5 Considerations When Evaluating MSPs (Managed IT Services Providers)
To keep up with the ever changing technology landscape and reduce the risks of a data breach, many businesses large and small are outsourcing their IT to managed services providers (MSPs).
Selecting an MSP partner is a big decision and truly understanding the value you get when you’re selecting an MSP is critical.
Here are 5 key considerations when selecting your next IT provider:
- Strategic Guidance.
Your managed IT provider is not just a vendor, it’s a strategic partnership. Your MSP should have a deep understanding of your business goals, your challenges, and your key industry requirements. They should help you understand where you are today and what’s needed to get you to where you want to be tomorrow.
Every managed IT customer at ANP has a dedicated client CIO (Virtual CIO) who gets to know your business on an intimate level. He or she acts as an extension to your team to ensure clear communication at every stage.
At ANP we focus on building long-term relationship because we’re invested in your success. We will present to you a technology roadmap that aligns your budget with your technology decisions/goals, so that you have the confidence that your business is always on the right path.
- Cloud-First Approach.
Yes, there are several technology solutions out there that can get the job done. But in today’s modern world of IT, you need an MSP that is adaptable, one that is forward-thinking with a cloud-first approach.
If you find that your MSP is stuck in their old-school ways and recommending outdated on-premises hardware solutions with high upfront capital expenditures or pushing you towards a private cloud -- chances are they haven’t invested in critical cloud expertise and they’re making recommendations based on their business model, not yours.
If your MSP has not discussed path to get you to the cloud, then it’s probably wise to get a second opinion.
- Technical Expertise & Reputation.
Finding top talent in today’s market is the number one challenge for companies with an internal IT department. And when you have a small, overworked team, it’s extremely difficult to find the time for your staff to stay current on all areas of IT in addition to performing the tedious but critical backend duties. Giving your internal IT team access to a team of well-trained experts can help resolve problems quickly and effectively, and also train them in the future with best practices and knowledge of the most up to date technology.
Established IT outsourcing firms will have a deep bench of consultants with experts best suited for each job at hand. This means that less time is needed to troubleshoot any problems or complete and finalize projects, regardless of size.
Being on hold for hours for a simple fix can set your organization back days, weeks or even months so a great MSP will have the technical depth and breathe needed to solve your challenges quickly and efficiently.
- Managed Security.
Your data and reputation are the lifeblood of your business, and a security breach can have devastating impacts. An MSP provider is a safety net that should protect your organization because they work directly with your IT infrastructure – whether on-premises or in the cloud.
There are several key items that every MSP should be recommending for their clients, starting with cybersecurity insurance. Managed security services can provide is the peace of mind that comes with multiple layers of protection. Your MSP should have a solid plan to secure and backup your data to ensure your business never misses a beat or loses a dollar, even in the worst-case scenario.
From there you need an MSP that takes the preventative measures to keep your data and your systems secure, as your business evolves.
- Business Maturity.
There is nothing more frustrating than waiting weeks for tickets to be completed or having to constantly remind your outsourced IT support of the IT issues your organization is facing. This is where business maturity comes into to play.
A sophisticated MSP has structure in place to ensure predictable and consistent delivery of services across the board. A mature MSP is much more proactive with their service delivery, focusing on preventing problems from happening in the first place. Whereas an immature or unsophisticated MSP will be much more reactive or “Break-fix” approach and tend to work on time and material or hourly rates compared to a fixed monthly fee.
Having years of experience dealing with similar clients ensures that they understand the demands of your industry and can anticipate your needs and focus on prevention. Clear documentation, including onboarding plans and processes, minimizes deltas between clients and significantly reduces surprises or unexpected issues from rising.
A great MSP also offers more than just the essential services, but also offers scalable solutions which your company can add or remove as you grow and your needs change.
You depend on technology more than ever before. And with the shift to the cloud and growing cyber threats out there, you need a reliable and experienced partner to provide around-the-clock technical expertise to keep your systems secure and up and running at all times.
If you're unhappy with the level of service you're getting from your current MSP or would like to discuss what a partnership with ANP would look like, contact us at 215.572.0111 or sign up for our free IT Assessment. We would love to set up a quick call to get the conversation going today.