5 Questions to Ask When Evaluating IT Managed Services Providers
Almost every business looks for ways to address vital IT needs, without adding to its overhead costs. That’s where tapping into an IT managed services provider (MSP) can help accomplish both goals. You know there are hundreds of managed services providers, promising you the moon. Also, every consulting firm, technology reseller, and consultancy is talking up IT managed services. So how do you pick the MSP that’s right for you? Here are five key considerations.
1. What’s the history of the MSP?
Was its business previously focused on reselling and installing IT hardware solutions, but is it now transforming into a MSP to take advantage of this growing trend? It’s important to make sure that the company you hire has an IT services pedigree with a track record of solid client retention and knowledgeable consultants – experts who understands what it takes to keep your business up and running and offers a predictable IT spend model.
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2. Does the MSP have its own command center?
Some of the most valuable IT managed services offerings include backend data security and proactively updating security patches, being responsive to market demands, scheduled maintenance, network monitoring and reporting and helpdesk support. The best way for a MSP to deliver on these capabilities is to have its own network operation center or NOC.
3. What’s the MSPs relationship with the back-end solution provider?
A good MSP will have direct access to hardware and software solutions like firewalls and disaster recovery vs. being dependent on third party support. They should also be connected to a wide-reaching partner network, that ensures your company is receiving the best, and vendor-agnostic, solutions for your needs.
4. Does the MSP try to pitch everything as a managed service?
Be wary if the provider positions every possible need as a managed services offering. Some solutions have a high degree of varying costs and are hard to offer under the MSP model. That said, there are numerous solutions that are ideal as managed services. Just remember, the managed IT services should solve pressing, succinct business needs, leverage vetted technology, and have predictable costs.
5. Can the MSP clearly explain each program's offerings?
There should be no hidden costs. The proposal should include fixed IT spending as well as approved and accounted for variable IT spending. The provider should make it easy for you to understand what you are getting for your investment. As a business owner, you have to pick the MSP partner who can meet your business need, be proactive, and respond quickly to shifting IT needs. It’s definitely worth the effort to learn about their history, in-house capabilities and get a clear explanation of the services you will receive for the amount you are paying. Want to learn more about our business IT consulting solutions? Request a phone consultation below.