Managed IT Service Providers are invaluable partners in your strategic vision
As a business leader, the question of whether you fulfill your organization’s network support needs with an IT partner or an IT provider is not to be taken lightly. After all, the wellbeing of your entire business is at stake. Unfortunately, many companies in need of IT support don’t see the big picture of what’s at stake.
You wouldn’t leave the doors to your business open for thieves. Yet, that’s what many small to medium-sized businesses are doing when they don’t work with an IT partner.
What’s the difference between an IT provider and an IT partner?
To the uninitiated, an IT partner and IT provider may seem like the same thing—but they’re worlds apart. Here are a few differences between an IT provider and IT partner.
An IT partner is an advocate and consultant
Kris Kilgard is Director of Sales for Locknet Managed IT, a full-scale managed IT service provider. He says, unlike an IT provider, an IT partner serves as both a consultant and advocate. “We consider ourselves part of the team, and we work with our clients on aligning their technology with their strategic plan as a business. We help them with budgeting. And we help them make sound tech decisions, or non-decisions, when it doesn’t align with their strategy or their roadmap.”
That means an IT partner looks out for what’s best for you, and what works best for your unique strategic vision and goals.
An IT partner is proactive
When it comes to your IT environment, no one likes surprises. So an IT partner is proactive in their approach to your IT environment needs and the ever-evolving threats to your network security.
Meanwhile, an IT provider responds reactively to your organization’s needs, taking direction from you. That puts the pressure on you to have comprehensive understanding of technology, emerging threats and risks to your data. “Their time is better served on other initiatives at the company, than making technology decisions or staying up-to-date on the latest technology initiatives,” says Kilgard.
When you partner with an IT provider, such as Locknet Managed IT, you know you’re getting the expertise you need and the stability you want, with no disruptions to your business. That means they handle security risks, including security awareness training to mitigate the human risk, as well as the technological vulnerabilities.
“We don’t like surprises, and we know for a fact our clients don’t like surprises,” says Kilgard. “So we’re well out in front of everything, and that helps our clients’ budget and predict and plan.”
Anticipating needs. Seeing the big picture. Planning for the future. These are all essential parts of being an effective IT partner, and that means taking a proactive approach.
An IT partner is a critical vendor for your business
Clients rank Locknet Managed IT as the #1 or #2 most critical vendor for their business. Why? They understand what IT puts at stake in their business and know the value of a trusted IT partner.
“When someone is working with us and we’re fully managing their network, we are actively managing all areas of vulnerability,” explains Kilgard. “And because we do that, we’re taking on risk. Of course, it’s always been in your best interest, but now it’s also in our best interest that you remain safe. So, it’s very important that we stay current on emerging threats and ensure your business is protected.”
Underestimating those vulnerabilities, or trying to take on hackers alone, can come at a high cost. “As long as you have an internet connection, you are a target. It is scary,” says Kilgard.
“Many of our clients are heavily regulated and are given guidance on how to operate securely. However, non-regulated businesses are not exempt from attack and need a partner to help them stay ahead of the risk.” So, for small to medium-sized unregulated businesses, having a trusted IT partner is more important than ever. You know how to run your business and make money with your business, but having an IT partner can help you operate securely.
“For the owner who understands the value of their data and the need for cybersecurity expertise, we are a perfect fit” Kilgard explains.
Understanding the value of a trusted partner in IT
Investing long-term in an IT partner has many benefits over dialing in an IT provider only when needed. When you partner with someone like Locknet Managed IT, you get support that will help your business stay on track for your long-term strategic goals while also protecting valuable company data. Read up on how to choose a managed service provider on our blog.
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