More and more business owners are discovering the importance of adopting efficient, flexible, and cost-effective IT systems. But as customers’ expectations evolve, so too does IT —sometimes becoming far too complex and demanding for businesses to manage on their own. This is why many companies partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP).
MSPs are companies composed of specialists from various IT fields. They deliver various IT services (e.g., cloud computing, cybersecurity, backup and disaster recovery) and proactively manage their clients’ IT systems under a subscription model.
Selecting the best MSP
While there are numerous MSPs out there, not all of them are equipped to meet your company’s unique needs. You can only achieve optimum IT results by selecting the right MSP.
Here are some criteria to keep in mind:
- Depth of skills and experience – An MSP should have the skills and experience that go beyond basic software installation, maintenance, and upgrades. They should also have strong expertise in advanced IT functions, such as database management, cloud technology, security, and cross-platform integration, so they can keep pace with your company’s growing IT requirements.
- Financial stability – With IT being the backbone of your business operations, you need an IT partner who will be there for the long haul. Assess their stability by looking into their annual reports and financial statements. Check how many clients they have and their customer retention numbers. Also, read customer reviews and testimonials online customer reviews and testimonials.
- Competitive service level agreement (SLA) – An SLA is a contract that dictates the standards that your MSP must meet. It should be able to answer these questions: Do they offer 24/7 support? Can they conduct remote and on-site support? What are their guaranteed response and resolution times? If they fail to meet their committed service levels, do they offer rebates or money-back guarantees?
- Third-party vendor partnerships – Pick an MSP with an ongoing relationship with the technology vendors (e.g., Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce) whose products you already use in your IT environment. Verify the partnership the MSP has with those vendors. The higher the partnership level, the more vendor certifications the provider has, which means they can provide plenty of expertise to your business.
Choosing the right provider is a crucial decision that will impact your business’s performance and success. If you want to learn more about how MSPs can support your business, contact us today.