After you’ve reviewed the benefits of managed services and completed a careful evaluation to choose the right managed services provider, you’ll want to take steps to make the transition to managed services successful. Gather information about the following topics and be prepared to discuss it in detail with the managed services provider:
Current IT Infrastructure
In order to support your IT effectively, the managed services provider needs to know every detail of the technology you use. They’ll want to see a detailed inventory and diagrams of your network, servers, and desktop systems. They also need to know about the operating systems and applications you use, including version numbers. Don’t forget to include the IT technology you don’t manage directly, including any cloud services and “bring your own device” mobile technology.
Current IT Processes
It’s likely the managed services provider will change the way IT services are performed, but to make changes easier, they’ll want to understand how your team handles things now. Have documentation about the current processes for monitoring, provisioning, and patching IT infrastructure, as well as your backup and disaster recovery processes.
Providing the right technology solutions requires understanding business needs. Be ready to speak with your managed services provider about critical business processes, how your business is succeeding now, and the dreams and plans you have for future growth or new lines of business.
Managed services providers need to know what your priorities are so they can make sure they focus their efforts on the things that matter to you most. Have details about where you’re experiencing the biggest problems and feeling the most pain. If you’ve identified weaknesses and security vulnerabilities, share that information, too.
Along with knowing the current problems that are your current priorities, let your managed services provider know about your future priorities, too. Share your plans for changes in technology, such as increased use of the cloud. Let the provider know if you anticipate an increase in demand, either from more employees using more online systems or from a larger customer base. If you expect to change core business processes or increase collaboration with outside partners, share those details, too. All of this information will help the managed services provider make better decisions about your infrastructure.
Your managed services provider can’t succeed on their own. They’ll need information and support from your employees. Be sure you’ve identified a contact for day-to-day questions, as well as a more senior contact for periodic reviews to ensure you’re receiving the services and the quality you expected. It’s also a good idea to designate an employee for knowledge transfer from the provider, too.