6 Things to Ask a Managed Service Provider(MSP)

If you are running a modern company, there are certain challenges that you may have experienced in your IT department. For example, you may be spending a lot of time and resources to ensure that your systems are well managed and productive. If that’s the case, then you shouldn’t shy away from outsourcing. One of the most critical IT services businesses are outsourcing to professionals revolve around end-user systems and IT infrastructure, and such services are provided by a Managed Service Provider.

Unfortunately, getting the best professional can be difficult, and that’s why this article is here. Keep reading to discover the six top questions you need to ask before hiring an MSP.

1. What is their competence level?

When it comes to third-party companies, you need to make sure that you are getting value for money. It is always prudent to look for a service provider with a lot of experience in the field. They should have a good record when it comes building healthy relationships and delivering results. Find out what their ratings and reviews are before taking them on.

Since you need them to cover the skills that you do not have, their quality of service should be top-notch. They should also be able to demonstrate how their services will aid your business.

2. Are they cost-effective?

Outsourcing particular functions to an MSP should result in reduced overall operational costs. Their services need to reduce staffing costs and risks while increasing work efficiency. Furthermore, their charges should be realistic for your business, so you need to conduct a lot of research to compare the different providers’ prices in relation to their services.

Once you do that, determine if it’s more sensible and cost-effective to get an MSP or handle the task in-house. Furthermore, the amount paid for the services should, in the long run, yield a real gain or value for your business.

3. How is their service coverage?

Before selecting a managed service provider, you need to assess all your business needs. You should then customize your arrangement in a manner that captures all those needs to bring out the need for investing in the MSP and establish a clear framework.
Vital services that you may be looking to get assistance in include: network and application management, IT infrastructure planning and management, data transitioning and recovery, and security. You can then add to the deal other services you might need, such as vendor management.

4. Can they protect your data?

Data protection is vital for the survival of any business. This is where a Managed Service Provider can prove helpful. First, you must choose a service provider that can guarantee the security of your system. They must have the necessary resources and tools to secure your data in the cloud and on-site. They should also be able to monitor for any threats, and provide prompt countermeasures. Additionally, they ought to have a risk management strategy that clearly outlines their disaster mitigation techniques.
Furthermore, they must have a tested data recovery solution in the event of an emergency. You need assurance that you will get your business up and running.

5. Are they available?

With more business operations being online through the cloud, most Managed Service Providers work remotely. Nonetheless, you may need to have your physical site monitored frequently. Therefore, select a service provider that will be available for any hardware upgrades and repair needs as they emerge. They should also be readily available for any form of consultation.

6. How is the contract?

Once you have decided on an MSP, you need to draft a legal contract that will guide your working relationship, and your favorite MSP should be able to your terms. Besides being agreeable, the terms of the contract should protect the welfare of your company.
Secondly, make sure the contract is flexible. It needs to have guidelines for review. You should be able to terminate the services of the company when the need arises without getting tied down by the document. For example, it would be best to have a temporary agreement that is subject to renewal on the basis of performance.

As your business grows, there’s no doubt that you may need the services of a managed service provider. Being aware of what you need to check for can save you a lot of stress later on. Let these questions guide you when selecting a Managed Service Provider.

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