With technology playing a crucial role in driving growth and innovation, there has been a significant trend of over 92% of G2000 organizations turning to managed service providers (MSPs) in recent years to leverage their expertise and relieve the burden of complex IT operations.
In this blog post, we will explore the key factors that should guide your decision-making process as you navigate the world of managed service providers in 2023.
By understanding the shifting IT landscape and exploring MSP qualifying questions, you will be well-equipped to compose a managed services selection criteria unique to your business that helps you make an informed choice that aligns with your organization’s goals and aspirations.
Why Managed IT Services?
When it comes to how to choose a managed service provider, it’s crucial that you first understand the true value an MSP can offer your business.
As a professional information technology firm, an MSP takes on the responsibility of managing and supporting your IT operations, allowing you to focus on what matters most – improving your bottom line.
From round-the-clock network monitoring to software updates, threat detection and incident response, data backup and disaster recovery plans, cybersecurity measures, help desk support, and strategic IT consulting, your MSP ensures that your technology environment remains secure, reliable, and efficiently functioning.
With their expertise, industry best practices, and cutting-edge tools, MSPs empower you to enhance operational efficiency, minimize downtime, and easily scale your IT infrastructure as your business grows.
It is estimated that the managed IT services market will reach $26 billion by 2026 as a growing number of businesses look to capitalize on these advantages.
However, to take hold of the benefits of managed IT services to their fullest, you need to know the right MSP qualifying questions to ask as these will help form the foundation of your managed services vendor selection criteria.
Let’s get into some of the key questions to ask during MSP discovery.
Key Questions to Ask During MSP Discovery
During the MSP discovery process, it is essential to have prepared a range of both technical and non-technical questions to ask qualifying MSPs. This will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of the provider’s capabilities and suitability for your organization.
Some technical questions to ask qualifying MSPs are:
- What is your experience and expertise with specific technologies relevant to our business, such as cloud platforms, cybersecurity frameworks, and data management systems?
- Can you provide details about your monitoring and response procedures, including how your team proactively identifies and addresses potential issues?
- What are your disaster recovery plans, and how do you ensure business continuity in the event of a system failure or data loss for my business?
- How do you handle system upgrades, migrations, and scalability to accommodate our evolving business needs?
- Can you explain your service-level agreements (SLAs), including response times, uptime guarantees, and resolution times for different types of incidents?
- What is your customer support structure, and how can we reach you in case of an issue or question? Are there specific communication channels available?
- How do you ensure that your services align with my specific business objectives and requirements? Are your solutions customizable to my unique needs?
- Can you provide information about the qualifications, certifications, and ongoing training of your team members who will be supporting our IT environment?
- What is your approach to collaboration and communication with our internal IT team or other stakeholders within our organization?
- How is your pricing structured, and what are the contract terms? Are there any additional fees or charges that we should be aware of?
Asking these technical and non-technical questions to IT MSPs will enable you to gather valuable insights about an MSP’s capabilities, service quality, and compatibility with your organization’s IT needs and overall objectives.
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Managed Services Vendor Selection Criteria: Factors to Consider
Now that you know what questions to ask during MSP discovery, you’ll be well on your way to forming your managed services vendor selection criteria.
“What is a managed services selection criteria?” The concept refers to the specific factors and considerations used to evaluate and choose a suitable managed services vendor for your organization. It encompasses a range of elements, including technical expertise, service offerings, reliability, scalability, and alignment with your business goals.
By defining a set of selection criteria using your MSP qualifying questions, you can effectively compare and assess different vendors to make an informed decision that best fits your organization’s needs.
It should generally consider factors such as:
Technical Expertise: Assess the potential vendor’s proficiency in the technologies and systems relevant to your organizational needs. Look for certifications, industry partnerships, and experience with similar clients in your industry.
Reliability and Availability: Consider the vendor’s track record of uptime, responsiveness, and adherence to service-level agreements (SLAs). Check references and reviews to gauge their reliability and ability to meet critical deadlines.
Scalability and Flexibility: Determine if the vendor can accommodate your company’s future growth and changing IT needs. Look for their capacity to scale their service offerings, handle additional workloads, and adapt to evolving technologies.
Industry Experience: Consider the MSP’s experience in your industry or vertical. Familiarity with industry-specific compliance regulations, cyber security standards, and best practices can be invaluable.
Proactive Monitoring and Support: Look for proactive monitoring capabilities that can identify and resolve potential issues before they impact your business operations. Understand their support processes, response times, and escalation procedures.
Data Security and Compliance: Assess the vendor’s approach to data security, privacy, and compliance. Inquire about their security measures, data protection policies, and adherence to relevant regulations like GDPR or HIPAA. Learn more about the importance of knowing how to choose managed security services!
Explore these additional resources today and become your business’ resident MSP-knowledge expert:
Client References and Testimonials: Request references from the managed services partner’s existing clients to gain insights into their experience and CSAT scores. Testimonials and case studies can provide valuable information about the MSP’s track record.
Cost and Value: Evaluate the managed services partner’s pricing models, such as break-fix and fixed-fee and determine the value they offer in relation to the services provided. Consider not only the cost but also the potential ROI and long-term benefits of partnering with them.
Cultural Fit and Partnership: Assess the vendor’s approach to collaboration, communication, and alignment with your organization’s values and goals. Look for a vendor that can act as a trusted partner and understands your business objectives.
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Entrust Your IT Operations to Steady Networks in 2023
You’re now aware of what questions to ask an MSP: now it’s time to choose.
In the realm of MSPs, Steady Networks emerges as an exceptional choice for organizations like yours that are seeking top-notch IT support in 2023.
Our dedicated team handles 100% of tickets daily, ensuring that your IT needs are consistently attended to.
By choosing Steady Networks as your MSP, you can expect a reliable, responsive, and forward-thinking partner that will provide exceptional IT services tailored to your specific needs, helping your organization thrive in the digital landscape of 2023.
Learn more about how we can help – contact us today !