It is increasingly common to see organizations change from a traditional IT solution to working with a managed services provider. This is for a number of reasons, including cost, team size, and additional resources received from an MSP.
But how do you know go about choosing the right managed services provider in an increasingly cluttered environment?
Just like anything else, it is always recommended to shop around before agreeing to any contract. There are numerous things to consider when talking with potential MSPs.
Consider different pricing models.
Most MSPs work on some sort of subscription model that is alluring to most organizations. The draw is that you can sign up for a service level agreement. This helps to design solutions that fit your needs and your budget. This is something that in house IT cannot offer.
It is important to find MSPs that are able to offer the services that you need, without paying for a bunch of unnecessary processes.
The pricing models for MSPs vary based on what the provider specializes in, the size of the organization, and how much attention you demand of their team. Find the MSP that is willing to work together to find the right solution for you. Many will offer a flat fee for basic service agreements. Make sure that agreement is what you actually need.
Discuss your Future Goals
Choosing an IT solution is not just about solving any current problems. It is also about setting up a system that will protect and withstand future challenges.
Discussing your business objectives can help you find a team that is aligned with your goals.
Every MSP will offer IT security solutions, but maybe you are looking to do more international business and make a dramatic change in your business model in the coming years. Make sure that the team you choose is up to the challenge and understands the services your business needs now and into the future.
Remember that agreeing to work with a service provider is choosing to work with a business that should be customer service oriented first, and IT second.
It is obviously essential to have the technical know-how to solve your problems, but you also need to make sure that your team has people that you can rely on.
Find out if the team is full of new graduates, or if there is a wealth of experience among the team. Determine if you will have 24 hour service that you can actually rely on.
Find out who the team is that you are actually working with before agreeing on price alone.
Find out their specialties
Once again, every MSP will offer managed data services and basic security options. However, many also have things that they specify in and make them different from the competition.
This could be working closely with Amazon workspaces, being experts in Microsoft Azure, or having an especially robust anti-ransomware team.
Finding out what your MSP works best on can help you align your goals with a team that works closely in the same realm.
Tech speak does not come easy to most people not engrossed in the computer world. There are plenty of teams full of well qualified people who are able to solve all of the problems your organization may run into, but they need to be able to communicate why, how, and what they are doing.
This goes both ways. If your MSP does not understand the core processes of your business then you will not have a good working relationship.
It cannot be understated how important it is to have a team that you are able to freely communicate with. You should never feel nervous to have your IT team explain what it is they are doing and why.
Creating an open dialogue is the only way to have success on both sides. Choose a team that you feel is easy to discuss problems, solutions, and is able to break down the complex tech side into something that everyone in your organization can understand.