Questions You Should Be Asking When Considering a Managed Service Provider

These days it seems like there is a new MSP popping up every week. Deciphering their rhetoric is no easy task. The truth is every organization has different needs and every MSP has a different offering. No matter what the offering, there are multiple factors that you should be considering to make the right decision for your business. Here are the top 6 questions to consider before making your choice.

1. Do They Understand Your Business’s Needs?

No two businesses are alike, and an effective MSP knows and understands this. In order to make the right recommendations, MSPs need to first comprehend your business’s specific business objectives. If they are not asking you about your business, then you should not trust them to meet your IT needs.

2. Is the Support REACTIVE or PROACTIVE?

The majority of MSPs offer a reactive support method; meaning that they sit around and wait for an issue to arise before acting to fix it. That’s how they make money. However, the reactive method requires longer down times and every minute you are down, you are losing money. In contrast, MSPs who follow a proactive approach are constantly monitoring your network essentials, making infrastructure recommendations that increase uptime and productivity, and working with your organization to make sure your It plan matches the needs of your business plan and budget.

3. Do They Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

Disaster strikes (a tornado, earthquake, or fire)—now what? A superior MSP can answer this question with ease. If the MSP you are considering does not have an effective plan in place for worst-case scenarios, then you need to keep looking. As you already know, being prepared is what sets apart a successful growing business from a mediocre sedentary business.

4. Who Are They Partnered With?

If you are putting not only your trust, but your entire business in the hands of an MSP, you should know who you are dealing with. Truth is, no Managed Service Provider can do everything on their own. Most have a Team of trained specialists and a variety of partners to get the job done. If they don’t, it is likely, they will not be able to provide you with the service your business needs.  Finding an MSP with partners you know and trust is crucial, and is a clear sign that their goals align with yours. 

5. Can They Help Your Business Be Compliant?

The importance of the questions really depends on what industry you are working in, and what regulations you have to comply with. If HIPAA, NIST, PCI, etc. are crucial to your business’s success, and whether you remain open or not, you need a Managed Service Provider that not only understands the requirements, but has the training and the tools to ensure your business’s regulatory needs are met. Mistakes in the area could cost you your business, don’t risk it. 

6. Will They Grow WITH Your Business?

If you envision growth for your company, you should have an MSP that is ready and willing to grow with you!  Don’t put yourself in the position where you have to find a NEW partner all over again, because you outgrew the last one. No one wants to out grow their partner, but it happens. Find a provider that is able to keep up with your businesses growth, knows what is changing within your industry, and is regularly offering insight and feedback into what technologies and solutions will help your business continue to flourish and grow!

 

Keep it simple. If they don’t meet these six basic requirements, then move on and find one that does!

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