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Top 10 tips for selecting a managed services provider

Ilse AzuaraIlse Azuara

Technology is more complex. Less than 10% of companies report that their IT infrastructure is fully prepared to meet the demands of mobile, social, big data and cloud. Everyone’s looking to IT to create business value and innovation. But you’re short on resources. How do you pull that off? A cloud and managed services provider can help.
The right vendor should show you that it can provide skills, processes and resources that exceed your in-house capabilities. Does it have what it takes to help your business transform? To find the answer, look for 10 key criteria.

Before you choose, check. Make sure the managed services provider:

1.- Has deep skills and experience
A managed services provider should have skill levels related to delivery models and managing change, virtualization, high availability, middleware and databases, network technologies, cross-platform integration, mobility, security and of course, cloud technologies. Go beyond basic questions about certifications and headcount.

 

Managed services provider has deep skills and experience

 

2.- Uses the latest technology

Determine whether the services provider emphasizes problem prevention and continuous improvement. It should employ sophisticated back-end technology across all offered managed services.

 

3.- Follows industry best practices

A key to achieving a more reliable, highly available infrastructure is to optimize IT management. A provider should employ industry best practices and align with the ITIL approach to IT service management.

 

4.- Employs consistent processes
Your services provider should be willing to explain how it replicates policies and processes across multiple delivery centers. Also important is the means by which the vendor gives you visibility into the health of your infrastructure and the performance of your managed services.

 

5.- Supports multivendor environments and strong relationships
A truly vendor-neutral provider has proven experience working with multivendor environments—and relationships that help ensure availability and visibility into product evolution paths and emerging technologies.

 

Supports multivendor environments

 

6.- Delivers globally and locally
Global delivery capabilities offer many advantages, including:
• Rapid implementation in new locations
• Ability to effectively manage projects that span operations inmultiple countries
• Local-language support for branches or subsidiaries
• In-country location of resources and data to address regulatory and legal requirements

 

7.- Commits to service level agreements

A significant advantage of managed services is that responsibility for performance rests with the provider. Focus on what the provider delivers rather than how it performs the service.

 

8.- Offers a broad porfolio of options

You want the flexibility to add managed services without adding cost and complexity to your sourcing strategy. Look for a provider that offers options, such as pay-per-use, allowing you to scale to match requirements.

 

9.- Supports your transformation and business goals

Consider the impact sourcing relationships can have—not only on outcomes but also on your core business model and corporate culture. If innovation and transformation are critical components of your strategy, how can a managed services provider contribute?

 

10.- Is reliable—and can prove it
Financial stability is crucial. Today, a services provider’s length of time in the market is no longer a reliable predictor of future longevity. Research annual reports, financial statements and opinions offered by industry press and analysts.

 

Reference by IBM

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