One of the most effective ways of managing your technology needs is to outsource your IT department to a Managed Services Provider (MSP). This is also the solution for you if you are short on IT staff or if you don’t have an IT department at all.
The advantage of partnering with an MSP is gaining an IT department minus the cost of hiring a full-time team. If you already have an existing IT team, working with an MSP can help take the pressure off your team, eliminating the need for hiring additional staff. This also results in huge cost savings.
Not all MSPs are created equal; they have differences in cost, availability, speed, and expertise. Here are four essential questions you might want to ask before choosing an MSP that is right for you.
What range of services do they offer?
It’s crucial to know what services the MSP company provides, and which are included in your agreement. This will help you decide if the services being offered match your requirements as well as avoid being charged separately for certain services such as trip visits.
It is also important to know if the company provides services you might need somewhere down the road. These services can range from system monitoring, security, database management, cross-platform integration and more. Find an MSP partner whose work can scale with your small business keeping in mind that your IT needs will expand as your company continues to grow.
Are they well-versed with your industry?
IT needs can vary across industries, making it essential to partner with an MSP that has existing strategies fitting your needs. For instance, if your business deals with Personal Health Information, you might want to get an MSP company experienced in handling cybersecurity with an emphasis on HIPAA compliance.
Do they provide 24-hour emergency support and 24/7 remote monitoring?
Partnering with an MSP means all IT matters concerning your business will be taken care of by the provider. Therefore, if your system becomes compromised or anything goes wrong, then your MSP partner should immediately alert you and have a plan in place to resolve the issue.
Keep in mind that hackers don’t limit their attacks to specific hours and can strike at any time. Also, when your system goes down, you’ll want it to be up and running as soon as possible. By asking this question, you’ll know what kind of support to expect from the MSP in case of an emergency.
How proactive are they?
You need to know if your potential MSP partner has a proactive approach. If so, how vigilant are they in minimizing downtime and protecting your system should a disaster strike? It’s good to ask if they monitor your system for flaws and breaches. How quick are they to alert you and provide ways in which your IT environment can be improved?
These questions are vital if you want to get the best out of your partnership with an MSP company.