Before embarking on a search for a managed service provider (MSP), you should first understand why you need a managed service provider and how a managed service provider help your business.

A managed service provider (MSP) remotely cares for your IT infrastructure. The service scope may include data storage, security, maintenance of equipment such as printers, network monitoring, installation of hardware and software, upgrading, cloud management, training of staff, routine administrative functions and many other aspects of technology. The service may be comprehensive or limited to designated areas of IT, depending on the needs of the client.

Here are some key tips to consider when selecting a company that offers managed IT services:

1. Qualifications

Some of the key points to determine a company’s qualification is the level of expertise of its employees. The software engineers they employ should be certified in various specializations. It is also helpful also to determine the track record and experience of the company. Have they been in the business for decades? Reading available customer testimonials or searching the web for customer reviews will also add to their credibility.

2. Predictability of Service

Day-to-day operations often run without a hitch, but as an outsourcing client, you need to be assured that the service provider will attend to you during a crisis. Does the company operate 24/7 365 days a year? How do they handle service interruptions during power outages, extensive hacks or natural disasters? Will they formulate a disaster recovery plan for your company? These are questions that must be addressed by the MSP.

3. Government and Industry Compliance

Verify that the company is familiar with and follows government regulations and industry standards, to ensure that they follow best practices. Comb through their service level agreements to determine if they are at par or have reasonable warranties and compensation policies, if they implement a company code of ethics that employees follow, and if they have set procedures for a variety of emergencies.

4. Flexibility

Each business is unique, and MSPs must be willing to reasonably bend over to meet a client’s needs. How willing is the service provider to meet your needs? Do their strict protocols restrict them from accessing your solutions and serving you to their best ability?

5. Future Growth

A recent study revealed that shows that 53% of companies with limited IT resources are significantly slowing down their digital transformation efforts, according to TechRadar. Is this the case with your service provider? Over years of working together with your chosen service provider, they will be familiar with all aspects of your network. As you grow, you will need to depend on them to similarly scale their capabilities to meet your company’s requirements. Can you depend on your service provider to grow with your business? Are they willing to gain the expertise you will need to stay relevant?

6. Just the Right Size

MSPs operate at different sizes. To choose the right MSP for your business, you will need to first assess your organization’s needs to ensure that whatever the size of the provider, they will be able to address your needs.

  • Addressing a Contained Issue

The single specialist is the most economical to solve a specific issue for your IT department. If you have competent staff in-house, you may only need emergency assistance from an MSP several times a year.

  • Overall Management for a Midsized Business

Boutique-size MSPs with 10 employees are able to manage more aspects of your network. You can still expect a more personalized approach. While the cost will be higher, having the peace of mind that your IT department will function in times of a crisis is worth the extra investment. Protecting your firm’s information and reputation should be a high priority.

  • The National Firm

If your business extends over several locations, you may need the services of a larger firm. This type of firm will have systems in place to deal with a variety of issues. However, the personal touch firm could be lost.

  • In-house Development

If your firm has thousands of employees, it may be worthwhile to develop expertise in-house while retaining a connection with expert external firms to handle emergencies or data breaches.

7. Risk Management Assessment

Each industry has unique operational components. Likewise, MSPs have their own service niches. Some specialize in servicing health or financial industries, while others focus on transportation and communications. The larger MSPs have enough manpower, knowledge, and capability to serve all industries. Determining your risk factors will help control your costs.

A thorough investigation of an MSP will cover every aspect included in this outline of a guide on choosing a managed service provider. Connect with the MSPs of your choice, but make sure their staff are willing to address your queries in detail. Only then will you be confident that you are selecting the best MSP for your situation.

Are you searching for the right managed service provider? Send us an email to learn how we can support your business.

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