What to Look for in Managed IT Services in Long Island
Managing business technology has become increasingly complex over the last few decades. Modern businesses are heavily reliant on IT solutions to keep things operating smoothly—everything from managing employee schedules and HR, to supply chain management, to the point of sale (POS) terminals in brick-and-mortar stores all rely on software and consistent internet access to operate smoothly these days.
In fact, if payment systems were to experience a disruption, many companies would experience a severe drop in their revenue. Why? Because, as noted in a Federal Reserve study called The Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, debit cards accounted for 30% of all payments made by consumers in 2019, credit accounted for another 24% of payments, and various electronic payments accounted for 11% of payments. Cash was commonly used for smaller purchases (accounting for 26% of all purchases in the study), while checks only accounted for 5% of payments.
To put it in other words, if the IT systems driving a business’ payment solutions were to fail and they had to revert to manual payment processing of cash and checks, then the business would lose access to roughly 65% of its revenue until the problem was fixed—give or take a few percentage points depending on how many customers would have enough cash on hand (or a checkbook) as a secondary payment option to cover a transaction.
Businesses selling goods online are even more dependent on having stable IT access, since a website outage could prevent customers from making transactions entirely. This is where a managed service provider (MSP) can prove invaluable.
Why Use Managed IT Services in Long Island?
You might be wondering why you should look for managed services in New York or, more specifically, Long Island. There are a few reasons to outsource your IT management to a local company instead of going overseas or trying to go it alone:
Benefits of Outsourcing IT
There are numerous benefits for outsourcing your IT to a third-party vendor. Some of the most commonly-cited benefits include:
- Cost Savings on IT Staffing. Because recruiting internal IT team members can be expensive (experienced IT engineers with valuable skills can easily command six-figure salaries), and that only fills a single spot in the IT team. Hiring, training, and retaining a sizeable team of experts can quickly outpace nearly any small-to-midsize business’ IT budget.
- Instant Access to a Whole Team of IT Specialists with Diverse Skills. For the cost of hiring a single engineer, you can get access to an entire team of IT specialists with a diverse array of skills in different IT functions and software types. Instead of having to take on the time-consuming and expensive task of either finding the perfect IT person with all of the right skills (or hiring someone with basic competency and providing training over time), you can simply hire a third-party vendor who is much more likely to have one or more people with the exact skills you need. MSPs work with a variety of clients, so their IT staff are more likely to have developed the skills you need.
- Experienced Advice for Building Your IT Infrastructure. Another benefit of having access to a complete team of IT experts is that they can provide valuable insights for building your IT infrastructure. They may be able to recommend tools and solutions that you might not have interacted with before, but would be perfect for your needs. They can also help you cut the excess out of your IT infrastructure to remove needlessly redundant software solutions that eat up money on licensing without providing value.
These are just a few of the benefits of using an outsourced IT service of any stripe.
Benefits of Outsourcing to a Local IT Service Vendor
So, why go with an IT service vendor who’s local instead of offshoring your IT entirely? Some of the reasons why you may want to look for managed services in New York or other locales in the USA include:
- Ease of Communication. When working with an overseas IT vendor, there are two major obstacles to communication: differing time zones and the language barrier. It’s incredibly hard to arrange a meeting when 9:00 am in New York would be 9:00 pm in your vendor’s home country (such as would be the case for some Chinese companies). Additionally, miscommunications are more likely when working with someone who learned English as a second language and isn’t immersed in American culture—there are many colloquialisms, homophones, homonyms, and other cultural and language issues that can easily cause a major misinterpretation. Working with an American IT service management (ITSM) vendor removes the majority of the time, language, and cultural barriers that impede communication.
- Improved Speed of Response. Being in the same time zone as your IT vendor can have a huge impact on how quickly you can get a response to your service requests. For example, say you have a major change you want to make to your IT infrastructure. If you’re working with an overseas company in a different time zone, they might not get back to you until the next business day—assuming they see and reply to the message in a timely manner. With a local company, you could get on the line with your IT management team right away and get a quote the same day.
- Increased Ease of Mind. When working with an overseas IT service vendor, what are your assurances that they will honor all of their obligations? If a foreign vendor delivers subpar service, there isn’t much you can do to recoup any losses, since they’ll be under a different country’s legal jurisdiction. If you hire managed IT services from Long Island, New York, you’ll have the reassurance that the contract you sign will actually be enforceable to your benefit. This can provide some much-needed stability and ease of mind.
Many of the benefits of outsourcing your IT to a third party apply whether you go with an overseas vendor or one that you could literally visit in person with just a short drive from your own offices. While offshoring is often a bit cheaper than working with a local business, the communication and speed of response benefits alone can make working with a local business more than worth the cost difference.
What to Look for in a Managed Service Provider
What should you look for in a managed IT service in New York? Some of the things you’ll want to check for include:
- The Service Provider’s Team. Getting access to a dedicated team of experts is one of the biggest benefits of hiring a third party to manage your IT. So, it’s only natural to check the team that your vendor will be assigning to your account. Some things to check for include their certifications, level of experience, and how many technicians are being assigned to your account. Knowing who is working on your IT needs and what they can do can be incredibly important for determining if your needs will be met.
- Specific Services Provided. Check the list of managed IT services the MSP provides. Do they offer the specific service you need? Do they offer additional services that would help you improve your IT? Finding the right partner often includes verifying that they offer all of the services you need or fulfill one of your key IT objectives incredibly well. Cybersecurity services and managed helpdesk services are both highly valuable for a variety of businesses.
- Commitment to Rapid Communication. What’s the MSP’s service level agreement (SLA) for communicating with you? How often do they promise to send regular reports and how quickly will they reply to requests? Regular communication is vital for keeping you in the loop regarding the status of your IT infrastructure and any pressing needs that the vendor may have identified. Fast responses to your own inquiries help to demonstrate that the MSP is dedicated to meeting your needs in a timely manner.
- Industry Accolades/Awards. Has the MSP earned any major distinctions in the managed services industry? Be sure to check out their accolades and awards to see how they’ve managed to make a positive impression with other clients and IT industry organizations.
- Partner Organizations. Who does the MSP work with to deliver top-quality IT service? Checking out the partners that they have can help you learn what resources they have available and whether they can truly provide end-to-end solutions for your IT needs.
- Customer Reviews. What do other customers have to say about the service provider? Be sure to track down a few of the MSP’s other customers (both past and current) to see what they have to say about the services provided. This can be incredibly helpful for discovering how consistently the MSP can provide quality support. It’s especially helpful to find customers who have used the services you want the MSP to provide.
Why You Need to Vet Your MSP Before Signing a Service Contract
There are many things to check for when vetting an MSP. But, why should you go to all of this effort before signing a service contract with them? One of the biggest reasons is that you may not want to enter into a long-term agreement with an MSP who would provide subpar IT support and service.
By carefully vetting your chosen managed IT services provider, whether they’re some overseas company or a vendor located in New York, you can help to reduce the risk of getting stuck in a long-term contract with an MSP that isn’t meeting your goals (or worse, actively undermining your IT through sheer ineptitude or lack of work).
Be sure to track down a trusted and reliable managed IT service in New York so you can meet your own IT goals! Need help now? Reach out to Converged Technology Group today!