A Managed Service Provider (MSP) can be an invaluable asset to businesses seeking professional help with cloud, IT projects and support. MSPs leverage their technology, expertise and process solutions to help them efficiently scale their IT services.
Once your systems are up and running with the help of your MSP, your IT infrastructure will run smoothly and you will have the support required to fix any issues straight away. Aside from this an MSP can design an IT infrastructure that supports your business growth, increases efficiency and reduces costs.
There are several factors to consider when choosing an MSP. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution it is important to consider your immediate business needs and the services you will require.
Here are some of the important aspects consider when choosing an MSP:
Auditing Your IT Resources
Take an inventory of your IT resources such as the number and type of computers, servers and networks. Make a list of essential software applications such as Office 365, SalesForce, Zoom and others.
Make sure to include your IT security in the audit process including an assessment of how many employees access your systems remotely and which applications they connect to.
An MSP should be able to provide you with a document that covers all areas of your IT infrastructure, but it is handy to have an idea of your requirements in advance.
List the Services You Require From an MSP
Once you have audited your IT infrastructure, make a list of the requirements you need from your MSP.
The most common services include network management, data backup, secure data storage, disaster recovery and helpdesk support.
When choosing an MSP ensure they include these services and others which you may need in the future to scale your business.
Remote Management and Monitoring Services
A top quality MSP should have the infrastructure and staff capabilities to automatically manage and monitor your IT infrastructure. This includes your servers, network devices, workstations, routers and firewalls.
They should also be able to automatically schedule updates and send alerts to your IT team or helpdesk to engage an appropriate response action.
While most MSPs provide tier one and remote monitoring support, they should also provide on-site support to your IT team.
On-site visits are important for the proper maintenance of IT equipment and hardware. Even if your IT team manages these in-house, your MSP needs to be familiar with your IT infrastructure in the event of a failure.
With cybercrime becoming rampant, it is increasingly important to defend your business against cyber-attacks.
Consider choosing an MSP who can provide a comprehensive cybersecurity solution and implements best practices to minimise risk.
Ensure they explain how they will handle your information and their security procedures. These should include IP scanning, penetration testing, intrusion detection and compliance.
With many businesses moving to the cloud, an MSP that offers scalable cloud solutions should be a primary consideration when making your choice.
Find out if they will be able to customise cloud solutions to run with your business.
Ask if they provide multi-cloud or hybrid-cloud solutions to get an understanding of their capability with providing cloud solutions.
Industry Experience and Reputation
When choosing an MSP, look for someone who will be a long-term fit. Their experience and reputation should be an important factor in your choice.
Look for testimonials and case studies on their website and also ask for references.
Do some research to see if they have been mentioned in industry publications and what IT experts have said about them.
Comprehensive service level agreement (SLA)?
A reputable MSP should provide a contract that details the services provided and offer an SLA to all clients.
An SLA protects your organisation and ensures you will have a harmonious relationship with your MSP provider. It lays down a mutual understanding of performance standards and expectations for both parties.
It all provides the peace-of-mind that If agreed requirements are not met, some of the impact can be mitigated by monetary compensation.
Even if you have an SLA in place, review the contract every few months. As your business grows and changes, it should reflect your evolving needs.
If you are in the process of choosing an MSP, we understand it is a big decision and we are here to help. We provide clients with a growth plan, the highest level of security, and efficiencies in a rapidly advancing IT environment. To speak to one of our IT experts, call us on 1800 538 488 or click here to contact us.