For months, your company has tried to overcome its technology challenges, but it’s becoming obvious that your current IT providers cannot fix the problems. As the manager with overall responsibility for IT, you’re stuck in the middle between employees with tech problems and your IT provider, whether in-house or an outsourced contractor. You know it’s time to make the change but how do you choose from so many different Managed Service Providers (MSP)?
To help you select the best Managed IT Services Provider for your company’s needs, we’ve compiled the top seven questions you should ask each IT provider.
You want to know you will be in safe hands. You want a reputable business with a good track record so that they will have the time, resources and experienced staff to handle your company’s needs.
Your Managed IT Service Provider does not need to understand every single aspect of your company’s industry, but they do need to understand how you use technology in your business and your customers’ needs and expectations. The better they understand your specific industry or challenges, the more relevant their technology recommendations will be.
A good MSP will have a well-established communications process for corresponding with you and your team. The best ones will provide you with an account manager who is responsible for helping you with any questions or concerns and regularly reviewing your progress against the agreed technology plan for your business. When it comes to managed services, transparency is key to success.
Does the company offer 24/7 support? If not, what is their protocol for out-of-hours support requests? How quickly can you expect someone to respond during and after working hours? How will you know when a ticket has been addressed or completed? Furthermore, what is the experience or certification level of the team handling your company’s requests? Ask your prospective providers to be as detailed as possible because tech support is one of the most important aspects of a MSP.
The only thing more important than the support request process is an MSP’s disaster procedure. Ask the company to share a time when one of its clients faced a catastrophe and what they did beforehand to mitigate file loss and minimise the risk of network failure. In addition to proactive measures, ask what the MSP does in the event of a disastrous event to help clients recover as quickly as possible.
When you assess vendors, the first question you’re likely to ask is “What does it cost?” Of course, this is important, but cost alone is not the best way to assess a company’s worthiness. Managed Service Providers are not created equal. If a provider charges more than the average, find out why. You may discover that although it comes at a higher price point, the additional services and benefits will yield a higher ROI. Be sure to obtain a full list of the MSP’s offerings and ask whether the company offers customised options, as well.
The best way to discover whether a provider is best for your company is to find out what other customers have to say. While online reviews can shed light on how a company treats its clients, don’t be afraid to ask for references. Sometimes a one-on-one conversation with a current or previous client can offer you the greatest amount of insight.
Overall, remember not to choose too quickly. As the manager with IT responsibility, you’ll likely be one of the primary points of contact with the MSP, so it’s in your best interest to choose wisely. Select a company with a communication and management style that makes you feel comfortable. By taking the time to be thorough in your questioning, you’ll ensure a simpler decision process.
Ready to interrogate your potential managed IT service provider? Great! Why not start with us? As a trusted managed IT service provider for SMEs in Ireland and an ISO 27001 certificate under our belt, we are confident we can ease your IT pain points. Get in contact with us today.