Whether you are currently working with a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP) or are considering hiring one, there is more to consider than the scope of the offering. Take time to evaluate the provider—and whether their operating model qualifies them to manage critical business assets.
1. Discussions Are Collaborative: A great MSP wants your business for the long-term, and they know that means encouraging your input and caring about your concerns. If your first communication with the provider felt like a one-way conversation, walk away.
2. Strategic versus Tactical: The best MSPs not only aren’t reactive; they take a strategic approach, helping you think ahead to ensure your IT systems align with and support your current—and future—business goals.
3. Resolves Issues; not Fixes Problems: A reputable MSP uses advanced tools to proactively identify problems and resolve them, if possible, before they cause disruption. When issues cannot be resolved on the fly, they document the incident and recommend practical solutions.
4. Is Process Driven: Your MSP service should be consistent no matter who is working from one day to the next. While great people are also a key differentiator, superior MSP service begins with clearly defined and executed processes.
5. Offers a Realistic Plan: Some MSPs promise the moon; others control costs with bare-bones plans containing few guarantees. The most competent ones are realistic but thorough. They commit to response times, guarantee critical updates, and perform all specified activities. They are also clear what functions are outside the contract scope. That MSP won’t disappoint you.