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Convenience, cost-efficiency, fast response, and proactive support. The list of benefits that companies enjoy when hiring managed services providers goes on and on.
Since the demand is high, so is the supply. The variety of companies you can choose from is impressive. Should you settle for a remote provider or consider searching for a local option?
Let's go a little deeper into what managed services are and why local companies may be the right choice.
What Are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT services allow you to delegate your IT-related tasks to a team of experts outside your business instead of creating and managing an in-house IT department.
The type of technology services can vary from software updates, disaster recovery planning, cloud services, cyber-security services, help desk, and planning, and data backup to hardware management and printing—just to name a few!
Managed IT service providers work with large teams of professionals in numerous IT-related fields. You can either delegate all your information technology issues to the company or choose which services you need the most.
Even better, a managed IT team can work with you on establishing an IT or technology roadmap to take advantage of technology to support future growth. To learn more about what an IT roadmap is and how it can benefit your small business, read our article here.
Managed service providers can also offer 24/7 monitoring of your network to proactively catch and fix problems before they lead to downtime and data loss. While the cost of such services isn't always low, it's not as high as the salary you would need to pay for an “around-the-clock” in-house IT professional or team.
Advantages of a Local Managed Service Provider
While the majority of managed IT support can be done by remote monitoring and management, many companies prefer settling for a local provider for several reasons.
1. The Same Time Zone
When you work with an offshore provider, you may face substantial time differences. Even when companies claim that they work 24/7, or have a data center or helpdesk, the number of employees offering their services during nighttime is limited.
In case their off-hours overlap with your office hours, getting high-quality, quick support may be an issue. If you are planning to choose a remote provider, you have to pay special attention to time zones.
2. No Language Barrier
I think we can all agree that clear communication is the key to excellent collaboration. If you are working with a remote team from another country, you may face a language barrier. Even if specialists speak perfect English, the cultural difference may affect your interactions.
If you work with a local managed IT service provider, you don't have to worry about linguistic nuances hindering your communication. Make sure to check if your local provider uses local support.
3. Fast Response Time
Whether you need a company to quickly react to a cyberattack, infrastructure problem, or have an urgent printing task, you want a quick response time. More often than not, local managed service providers can offer IT solutions faster than their remote counterparts can.
Meanwhile, many disasters require the physical presence of IT specialists on-site. Some remote providers hire local companies to do the job for them. However, such subcontracting may mean you are getting lower-quality services—who can always react promptly.
4. In-Person Communication
Even though remote communication tools are becoming more and more sophisticated (especially with 5G technologies becoming available), they can't replace in-person communication.
Just like a picture, a gesture is sometimes worth a thousand words. It's always easier to communicate directly rather than call, text, or even arrange a video conference.
5. On-Site Insights
While the majority of your IT-related matters can be monitored from another location, some can't be noticed unless a person is physically present. One IT professional walking around the office is likely to notice something a large team of experts can't pinpoint from a remote location.
Since one of the significant benefits of hiring managed IT service is proactive maintenance and support; such in-person supervision is highly valuable.
Learn more about proactive IT maintenance and monitoring by reading our article, Proactive Network Monitoring Helps With Data Security.
6. Rewarding Relationships
Building a rewarding relationship with your managed IT service provider is essential for the future of your company.
If the team understands your needs clearly and takes the well-being of your business to heart, you can expect impressive results. This is the kind of dedication your business, employees, and customers deserve.
7. Vendor Partnerships
If your managed service provider helps with equipment, a local company is likely to have better relationships with vendors.
The same way language, time zones, and other communication barriers can get in the way of your collaboration with an IT company, they can undermine its relationships with vendors.
8. On-Site Problem Solving
If you need a managed service provider to assist with in-office IT problem solving, it's vital to have a specialist present on-site. Sometimes, it's impossible to deal with the simplest issue remotely.
For example, when something suddenly stops working, it may be because of an improperly connected cable. Before a remote IT specialist figures this out, you may have to go through many unnecessary steps to eliminate other possible causes.
Meanwhile, a local provider can send a specialist to solve the problem on-site immediately.
9. Simpler Choice
Choosing a managed IT service company requires a lot of research and communication. It's much easier to get all the questions answered and narrow down your choice if you can visit a local office and have an in-person interview.
Interviewing a company remotely is always less productive than doing it in-person. Such communication can cut the time you spend looking for a managed service provider substantially.
10. Peace of Mind
Even though remote assistance has become an integral part of many collaborations, most business owners feel safer knowing that help isn't far away.
It's easier to have peace of mind about IT-related issues your company faces when you know that an expert can arrive on-site within hours.
Final Thoughts in Managed IT Providers Near You
You and your employees should reap the benefits of clear communication, fast response times, in-person assistance, and rewarding collaboration. Finding a great managed IT services provider near you is an excellent way to ensure the success of your business.
While remote support for managed IT services is highly popular today; local companies are often a better choice.
To learn more about your IT infrastructure, the benefits of managed IT services, or anything else IT-related, check out our Ultimate IT Resources page. We’re not just an office technology company, we’re a company that cares about your business needs and goals. We’re here to give you peace of mind to help you win more business.