The Complete Managed IT Services Checklist
Choosing a managed service provider (MSP) for your business is a critical yet sometimes overwhelming decision.
Luckily, this guide covers how to choose managed services providers as well as the best questions to ask an MSP so you can make an informed decision for your business.
Discover what to look for when choosing an MSP, along with some key qualifications by reading on.
How to Choose Managed Security Services Providers
If your organization is one of roughly half of U.S. businesses planning to increase IT spending in 2023 , then you’re likely looking for a potential MSP that can meet your growing support needs.
Here are some top factors to look at when deciding how to choose managed security services :
- Organization size
- Business goals
- IT services budget
It’s important to look at your IT budget and ensure your MSP offerings make financial sense.
For instance, cost-effective solutions like the break-fix model may be more financially viable for organizations with existing in- house IT teams but less so for growing businesses without internal teams. Be sure to add this component to your list of questions to ask an MSP .
Do you want to learn more about how to choose managed security services and managed IT services? Check out these additional resources.
Top 5 Managed Services Selection Criteria
In terms of managed services selection criteria , you’ll want to gain a thorough understanding of each provider’s service capabilities to decide whether they meet your requirements.
Below are the top managed services vendor selection criteria to look at when choosing the right fit for your organization. These criteria can also help you know which questions to ask during MSP discovery .
1. Fast Response Time s
One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing your organization’s IT is that it provides the peace of mind that issues will be resolved quickly and that your IT tickets will be answered.
When choosing an MSP, it’s important to get an idea of average response times so you know what to expect.
2. Flexible Support
Though many IT issues can be resolved remotely, it’s important to choose a provider that can cover both on-site and remote support in your local area.
Ensure that the MSP you choose has service availability locally in case an issue requires technical support on-site. Make sure that they can also dispatch team members in a timely manner.
3. Proactive Monitoring
Compared to the break-fix model, managed IT services provide businesses with an improved network security infrastructure by proactively resolving potential issues before they become problematic.
Proactive monitoring and maintenance are important parts of establishing secure IT systems. MSPs will ensure programs are updated and they can scale infrastructure as the threat landscape changes or the business changes direction.
4. Disaster Recovery
Disaster recovery is a critical managed services vendor selection criteria businesses should consider.
Physical disasters can cause outages or destroy data centers and network infrastructure. Businesses must ensure that their MSP offers backups and disaster recovery solutions, as data backups during a disaster allow for business continuity.
Ask your MSP how they handle disaster recovery and what type of cloud services they provide. To have your data available during a disaster, your MSP needs to host your data on a redundant server that’s geo-located separately from the primary server.
5. Cybersecurity Solutions
Your business may be looking for a provider that offers a focus on cybersecurity as part of your managed services selection criteria . This is where a managed security service provider (MSSP) may be a good fit.
A qualified MSSP will not only provide you with IT services, but they’ll also employ security teams and handle your overall security strategy, including threat intelligence and ongoing monitoring of your network security posture .
4 Questions to Ask IT MSPs
55% of SMB owners believe the tech tools their organizations use right now actually get in the way. Don’t let this be you by failing to ask the right technical questions to qualifying MSP s.
As part of the MSP discovery process, you’ll want to qualify their experience and expertise to get a better sense of what it’s like to work with them. Asking MSP qualifying questions ensures you do your due diligence before choosing a provider.
Below are a few of the questions to ask during MSP discovery that you should add to your list of MSP qualifying questions :
- Do you offer customizable plans? This is one of the first questions to ask an IT MSP as having the flexibility to choose the types of services included in your MSP package can help you get the tailored solutions your business needs.
- What are your qualifications? A professional IT service provider should have a staff of highly trained and knowledgeable professionals with strong technical expertise. Ask your MSP to explain the types of training and certifications agents undergo.
- What cloud or cybersecurity technology do you use? This allows you to better understand the company’s capabilities in handling and protecting your data, as well as their ability to service your cloud technology.
- What is your approach to customer service? This final question to ask an MSP will help you get a better idea of the service you can expect to receive in terms of response times and more.
In creating your list of questions to ask IT MSP s, ensure you consider what MSP is best suited to your business needs.
Choose Steady Networks for Managed IT Services
Finding the right managed services provider for your IT support and cybersecurity takes some thoughtful consideration, so it’s essential to ask the right MSP-qualifying questions .
In referencing your list of technical questions to qualifying MSPs, you’ll be better equipped to find a provider that suits your needs and compliments your business success.
Call us today to learn more about our responsive support, customizable technology plans, and advanced cybersecurity solutions!