Unsurprisingly, managed services providers (MSPs) are a great business resource. For a fraction of the cost it takes to manage an IT infrastructure on your own, MSPs can ensure that your business is running optimally.
However, there may come the point where your business may have outgrown your current MSP. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate how well your MSP meets your needs periodically. Below are five questions you should ask to determine whether your current MSP meets your expectations.
1. Is the current Managed Service Provider responsive and quick to resolve technical issues?
Most MSPs will claim they offer round-the-clock IT support and same-day response times, but some fail to meet those promises. Ask your MSP for a detailed log of when technical issues were reported and resolved to see how quickly they responded. You can even test their response by submitting a few tickets or calling their support line to get a firsthand impression of their customer service.
If MSPs take longer to address support calls than initially guaranteed in their service level agreements, it may be time to switch providers. Every minute you spend waiting for a response from an MSP can mean a minute of downtime, hindering your company’s productivity and profitability. This disruption can also bleed into sales and customer service, causing potential clients to look elsewhere for similar services.
2. Do they take a proactive approach to IT management?
A good MSP proactively mitigates any source of IT disruption to ensure your business is running smoothly. They regularly monitor networks for performance issues and patch, update, and replace outdated equipment. The best MSPs will even recommend IT strategies and best practices to keep your systems at peak condition.
Far too often, subpar MSPs promise proactive management and fail to deliver. Instead, they take a reactive approach, only responding to technical issues when they arise. While not all technical issues can be prevented, a good MSP should keep close tabs on your systems and mitigate concerns before they escalate. If you only hear from your MSP when something goes wrong, it might be time to find a provider with more proactive service.
3. Is the MSP up to date with current technology trends?
MSPs must constantly update their IT knowledge to keep up with industry trends. Your company may miss valuable IT and strategies if they don’t know about the latest cybersecurity threats or tech developments. Ask your current Managed Service Provider what certifications and training they have completed in the last year and the technologies they specialise in. This will give you a good idea of their level of expertise and how well they can handle modern IT challenges.
A great way to tell if an MSP is knowledgeable is if they can explain complex technology concepts in non-technical terms. Well-established MSPs also hire technicians specialising in different fields, allowing them to address a wider range of IT issues. Empower IT, for instance, has cloud computing, network security, and software development experts on staff so that you can get help with various IT projects.
4. Are the costs of their services reasonable relative to what you’re getting in return?
Perform a cost-benefit analysis of your current Managed Service Provider to determine whether their services are worth the money. Start by listing the features you receive and how your business benefits from these. You can also quantify the MSP’s value based on the money and time you’ve saved with their assistance on IT issues. Then, calculate how much the MSP costs your company every month.
At the same time, compare the MSP’s services to those of other providers in the area. When looking at cost, don’t just consider upfront payments. Consider things like customer service, expertise, and proactive management. A good MSP should provide you with a comprehensive package at a price that meets your IT budget.
5. Can the MSP keep up with your growth?
Choosing an MSP that can scale with your business is important, so you don’t have to switch providers whenever your company expands. Consider the size of their team and how responsive they are when you have inquiries about their services. Generally, one IT technician can service between 50 and 100 workstations, so ensure your MSP’s team can support your business.
More importantly, request financial statements or other documents that show the MSP’s financial stability and long-term sustainability. If that’s not possible, look at how many years they’ve been in business and find out if they have handled long-term IT projects for companies similar to your organisation. Having a track record of successful engagements will give you a good indication of their ability to keep up with growing businesses like yours.
If these questions have raised some red flags about your current managed service provider it might be time to start shopping around. Empower IT has decades of experience providing comprehensive IT services for small and large enterprises. Contact us today to see if we’re the right fit!