketing trends. When she’s not writing, Kara is working on her latest art project, scoping out new music, or out for a run.