Why do you even need managed IT services? Well, as technology evolves, the amount of data being produced is rampant, and so are security threats. Constantly monitoring this with an in-house IT staff can become really expensive, really fast and makes your team a lot less productive. Managed services providers (MSPs) allow organizations to reduce costs, increase productivity, troubleshoot and resolve problems more effectively, and relieve some of the burden from IT so they can devote more time to strategic business initiatives. Now that you have realized why you need a managed services provider, how will you choose?
Getting to know your business to put together the best solution
A MSP should first ask about your company. IT solutions are not one size fits all, by any means. Knowing the ins and outs of your company is really important for an efficient, effective solution. What do you do? How big is your company? What are your organization’s short- and long-term goals?
Assessment of your current IT environment
After learning about your organization, the MSP should move into an evaluation of your current IT environment. The assessment will typically include analyzing hardware, software, applications, security, processes, costs and how they impact the way you do business.
Explanation of benefits of new services and equipment, and cost
A provider should be able to tell you what each component will enable your organization to accomplish, how it will be accomplished, how long it will take and how much it will cost.
The cheapest is not always the best
As with anything else in life, you get what you pay for. A provider should become questionable if they try to win you over by offering you a “cheaper” solution, instead of the solution you need. You are not haggling a deal for a new car here. Cheap equipment breaks, and cheap providers may not be as responsive.
Who is going to do what?
You and your potential MSP should agree on who is going to be responsible for what. Will you turn all responsibilities to your IT Company, or are there some that should be kept in house? It is pertinent that there are clear procedures in place for reporting and responding to problems, as well as offering feedback, verbally and electronically. Regardless of the decision of responsibilities, lines of communication must always remain open between both parties in order for the solution to be the most effective.
At this point, you have worked with the potential provider, as they have learned about your company and your IT environment. They have provided you with quotes, explanation of equipment and services. Do a little extra homework. Ask around. Search for online reviews. Ask the provider their own company background and for references, if you have not already. Handing over your IT network is a huge deal, and trust is critical. You need to believe in their expertise as a strategic advisor and technology expert, as well as the quality of their services.
Share with your team why you have chosen a managed IT service for your business
The MSP is not there to take any team members jobs, and your team needs to know that. It should be a positive change, as it will allow those team members to apply their skills in a more beneficial way to the organization, allowing them to work more effectively and efficiently on other business initiatives.