In today’s tech environment, everybody knows that managed services providers can play a vital role in keeping your organization up and running.
But with so many managed service provider (MSP) options out there, how do you choose the right one?
This blog post provides a helpful managed IT services questionnaire along with valuable tips and insight on how to choose a managed IT provider that best suits your needs.
Whether you’re looking for someone to handle all of your IT needs or just supplement your existing team, you’ll be sure to find valuable information in this guide to help you make the best decision for your business.
Keep reading to learn more about managed services qualifying questions and selection criteria.
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How To Choose a Managed IT Provider
According to statistics, the MSP industry is projected to exceed $500 billion by 2028.
With the increasing number of MSPs on the market, however, the process of evaluating managed services and selecting the best option for your business is becoming increasingly difficult.
As a part of your managed IT services checklist, you’ll need to consider everything from:
- Average network uptime performance
- Contract flexibility including monthly or break-fix options
- Average IT support response time
- Support team availability
- Service level agreements (SLAs)
Keep reading to learn more about why each of these elements are so important in the process of how to choose a managed IT provider that’s right for your business.
Building Your Managed IT Services Checklist
Investing time in thoroughly researching your potential managed IT providers through the use of a formal managed IT services checklist will enable you to make an informed decision regarding your IT partnership.
The following is a step-by-step guide to getting started:
1. Define your business goals and objectives
What are you most hoping to achieve or improve out of your IT?
Are you looking to incorporate the latest cloud services into your existing cloud infrastructure? Augment your in-house IT staff? Enhance your cybersecurity posture? Or improve your network data management by eliminating your data centers and replacing them with modern technology?
Through effective goal setting, you can better prioritize what you need from an IT provider and develop effective solutions and strategies that align with your mission.
Be as specific in your goals as possible and add them to your list of managed services questions to ask, and check out these additional resources to learn more about the different managed service offerings.
2. Identify potential managed services providers through your research
Once you’ve identified your goals and know what your managed services qualifying questions are, it’s time to commence your research process.
Be sure to seek out the following information on each potential MSP:
- Google reviews
- Customer testimonials from existing clients
- Service offerings from different providers based on website information
3. Consider the provider’s size, location, and industry experience
Once you’ve identified a list of solid MSP options, it’s time to book those discovery calls and find out more information regarding each of their size, location, and industry experience.
Let’s take a look at why these factors matter.
Size: A larger MSP may be able to offer a more reliable and higher quality service since they generally have greater resources. This can provide peace of mind with regards to the reliability of your IT infrastructure.
Location: It is important to choose an MSP located in the same area as your business as this can reduce costs for both you and the provider due to reduced travel time for technicians if an issue on-site is needed.
Industry Experience: Selecting an MSP that has experience in working with businesses from your sector or industry can be beneficial as they will already have knowledge of how the specific technologies required to operate in the field should be configured and maintained.
Your managed IT services questionnaire will come in handy in addressing these questions.
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4. Make sure the provider is able to meet your specific budgeting needs
Once you’ve identified the above factors, it’s time to ask about pricing and service level guarantees. These are some of the most important managed services questions to ask.
You don’t want to be lured in by the apparent low cost of a service as compared to its competitors without researching the details of the offering. This can be a costly mistake in the long run if the quality of service and support is not up to your standard and there are no legal agreements ensuring high levels of availability or resolution times.
Comparing services at various price points allows you to find the best option for your budget needs.
Moreover, SLAs provide accountability for both the third-party vendor and your business, ensuring that your needs are met within a predictable time frame and performance standards are met for uptime, response times, long-term IT improvement, and more.
These guarantees will save you the risk of being bogged down for hours a day due to insufficient services.
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