Outsourcing IT? Here are 5 things your vendor should do well

For many companies, especially those that are smaller, outsourcing IT makes a good deal of sense. Not only are managed IT services efficient and constantly available, hiring one will free up valuable time and resources for you to pursue other business goals. For many, it's significantly cheaper to hire an outsider than to have a full-time dedicated staff for computer related tasks. However, when you choose which business to go with, it's important to be savvy. 

Ask about their security measures. Both your data and your clients' data are important. Look for a company that is aware of industry best practices, and consistently adheres to all regulations regarding the integrity of your information. 

Communicate regularly. If you can't get in touch with your provider easily, they're not doing a good job. For your managed IT support, it's critical to work with a business that provides regular updates and is available to discuss your needs with you. 

Find an expert. The service you choose should have knowledge in a wide range of topics, from remote backup solutions to disaster recovery solutions. If a company has one singular, limited focus, it's unlikely to be able to help you in many situations. 

Consider the value of your time. This goes both ways. You don't want to waste time with extended outages where you're trying to find your service rep, but you also don't want to have to devote internal resources to fixing the problem. Instead, find a company that can keep your systems up and running so outages don't occur, and is available and willing to promptly fix any minor problems that pop up.