6 Questions to Ask an IT Managed Service Provider

December 14th 2017

Keeping track of the numerous tasks today’s IT departments must manage and complete often takes a large team. Thus, many businesses are hiring managed service providers (MSP) to help lighten the load. But are these services necessary and do they provide real value to a company? Before a business considers obtaining the services of an MSP, it should consider several important factors and ask a lot of questions. Here are what we consider to be the 11 most important questions that you should ask your potential managed service provider before deciding.

If you're already looking for a provider, don't worry because you're not alone. Studies suggest that 11% of a company's IT budget will be spent solely on MSP contractors. Finding the right provider can be a tremendous task as they need to care for company values and have the same drive as yourself. MSP isn't a minor part of an entire operation, it's integral to the success of any business. They will represent your company like any other employee, but they are required to run it all on the technical side, exercise caution with who you choose. As a helping hand, here are 6 questions you must ask your IT Managed Service Provider.

1. What is your reputation and experience within the industry?

Finding out what sort of reputation a certain provider has is essential to the process of finding one, they should have positive reviews from a slew of customers and ready to show all types of testimonials to you at first request. These reviews could come from Google, Clutch or Yelp. That's one sign of a reputable MSP. Experience is another big factor to consider and whether they're a veteran or a newbie to managing the network of a large-scale business. How many years is the MSP in business?

2. What managed IT services do you offer?

You must know the services of a provider to ensure you're getting what you want and what you pay for. It's recommended that you set up a deep dialogue between you and the provider for them to understand what you want out of their services. A good MSP will adapt to specific requests from his potential clients.

3. What kind of cybersecurity do you provide?

You don't want the information of your clients and employees compromised, so it's important that you thoroughly discuss the provider's virus and firewall solutions to ensure a protected environment for all users of your business. Many organisations around the world and the critical systems they depend on were victims of malicious “WannaCrypt” software this year. Here at IT Force we will regularly update your IT security systems to ensure that they are totally up to date at all times. We will also regularly patch all devices to deal with any vulnerabilities in real time.

4. How fast are you able to respond to a situation?

A fast response time is critical to avoiding losses, so find out how fast a provider is to react to an offline server and compare with other providers. This could make or break a provider.

5. How do you plan to adapt to changes in technology?

A good provider would still be studying and learning even after gaining his initial qualifications, networking is a constantly changing industry, both in the physical and digital form. It's essential that your provider knows how to adapt to these ever-changing times.

6. Do you agree with the rules and values of my business?

This is much more of a culturally-orientated question but it's still important, your provider must have the same values of your business. The more your provider gels with the current system of work within your business and the employees, the better chance he/she has of being extremely productive and efficient.

What are the benefits of an MSP? Managed services don’t just hide the mess, they actually clean it up, by implementing the appropriate tools, experience, and practices to eliminate the mess. Furthermore, effective managed services also provide your company with a competitive edge by offering you increased efficiencies, faster technology, and improved internal communications. Thus, your company experiences additional innovations and the ability to implement the latest collaborative and digital services. Another benefit of hiring an MSP is improved security and compliance risk. Your MSP will know how to keep your data safe on a daily basis and know how to keep your data safe during a disaster by implementing a disaster recovery plan.

The bottom line, however, is it’s up to you to get the conversation started. If you would like to learn more about how your company could benefit from working with a managed service provider, please contact us today at IT Force by clicking here. We’re ready to have this important conversation with you.

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