Creative businesses rely on technology to deliver eye-catching, crowd-pleasing and game-changing services to their clients within industries such as film and television, media, architecture, and more. They also often have unique needs, such as specialised support for mac users, unique software, and the need for a high-performance IT infrastructure that can efficiently process large amounts of data.
From asset management and IT support for diverse applications and devices, to speedy support and empowering collaboration and workflows, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can make a game-changing difference for these businesses. In this piece, we will give you a checklist of qualities to look out for in an MSP for your creative business.
The Role of a Managed Service Provider
Managed service Providers (MSPs) are essential in today’s tech-driven business environment, offering comprehensive services that fundamentally enable creatives to do more using less time and resources, while remaining secure and compliant.
Here are some key responsibilities and tasks performed by MSPs:
- Data Backup and Disaster Recovery – MSPs design and execute thorough data backup and disaster recovery strategies for businesses, ensuring they can get back on the road quickly.
- IT Infrastructure Management – MSPs assume the responsibility of overseeing and managing an organisation’s IT infrastructure, including servers, networks, storage, and other hardware components; optimising them for better reliability, performance and security.
- Help Desk and User Support – MSPs deliver tailored help desk support and user assistance services dedicated to resolving IT challenges quickly, and at the level of root cause.
- Proactive monitoring and maintenance – MSPs utilise cutting-edge monitoring tools and techniques to proactively oversee and monitor clients’ systems and infrastructure to enhance their performance and security.
MSPs play a crucial role in allowing organisations to prioritise their core business objectives while ensuring the efficient and secure management of their IT infrastructure and systems.
The Benefits of Partnering with an Managed Service Provider (MSP) for Creative Businesses
There are many benefits for businesses operating in film, television, media, architecture and beyond:
- Hybrid IT environment support: A specialised service provider can support Windows and Mac users to get the best from the often diverse hardware and software they are operating with.
- Network Optimisation: Many creative businesses process large amounts of data to complete their work; coupled with a sub-optimally configured IT infrastructure, this can create bottlenecks in speed, workflow disconnects, and potential security vulnerabilities. MSPs can add value to each of these areas for creative businesses.
- Asset & License Management: Keeping track of physical and digital assets as well as licenses can be complex and time-consuming; an MSP can streamline asset and license management for creative agencies and help to automate management tasks.
- Minimise downtime & disruption: IT issues can block the creative flow and core-activities of creatives. An MSP is able to solve a range of IT challenges that are of a day-to-day and strategic nature for their clients, enabling them to do what they do best.
- Unique systems for unique businesses: Creative businesses are more likely to have a relatively unique IT environment which can present challenges such as a fragmented IT environment and less support that can meet these unique needs. With an MSP focusing on this sector, bespoke systems that provide oversight and more integration of their unique IT environment is possible.
These benefits and more, are some of the forms of value an MSP can offer. Businesses can ultimately save time and money on their IT with a proactive and strategic provider, as well as align their IT with their strategic vision for the future.
However, no two service providers are the same, the most important variable of all in MSP services, is the choice of service provider that a business makes. So, without further ado, here’s our list of top qualities to look for in an MSP!
Managed service Provider Checklist
Here is a comprehensive checklist of key factors to consider when choosing a Managed Service Provider. The more of these factors an MSP ticks, the higher the value multiplier will be for your creative agency.
Look out for a proactive MSP that offers proof of this approach in their SLAs, testimonials, case studies and actual technical support KPIs. The difference between a proactive MSP and a reactive one is that a proactive MSP will have a clear plan for your IT environment as well as demonstrate a strategic and forward-looking approach to your IT, that will support your future plans. They see SLAs as a minimal floor of service and will look to go beyond that for your business.
Remote and Onsite IT Support
Not all IT challenges can be resolved remotely, so ideally it is best to have an MSP that can field prompt onsite support for your business.
Fast Service & Response Time
A leading MSP should deliver fast and near-immediate service, establishing a strong relationship that encourages a sense of belonging and teamwork. In this way, an MSP becomes a true technology partner that your team can rely upon.
Third-party Vendor Partnerships
Creative businesses will tend to have a diversity of vendors that support their hardware and software. Check to ensure the vendor support and specialisms of a potential MSP closely aligns with the technology you are using in your business. At Rubicon IT for example, alongside Windows PC support, we support Mac users and can also bring these two operating systems into closer alignment.
Cyber Security Support
An MSP should be able to operate end-to-end cyber security services to your business to shield it from the growing number and sophistication of threats at play in the world today. Many creative businesses will be working with confidential information and will need to safeguard it, such as architects working with design plans and intellectual property, or film and media companies working with information protected under Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). In particular, this cyber security support should be able to wrap around the full stack of technology that your creative business is operating with.
Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity Support
Without a business continuity solution, businesses will find themselves at the mercy of the unexpected. Your MSP should ensure the continuous security and availability of your IT environment and be able to get it up and running quickly. They will be able to do so in a range of cases, such as hardware failure or due to a cyber breach. They should also collaborate with you to establish data and centre failover mechanisms for uninterrupted business continuity.
Clear and Well-Defined Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Whilst fast service and response times are crucial, a reputable MSP will support their offerings with a well-defined SLA. This SLA should outline guarantees and responsibilities for regular tasks and support, ensuring clarity and accountability. To get the best benefit from an MSP, ensure their SLAs are competitive alongside looking for a proactive approach to IT support that goes beyond them.
Many creative businesses will need to ensure they are compliantly using licenses and processing any sensitive data securely. These requirements may be licensing and trademark compliance, as well as more common requirements such as protecting data under the GDPR.
Here are some questions to consider when assessing MSP options in addition to the checklist:
- What proactive services are included?
- Do they provide IT Support services?
- Are local resources available for on-site support?
- What third-party vendor partnerships do they have?
- Does the MSP offer network, data and application monitoring?
- Do they have relevant working experience with similar infrastructure and applications?
- Does the MSP guarantee issue response times, resolution rates and uptime in the SLA?
- Do they showcase knowledge in compliance with any relevant regulatory frameworks?
- Do they have a dedicated team that specialises in cyber security support?
Creative businesses can leverage the power of technology through an MSP specialising in their sector to save time and money and to drive their strategy with technology. This can be achieved while empowering their cyber security and compliance efforts. Fundamentally, MSPs help creative businesses to achieve profitable growth while helping them to protect their reputation and integrity, using the power of technology.
We hope that this advice will prove invaluable in making an informed decision when selecting an MSP that best suits your business needs!
IT Support That Makes The Difference: Choose Rubicon IT
Elevate Your Business in with Exceptional IT Support from Rubicon IT
When it comes to IT support in Basingstoke, Bramley, and beyond, Rubicon IT stands as the foremost choice. We are at the forefront, dedicated to ensuring that your IT infrastructure in not only meets today’s demands but also paves the way for your future aspirations. Our commitment to providing cyber security, management and new technology solutions that can enhance your daily operations and align with your strategic objectives sets us apart as the go-to IT partner in Basingstoke.
We take immense pride in being your proactive, friendly IT support partners, always striving to craft tailored solutions that perfectly align with your unique needs and business goals. When you choose Rubicon IT for your Basingstoke-based IT needs, you can rest assured that your IT requirements are in capable hands. Ready to embark on this journey of IT excellence in? Reach out to us today, and we’re more than ready to assist you!