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Checklist for Evaluating Your Current Managed Services Partner

Posted on the 09 December 2021 by Saeed Ashif Ahmed @saeedashifahmed

Evaluating the current managed service provider from time to time is an important task for all businesses. Whether you're happy with your current situation or you have a sneaking suspicion that your business could receive greater value from your partnership, it is not easy to know where to begin, which questions to ask and which characteristics to evaluate.

This guide is practical and actionable as it will help you understand what questions to ask your current MSP and that will ultimately help you find out whether or not your current solution is providing the ultimate return on your IT investment. That's why we put together this practical and actionable guide to help walk you through the process.

Choose Managed Services Provider

A Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) is an organization that offers their services to manage another business' existing IT staff, computers, network, servers, and all their technology needs. This can help avoid a great deal of frustration and bring peace of mind; however, it will ultimately depend on the MSP that you choose.

A good managed services provider will offer essential IT services and a wide range of expertise at affordable rates. On the other hand, the wrong MSP could result in huge financial losses. Think about how your business could suffer because of poor communication, lack of follow-through, network downtime, and general mistrust all around. Therefore, it is important to choose a managed services provider that will meet all your business needs.

Questions To Ask Your Current MSP

First, it's important to ask whether your current MSP provides the greatest overall value? The value and the scope of their services is the right place to start. Make sure that your current managed services provider delivers the highest possible value so that you're getting the greatest service for the price you're paying.

The second question is whether they are quick to respond, and do they resolve issues efficiently? A managed service provider that does not have enough staff or resources to respond quickly and resolve matters efficiently could result in financial losses.

A quality MSP is one that proactively takes steps to solve any IT problems that your business faces and makes use of preventative measures to prevent these problems from happening again.

Moreover, you could question how they take care of security, updates, patching, network monitoring and strategy meetings. Also make sure that they do not use any outdated technology that needs replacing. We will now discuss a few more factors that form part of our checklist for evaluating your current managed services provider.

Availability

Most businesses are not operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. However, most businesses need to have a computer network that does, which means you will need your IT service provider as well.

Remember that your business, employees, and clients depend on this. Therefore, it is important to make sure that your current MSP is available when you need them.

Fast Response Time and Good Service

Needless to say, if your provider is available all the time but fails to respond quickly and effectively deal with your problems and needs, then their service is of no use. Similarly, if they forward your queries or calls to a support center, that's not going to be very helpful.

It is important to make sure that your current MSP is responding in a timely manner and providing a good service for what you're paying. Choose a managed services provider with a guaranteed response time.

IT Budget Planning

It is important to understand the value of your IT and the services your current MSP provides. They should be sitting down with you and helping you with IT budget planning for the future. This will show that your current managed services provider looks out for your interests and is planning ahead, just as they should.

A trustworthy managed services provider that cares about your business is what you need. Sitting and speaking directly with their team to improve your business will not only provide you with knowledge, but also confidence.

IT Disaster Recovery Plan

As mentioned above, a good MSP will plan ahead and take steps to protect your data and make sure that your business can recover from a disruptive event. They should be able to help your business if it is hit with a weather disaster, vandalism, or other outage.

Third Party Vendor Partnerships

This is another huge benefit of using a quality managed services provider as they will handle technology vendors on behalf of your business. They should be able to track down multiple vendors for their support and services, which will save you a lot of time.

It is worth considering who your managed service provider partners with and whether they have expertise on the tools and services they are offering.

Maintenance and Support

It is very useful to have a managed service provider that can offer on-site maintenance and support. If you're partnering up with a local managed service provider, you will probably be getting the best service.

Cloud Service and Daily Backups

It is important for every business to store their data securely, especially if the data includes sensitive information that could cause harm if it gets in the wrong hands. Make sure your current managed services provider offers a safe way of storing data.

You might also want to ask for automatic and consistent backups. Unless, of course, you're already getting that from your services provider.

Network Monitoring and Security Testing

This should really be obvious. A good managed services provider must keep your network safe from hackers and cybercriminals. Make sure that your partnership plan with your current managed services provider includes network monitoring and regular security testing as a lookout for cyberattacks.

Proactive Employee Support

Think about it, if your employees are busy with IT management and other such tasks, how do you expect them to complete their work? Therefore, it is important for your current managed services provider to be available and to help all technological problems that your employees might be facing.

No matter how busy the employees are, it is not ideal to only fix technology when it has stopped working. A good managed services provider should proactively run the updates, fix any technological errors so that your business can run smoothly.

It is clear that a good managed services provider can improve business efficiency by saving time and money by avoiding technological problems. They should be able to help you avoid costly disasters and bring great value to your business as they look out for your technology needs.


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