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Finding IT: How to Pick the Right Managed IT Service

We’re all familiar with IT the clown, but the other IT can be just as scary if you don’t have the right personnel managing your business network and data. Click here to learn how to pick the right managed IT service for your business.

You know that you need help with your IT, but how do you choose the right service?

Managed IT services are not all created equal. You want a service that provides all of the essential maintenance of your network system. The right managed IT service will offer a turnkey

But first, to know what to look for, read up on the basics of what managed IT services offer. And check out our other resources for starting a business.

What is a Managed IT Service?

A managed IT service provider (MSP) is an all-in-one service for the management of hardware, software, and computer system maintenance. Managed IT providers take care of the security, optimization, and monitoring of your entire businesses computer network. Any device or workstation that is connected to the network is accessible by your managed IT service.

Your IT service provider will help with everything, from picking an internet provider and web host, to running system diagnostics and performing maintenance tasks.

The provider is, technically, a third-party contractor. If you hire on a full-time IT service they are considered in-house. Managed IT providers perform on-site maintenance, as well as remote maintenance and monitoring services.

IT Contractor Service Agreement

A service level agreement (SLA) between you and your MSP of choice, will dictate the responsibilities of your provider. The responsibility for keeping the server up and running is on the part of your IT service.

Almost all standard agreements will cover your businesses server, IT infrastructure, and network node management. Often, it will cover everything that connects to your network, from

commercial printers to cloud computing. All services provided by the MSP are presented clearly in your service agreement.

Once you both have signed on the dotted line, your contract is in effect. From this point on, your managed IT service receives a regular fee to install, maintain, and administer your businesses IT network.

Finding the Right Managed IT Service – 8 Key Features to Look For

The point of finding the right managed IT team is to enable your network to run seamlessly. That is not possible without some key service features. When you meet with prospective IT contractors, keep in mind these 10 features of the best MSPs…

1. Event Monitoring

An “event” is anything that takes place on your IT network. Your network includes any computer, wireless device, or workstation that is connected to your businesses shared server. Managed IT services offer event monitoring, to collect and analyze data concerning event occurrences.

By collecting and analyzing event occurrences, your IT service can maintain proper OS processes, human operations, and active database rules. This constant maintenance allows MSPs to quickly and efficiently identify and fix network issues when they arise.

2. Server Process Monitoring

Managed IT services also manage, monitor, and analyze social processes taking place on your network system. It will evaluate the state of a systems program and intervention processes by automatically aggregating network data.

3. Anti-Malware Installation and Security Maintenance

If your IT network is compromised by malware your business will suffer thousands of dollars in repairs and recovery. An essential feature of managed IT services is installing a good anti-malware program on your network. As well, as maintaining the integrity of your cyber security system-wide.

Many services will use different IT security software, so be scrupulous. The quality of your anti-malware program will determine the level of vulnerability of your system. Look for a service provider that uses Comodo One.

Steer clear of providers that use McAfee, as it uses an old and outdated blacklist of known viruses. Norton Antivirus is middle-of-the-road, but it doesn’t recognize some of the most recent malware.

Comodo uses a cloud-based whitelist of trusted web publishers and runs an automatic security test of any unknown entities.

If it passes, the web address is added to the whitelist. When Comodo finds a web address that does not pass the security test, it adds the entity to the cloud-based blacklist, which protects all users, immediately.

4. Operating System (OS) Installation, Updates, & Optimization

IT MSPs will always keep your OS up-to-date and optimized in order to stay safe from cyber threats. Updates and optimizations are performed across all network nodes, automatically. So, your system never has exposure from individual workstations.

Apart from security, OS optimization is essential to maintain the speed of your network. Too much-outdated clutter on your server will slow down the whole network. Managed IT service providers work to keep your OS clean and optimized.

5. Network Server Monitoring

IT service providers manage the integrity of a network across every workstation and node. This is performed by remote and onsite network server monitoring. This feature includes the removal of temporary files on the server and other server optimizations.

Your IT professionals actively monitor the state of your network server to detect irregularities and errors. They monitor individual workstations, as well, as occurrences across the network server.

6. Complete Data Backup & Monitoring

In the event of a cyber intrusion or hack, your network is vulnerable to ransomware and data corruption. The cost of recovery can be untenable for small businesses.

The right managed IT service will offer a complete backup and recovery plan for your network data.

If it were to be lost, stolen, or corrupted your MSP reinstalls the last backup that was performed.

Minimum data is lost, and your business continues day to day functions as normal.

The best services will store your backup data on a cloud server, or off-site server. So, in the event of a network breach, the intruder does not have access to the backed up data.

7. Asset Inventory

Your MSP should offer asset inventory management for your business.

This will catalog, analyze, and assess your network’s hardware and software in order to make planning and purchasing decisions to best manage projects. It assesses assets that are currently available, including tools, personnel, and schedules, to maximize the economic value of project decisions.

8. Onsite & Remote Services

Finally, your managed IT service provider should offer, both, on-site and remote services.

Be wary of any service that claims to provide everything remotely. Sometimes, maintenance must be performed from individual network nodes, such as computers, tablets, printers, etc. The best MSP providers will offer a wide range of remote services, as well as onsite maintenance when necessary.

Make the most of your network and learn more from the Computers Made Easy blog to learn how you can improve your businesses IT efficiency.

Making the Most of Your Provider

The right managed IT service will improve your efficiency and optimize your systems output. In turn, it enables the maximum profit from your income potential.

Look for a service that asks the right questions, and is happy to work in-house. Your IT service provider exists to take care of your network so that you can successfully run your business.

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