Do you know what you should look for in a managed IT services partner? Many don’t! That’s why we put together this quick checklist to help you evaluate potential partners.
✔ They Follow the Same Requirements They’re Asking of You
Does the MSP you’re talking to practice what they preach? The number of providers out there that skip this step is astounding. They likely require your business to train employees in cybersecurity, use 2FA on everything and not allow admin rights on your computers. You want to be sure that any steps they’re asking you to follow, they’re following as well.
✔ Have 2FA on Everything
This ties into the above topic, but it is extremely important and some companies say you simply don’t need it. Not true! Even if your accounts are compromised, multi-factor authentication, also known as 2FA or MFA, helps to ensure the hacker won’t be able to meet the second authentication requirement. It’s your second line of defense and could make the difference between a failed cyberattack and a successful one.
✔ 24/7 Availability
You need an MSP that can work from anywhere, anytime, especially in the face of an emergency. Downtime severely cuts into your productivity as well as your reputation. You need a managed IT services provider in Nashville that understands that and is willing to work with you to solve any issues that arise and could be costing your business.
✔ Local Availability
Your company should also look for an MSP that has local availability. This can include a local backup appliance (not just the cloud) that ensures you’re back up and running quickly if a breach or other disaster should happen. MSPs with geographic diversity are more likely to be available in your area. Going with a provider who is nowhere near you could mean waiting days for something to be repaired on-site.
If you’re a Nashville-area business that is not satisfied with your IT … Call us.
✔ Solid Help Desk
While some IT problems aren’t emergencies, they still need to be solved – and not weeks later. In addition to offering quality service, help desks need to be fast and reliable. A good MSP will have training programs for their help desk employees. It’s also recommended that you work with a provider that uses dual internet connections for their work on tickets.
✔ Uses Microsoft SharePoint
Instead of local file shares on servers, a great MSP may use Microsoft SharePoint. A cloud-based service, not only ensures your company’s employees can work from anywhere, but it also adds security to your work. SharePoint provides the ability to work offline, quickly locate documents, check-in and check-out paperwork and take advantage of templates.
✔ Manage Compliance
If your industry is subject to compliance rules or you need to follow them for cyber insurance, it’s a good idea to look for a managed IT services provider in Nashville that will manage your compliance for you. They will work with auditors to be sure you’re meeting the requirements of your industry and business, and help you become compliant if you are lacking.
✔ Confidence in Billing
A bill-per-event approach to payment may sound nice on paper, but, in reality, it can be extremely costly. These MSPs are more likely to upcharge you on those billing hours, so you’ll be paying much more in the long run. A flat rate bill, however, incentivizes the MSP to be proactive rather than reactive, ensuring that many issues are solved before they become real problems for your business.
✔ No Red Flags
And, of course, you will want to watch out for well-known red flags from MSPs. These can include:
- They offer monitoring plus bills: These billing practices will only serve to raise your costs as your MSP will be looking for extra billing hours. A flat rate is the way to go.
- They use Google email infrastructure: While the Google email infrastructure does have its uses, it is not suited for MSPs and businesses. If they use this system, you could find it doesn’t meet your needs and that it’s challenging to get any work done.
- They say, “You don’t need 2FA”: If an MSP says this, it’s time to look elsewhere. They may think their security is enough, but 2FA is a must.
- They go outside the managed services client base: If an MSP is willing to do standalone project work for a non-managed client, it could very well mean you will not get the attention your business deserves as a full-time customer.
This checklist is an excellent place to start when it comes to partnering with a managed IT services provider who is worth your time and money. You may also want to add a few things to your list as per your needs and wants when it comes to IT, but ultimately, you need an MSP that has your best interests at heart, is on top of your (and their own) security and offers the right services to fit your business.