In the technology realm, things never stop growing and evolving. New advancements in connectivity, hardware, and software are introduced every day, which help deliver opportunities and efficiencies that were virtually unthinkable just 10 years ago.
Unfortunately, this rapid evolution presents a huge challenge for business owners.
Regardless of if you have recently opened your doors or have an established business, the way you manage your computers, networks, data, and other technologies impact your organization’s success.
Because of this, now is the time to consider finding and hiring a managed service provider. While this is true, not all service providers are created equal. Because of this, it is up to you to find the right company for the job.
Keep reading to learn what to consider when searching for a quality managed service provider for your business.
Today, modern IT professionals are excited to take on new challenges. However, it will only be best for your business if you hire someone with prior experience in your industry.
The right IT Consulting service will know your business, how it works, and address your technology needs. For example, finding an IT service provider with food service experience is best if you have a restaurant.
Relevant industry experience helps ensure the managed service provider can predict potential issues while anticipating operational needs.
Ask for References
Existing clients of an MSP (managed service provider) can help you figure out if the company has prior experience in your industry. At a minimum, prior customers will let you see if the IT provider has worked with businesses close to the size of yours.
The MSP should be able and willing to provide testimonials, endorsements, and references if you ask. Try to find a provider that has been around for a while, which has built a strong reputation.
Hiring a company with proof of concept will give you the confidence to handle your network, and IT needs.
The Company Representative Asks the Right Questions
How would a company or individual improve your business if they don’t know anything about it? It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to business technology.
Even businesses that are in the same industry with the same number of employees have unique IT needs.
Quality managed service providers or consultants will know this. This also means they are going to ask questions to find the custom solutions your business needs.
Some of the questions they may ask (and should ask) include is your goal to:
- Reduce downtime?
- Improve customer service?
- Scale production?
You may not believe that the goals of your company are that affected by technology. However, the IT support provider you are trying to hire will understand that the technology in place has a ripple effect.
These effects can be good or bad. The IT service provider will create a custom plan that supports and enhances your vision.
You should never trust a person or company that seems to have a solution before even discussing your needs. Instead, be sure the consultant is interested in learning about your business goals and finding the right solution.
Market Presence and Portfolio
You need to understand the MSP’s experience, market presence, and portfolio with prior clientele and clients. With this information, you can assess the company’s abilities, case studies, and capabilities related to industry standards.
By understanding these factors, you can gain the confidence needed to move forward and hire a company for your business.
It is important to choose a managed service provider that will be in business as long as your organization. Take time to search and learn about a specific provider’s history.
You can do this by searching for press releases about the company, checking references (as mentioned above), and requesting financial statements.
Ask About Other Services Offered
It is important to ask the MSP you are considering hiring if they offer anything besides managed IT solutions. Be sure to ask each company being considered this important question.
If they say “yes,” then their business is not focused on being a superior MSP. Also, the company may be unable to provide you with the dedication and attention your business needs.
Remember the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
Offer More Thank Break-Fix IT Solutions
It is important for the MSP you are hiring to have skills beyond knowing how to troubleshoot your operating system and install hard drives. If you want a company that can proactively managing your entire network and add-ons, you need a company with years of experience and knowledge.
This means the company needs to offer more than just the usual break-fix solutions. In this situation, basic repair skills are sufficient.
A quality MSP should have a deeper understanding of industry best practices and business processes.
When you are interviewing a possible MSP or consultant, make sure that you venture beyond questions about the size of their staff or the certifications they have.
Other questions you need to ask to include things like staff availability, skill sets, scalability, how best practices are maintained, and if they use reactive or proactive support methods.
It is important to find and hire an organization that knows the right way to implement technology and improve all aspects of your business. However, you also need a company with the expertise to make things happen, not just one that will fix issues as they take place without thinking about the bigger picture.
Certifications and Technical Expertise
After you fully understand the MSPs market, you need to look into its technical expertise. This includes any partnerships or qualifications that showcase the company’s abilities.
This information can help you understand the more technical side of the business. It will also help you learn about the MSP’s weaknesses and strengths.
You need to check and make sure the MSP you choose has adequate insurance coverage. This means that if they make a mistake, the issue will be covered and paid for.
Don’t just take the company’s word for it. Instead, verify the provider has a current policy. This is something you would do for any outside vendor, and it is important for the MSP you hire.
Find Out if the Company Outsources Any Part of the Support Provided
If you don’t have the opportunity to look an MSP technician in the eye, they won’t be available to come to your business. When this happens, it means the provider is not worth your investment.
Even though remote monitoring is ideal for quite a few problems, there are situations when you will need the IT provider to come on-site. This may be to fix something or for an audit.
You need to ensure these situations are accounted for in the MSP plan.
Find Out the Availability of Ongoing Support and Monitoring
A quality managed service provider will understand that computer and network issues can happen at any point, even on the holidays. Because of this, they should provide ongoing monitoring for your systems and resolve issues no matter what time of day they occur or if it is a special occasion.
Some less reputable companies will only be available during certain days and times. They may only offer remote support and charge more if they have to come on-site to provide services.
While remote service and monitoring are fine for some issues, there are situations when an IT provider has to come on-site to provide an audit or fix. In these cases, you should account for this.
Make sure you know what you are paying for and that it will cover all your potential and current needs.
Culture of the MSP
Another way to determine if you should hire a potential MSP is their culture. You will have a professional relationship with this person, which means you need to ensure the culture aligns.
Now You Know How to Find the Best Managed Service Provider
When it is time for your business to find and hire a managed service provider, there are several factors to consider. Take time to review the information above to find an MSP that will provide the services and solutions your business needs.
Knowing what to look for will help make this decision easier.
Are you searching for more helpful, business-related information? If so, be sure to check out the other blogs on our site. We also offer information about technology, travel, home improvement, health, and more.