6 Things To Look Out For When Choosing an IT Managed Service Provider

If you’re searching for a new IT service provider but need help knowing where to start, you’re in the right place. Read below for six signs of a well-managed IT service provider.

It would help if you chose your IT service provider with careful consideration. They’re responsible for the security of your business. And it would help if you chose them based on your specific needs as a business.

Read on for how to identify a good Managed Service Provider.

1 – Skills and Experience

First and foremost, you’ll want to ask about the previous experience and skill levels of the staff. All staff you’re working with should be certified high in critical skills. Microsoft Certifications or extensive knowledge of different cloud services, for example. It ensures you will keep updated on any updates in specific programs. In the long run, this could be vital to your business operations and cybersecurity.

Find out if the IT MSP encourages extensive training to grow the knowledge of its staff. It’s a great indicator that the company cares about the quality of its services.

The experience of a company’s employees can be more challenging to gauge. A good indicator is if their staff have been working there for a long time. If their employees have been there longer, they feel valued and work longer. And they will have built knowledge and gain experience in many aspects of IT service.

In the ever-evolving world of IT, your IT MSP should aim always to improve. They should research new products and standards to stay updated with current tech. Keeping up-to-date enables them to provide a top-tier service.

2 – Frequent Customer Satisfaction Surveys

A good indicator of any business’s success, including an MSP, is its reviews. Look over what their existing clients have to say about their services. A good MSP should have customer satisfaction (CSAT) results on show. For example, look for it in a central position on their website. Although, if you have to ask to see them, it may be a bad sign.

Reviewing websites the company doesn’t control is a great place to start. Here, you will find authentic reviews from real clients, gaining insight into how the MSP performs its business.

Any MSP who is confident of the services they provide should lead with their customer satisfaction results.

3 – Service Availability

Due to the random nature of IT, your service provider should be able to provide service at all hours. A dedicated and experienced out-of-hours team can be just as (if not more) important than their daytime team.

When weighing your options between MSPs, always enquire about their 24/7 service options. And ensure they have a solid after-hours protocol and team in place. This service can protect you against random IT issues, such as a server outage. Or an internet outage, for example. Imagine having a critical issue at 3 a.m. and resolving it before 9 a.m. when you get to work and notice.

4 – Both Local & Remote Support Included

Remote support indeed resolves most customer incidents. But, a small percentage (5%-10% range) get resolved on-site and are often the most painful for clients.

On-site visits from your IT service provider are a must-have for any business. You’ll likely encounter at least one IT emergency that requires an on-site visit. And it could cost your business if it fails to get fixed in time. Can your business afford an IT emergency that takes hours to resolve?

Having an IT service provider that is local means they can respond quickly to those situations when they arise.

5 – Alignment with Up-to-Date Industry Best Practices

An excellent indicator that your potential IT service provider has been in the industry for a while and knows what they’re doing is seeing if they use an ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library). An ITIL is a world-leading IT management practice. Adopting these practices is a crucial indicator of the maturity of the MSP you’re considering.

ITIL best practices cover problems, incidents, events, changes, and configurations. They may include inventory, capacity and performance management alongside reporting. These should be the backbone of any mature MSP. And it would help if you considered them when deciding to manage your IT resources to the highest degree.

6 – Security Certified

Now, security breaches feel like they’re everywhere. No business is too small to be targeted by cyber-criminals. And it could be detrimental to your business operations and expensive to resolve.

Not every MSP provides security to their clients. Security has moved far beyond simply installing antivirus software. Your business needs a complete, end-to-end security option, such as Cyber Essentials (CE). Cyber Essentials has become the industry standard for companies. If your MSP employs this security software in its offerings, the CE Certifications logo should appear on its website. Scroll to the bottom of their footer or ask the MSP if they are certified to this standard.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I have 20 years of experience in the IT industry. I have worked as a security analyst, trainer, and writer at Synergy-UK for over ten years.

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