Managed hosting service: things to consider when signing a service contract

Web, internet and computers have become an essential component for operating any business successfully. The primary aim of adapting digital technology has no longer remain to reduce the operational cost, but also involves additional factors like breaking geographical and time barriers to make themselves available for 24/7. Depending on their business needs, budget and floor-space and organizations can either go for the in-house establishment of IT or pick an IT service provider to lease IT infrastructure. From the public, private, managed and dedicated services, service providers offer multiple options to suit diversified needs of their clients.

Irrespective of the type of hosting service you are using to run your website and company network and planning to upgrade existing IT system, managed hosting can be the best option. As it gives complete ownership rights not only on the data but also on the system hardware as well. Dedicated machines offer unmatched security and data privacy with dedicated machines for every single client. This is the perfect option for those who are already using dedicated services. Below I am sharing few of the mandatory features you must look for before signing the managed IT service contract.

Data security

Ask your vendor to display their security plan mentioning all the steps they are taking to ensure data protection of their clients. An efficient security involves everything from detection of intrusion with an action plan for prevention along with firewall settings and data encryption on file level. Reliable vendors clearly mention this information in a service contract with a brief description of how it is carried out.

Administration of infrastructure

Although all the hardware is installed within the work premises of the customer, standard service contracts should include routine server maintenance, network administration and data storage maintenance. Always check these points on a service contract to check whether the service you are choosing has included these basic network services for clients or not.

 Kind of support services

Depending on the geographical location of the IT service you have chosen, ask them about the kind of support services they are offering. Remote support is fine if you have service is cloud-based. However, don’t forget to check support hours. 24/7 remote support is most desirable. However, if 24/7 availability is not included, go for the same business hours and availability of weekend support if required. In contrast to remote support, help desk support is offered by local vendors. Considering your business needs you can also request support for beyond business hours.

Network monitoring

IT network is the complex set of devices, the internet, wires and ports, which is highly susceptible to lose its performance anytime. When picking a service provider, don’t forget to ensure that how will they monitor networks of remote users, virtual machines and mobile devices. A vendor must deliver complete coverage to all network aspects for their clients. A traditional network monitoring plan provides a complete set of services from prevention, detection of an issue with firewall settings and monitoring.

 Data backups

Backup security is another major factor you must check before signing the service contract. As you can see all the hardware and servers are installed within your work premises, you must confirm how and where your service provider is backing up your data? Whether their backup systems hosted in the public or private cloud? As your aim to adopt managed services is to increase security and privacy, don’t go for the vendor, which uses the public cloud for client backup. Backups must not create on shared systems, as they are created to tackle unexpected situations they must be fully secured.

 Disaster recovery plan

Managed IT service providers must offer strong location-dependent disaster recovery plan whose detail must be present in the service contract. Knowing how your system will keep working in disaster condition gives complete peace of mind. DRP information must be given in the service contract to ensure that business system will continue moving forward even after the disaster.

 Endnote: In addition to considering these basic points while accepting the managed hosting service contract, create the list of requirement to pick the best IT services executing maximum needs.

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