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

If you’re searching for a new IT service provider but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. Read below for six signs of a good managed IT service provider.

IT service providers should be chosen with careful consideration. They’re responsible for the security of your business and should be chosen 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 to a high level in key skills, for example, Microsoft Certifications, or extensive knowledge of different cloud services. This ensures you will keep up to date on any updates in certain programs, which could be essential to your business operations and cybersecurity.

An IT MSP’s initiative to grow the knowledge of its staff by encouraging extensive training is a great indicator that the company cares about the quality of its services.

The experience of a company’s employees can be slightly more difficult to gauge. A good indicator can be seeing if they have high levels of length of service – meaning employees feel valued and work for longer periods, building knowledge and gaining experience in many different aspects of IT service.

In the ever-evolving world of IT, your IT MSP should aim to continuously improve in order to stay up to date with current programs and software, enabling them to always provide top-tier service.

2 – Frequent Customer Satisfaction Surveys

A good indicator of any business’s success, including an MSP, is to 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, displayed in a central position on their website. Although, if you have to ask to see them, it may be a bad sign.

Review websites that aren’t controlled by the company are 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 unpredictable 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 up 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 can protect you against any random occurrences such as a server outage, or internet outage, for example. This could all be easily resolved with an MSP.

4 – Both Local & Remote Support Included

It’s true that most customer incidents are resolved remotely. But a small percentage (usually in the 5%-10% range) are resolved locally and are usually the most painful for clients to have to deal with.

On-site visits from your IT service provider are a must-have for any business. It’s likely you’ll come into at least one IT emergency that can’t be resolved entirely remotely, and it could cost your business if it is not resolved immediately. Can your business afford to have an IT emergency that takes hours to resolve?

Having an IT service provider that is also local means they have the opportunity to respond quickly and effectively 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, meaning that the adoption of these practices is a key indicator of the maturity of the MSP you’re considering.

ITIL best practices cover problem, incident, event, change, configuration, inventory, capacity and performance management, alongside reporting. These should be the backbone of any mature MSP when making decisions on managing your IT resources to the highest degree.

6 – Security Certified

In this day and age, 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 anti-virus software, your business needs a full, end-to-end security option, such as Cyber Essentials (CE), which has become industry standard. If your MSP employs this security software in its offerings, the CE Certifications logo should appear somewhere on their website, simply scroll to the bottom of their footer, or ask the MSP if they are certified in this software.

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