Choosing a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for your company is a big decision. From the start, the process can be somewhat difficult and overwhelming, and you may even be surprised by the many factors that need to be taken into account when selecting an MSP. This shouldn't come as a surprise either since the role of a managed service provider today is bigger than ever.
And while there are plenty of suppliers on the market, you have to be selective when it comes to choosing one that will best fit your needs. In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all approach; every organization is unique and will need an ideal MSP that will meet its requirements.
You would want a provider on whom you can rely in times of need. This means choosing an MSP that will listen to your concerns and who understands your needs. You are not only looking for a provider. You are looking for a long-term partner that's able to help you grow and who has your best interests at heart.
The Ultimate MSP Checklist
There are a variety of things that you need to consider before selecting an MSP. Such an organization should help your own grow faster, meaning that you will need to find one that fits both your workflow and your focus. To that end, we've compiled a list of ten questions to ask when hiring an MSP, ensuring that you're making an informed decision.
That said, here are the ten questions to ask yourself to make sure that the Managed Service Provider will be the perfect fit for you.
- Are they local? - Having the team relatively close by means that they can be on-site at a moment's notice every time their assistance is needed. This also means that your downtime will be limited.
- What are their team's skillsets? - One good sign that you're dealing with a professional MPS organization is when they choose to specialize in only a few things, such as managed services, professional services, security, and cloud services. Too many specializations may mean that the organization isn't an expert at anything. That said, you should make sure that their skillsets will align with your objectives.
- Do they have an SLA in place for resolution time? - A service-level agreement will contain many things. That said, it should also specify what will happen in times of resolutions. The fact of the matter is that nobody will want to be on hold for IT support.
- Do they provide references and testimonials? - The current customers of any MSP will be able to attest to the quality of their services and the level of satisfaction experienced.
- How do they define their services? - You must be as specific as possible when defining the scope of services needed.
- How long have they been in business? - A financial track record and experience working in the field is equally as important.
- Are they monitoring your systems around the clock, every day of the week? A professional MSP should be available to fix your systems, even if something goes wrong in the middle of the night.
- Will they be able to catch problems before these can cause damage or major outages?
- Will they be able to protect your data, devices, and hardware by increasing security?
- Will they execute a disaster recovery and business continuity plan for your organization?
If you find yourself not being able to answer some of these, or aren't exactly happy with the answers, it's time to re-evaluate.