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Selecting a reputable managed IT service provider (MSP) that will fulfill your strategic needs may be daunting. We promise it doesn’t have to be.
As a managed service provider, Aligned knows a thing or two about what you should look for in an MSP. Use the expert tips in this blog, and combine them with the 53-question checklist to make selecting the best MSP for your business easy.
53 Key Questions to Ask When Vetting an MSP
Many business leaders don’t know what questions to ask their MSP candidates. That’s why we created this IT due diligence checklist to help make the vetting process easier. It covers the necessary items you need to evaluate before committing.
How to Choose a Managed Service Provider
1. Develop a Plan
Determine the scope of your IT needs before looking for a provider. By defining your purpose early on, you can determine the technology solutions you need to support it.
- Define Your Business Goals: Consider the main objectives of your business and look for a provider that can meet those needs.
- Analyze Your Current Technology: Do an inventory of your current IT resources and assess their effectiveness. Are your existing systems and software robust enough to help you achieve your goals? Do you need to make any upgrades or replace older hardware and software? If you are unsure, a reputable provider can assist you with this process.
- Evaluate Your Business Processes: Think about how your business is run today, including daily operations and customer relationships. Can processes be improved through automation?
- Gather Feedback from Stakeholders: Speak to critical stakeholders such as employees and customers to get feedback. Ask them about their experience with your current IT solution and what technologies they think would impact the business most.
- Create a List of Needs: Take the information you gathered and develop a list that details what you will be looking for in an MSP.
2. Establish Your Budget
Work closely with your financial leaders to balance your budget with your tech priorities.
3. Get Quotes
Ask each service provider for a quote on the services and features you need. Compare the costs.
4. Do Research
Research providers to understand the services and solutions they offer. Ensure it matches your goals.
5. Evaluate their Experience
Consider whether the provider has the resources and experience to manage IT operations for your business properly. Ensure they possess experience in your industry, size, and scope. They should know how to:
- Streamline Processes
- Meet Compliance & Security Requirements
- Manage Operations
6. Get References & Reviews
Check references and read reviews from recent customers to get a better understanding of the provider.
7. Look for Great Service
Evaluate the provider’s response times, customer service, and communication options. Ensure they are interested in your company and goals and offer clear solutions. Excellent customer service is the hallmark of a great managed service provider.
8. Examine Management Processes
Determine how the provider handles any equipment or software upgrades, data backups, system maintenance, and other IT tasks.
9. Check for an Outcome-Driven Approach
Ensure the provider is outcome driven to help you grow your business. Each company has nuanced requirements that need to be met. Invest in a company that will give you the personalized approach you deserve.
10. Look for Security Best Practices
Ensure they are security focused. Every business today needs robust cybersecurity to stay protected. As “Britain’s Greatest Fraudster,” Tony Sales, said in 2012 – data is the new cash.
Review their security measures to ensure your data is safe and secure. Make sure you know the following:
- Where your data lives.
- Who has access to your data.
- How it is managed, tracked and protected.
Choose a company that can scale up or down when necessary to prevent paying for services you don’t need.
Choose the Co-Managed IT Support Option
Did you know that if you have an in-house IT team, you work with an MSP? It’s true. You can leverage an MSP that offers co-managed services to boost your strategies. A co-managed provider can deliver:
- Leading Technologies
- Help Desk Management
- Reduced Costs
- Staff Training
- Fill Gaps
Choosing the Right MSP Just Got Easier
You’ve got the tools. Now all you need to do is implement them to find a trustworthy provider to manage your IT operations efficiently and effectively. If you need additional assistance, feel free to contact us, and we’ll point you in the right direction.