Everything You Need to Know About Hiring an IT Managed Service Provider

IT Services | February 22, 2022

Are you trying to balance your business and IT department, but you just can’t keep up? Or maybe your business’s system is outdated to the point that it’s affecting your employee’s productivity. That’s where managed services come in to take care of your technology, so you don’t have to worry about anything.

According to CompTIA, 64% of businesses are utilizing a managed service provider (MSP) because it just makes their lives easier. You can place your entire focus on your projects; meanwhile, the MSP makes sure the companies systems are protected and running smoothly.

And that’s just one of the perks.

When choosing the perfect IT company to support your needs, there are many things to consider. You can decide if working with an MSP is right for your business with the proper knowledge. So, here is everything you need to know.

What Is An IT Managed Service Provider Anyway?

I will assume you know something about managed services and why they might be of interest to your business. But if not, here’s a quick Q&A:

What Is An MSP?

An MSP is a company that provides a range of IT support services for a monthly fee. Instead of worrying about technology or hiring a full-time IT department, you can outsource all of your technology needs.

Who Are Managed Service Providers?

Managed service providers are companies that provide expert IT support to other businesses. They can do this because they have a dedicated team of onsite technicians who maintain their own equipment in the provider’s office.

What Do Managed Service Providers Handle?

Pretty much everything having to do with your IT infrastructure, as well as any downtime or problems. Typically this includes monitoring and maintaining network devices as well as providing support when required.

What Are The Services Offered?

The most common managed service packages are:

  • Infrastructure Monitoring & Management
  • Backup Services
  • Helpdesk Support
  • Server/Workstation Uptime Monitoring

With many providers offering a preconfigured package or the option to customize your own, there’s almost certainly one that will suit your business.

How Are Managed Services Delivered?

Managed services are usually delivered remotely. This means you’ll enjoy the expertise of a fully trained service technician without ever having to leave your office! Typically, you’ll never even meet your managed service supplier unless there’s an issue requiring their attention.

How Are Managed Services Purchased?

By comparison to other IT services, managed services are typically purchased on a monthly basis. This is because the provider will offer their expertise and support throughout your network and systems, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (so you don’t have to!).

What Are Some Standard IT Services?

IT companies offer many services, but not all are the same. Here are some key services to look out for:

  • Backup & Disaster Recovery
  • Cybersecurity Services
  • New Computer Set-Up Services
  • Cloud Services
  • Constant 24/7/365 Monitoring and Managing

Is A Managed Service Provider The Best Fit For You?

Small and large businesses take advantage of managed services. It’s not only the size of the company that matters when it comes to IT; it’s also about how complicated their system is and the type of support needed. The best way to decide is to take both the benefits and downsides of outsourcing your IT services.

Benefits

  • Forecast potential problems and avoid them before they cause downtime. This means less frustration for your employees and more productivity.
  • Access to experts with training in all aspects of networking and computing.
  • Keeping track of all employee accounts and deactivation when needed
  • Allows you to keep IT expenses predictable

Downsides

  • Unexpected costs due to needing a service out of your contract
  • The need for a contract. If it’s not working out, you would have to wait until the contract expires to seek another provider.
  • Trusting another business with your data and tools.

10 Tips Find The Managed Service Provider That Works For You

Before hiring a managed service provider, consider whether outsourcing IT tasks will be right for you. If you’re looking for a more robust and more reliable IT department, managed services could be the solution you’re looking for.

Industry changes occur in real-time and require an MSP that does not impede growth. Find vendors that offer robust toolsets and services such as cloud, cyber security, desktop support, networks, and infrastructure management. A good MSP can help you determine what services you need and what you don’t, so you can keep your business growing. When shopping for an MSP, consider these tips:

How Are They Performing On Their SLAs?

The best-managed service providers are those that excel in three key areas:

  • Minimizing downtime
  • Responding to alerts and incidents efficiently
  • Providing excellent customer service

By checking out feedback from existing clients, you’ll get a good idea of whether the provider is meeting these goals. You should also ask for a copy of their SLA, or service level agreement, which details what services will be provided and what kind of response time to expect.

What Warranties Do They Offer?

When you purchase managed services from a provider, you’ll be paying for the expertise of their technicians. Over time, this will save you an immense amount of money.

To ensure that you’re getting the very best service, ask about warranties and SLAs before signing any contract. You should also use this as an opportunity to negotiate your own terms.

What Are Their Cancellation Terms?

Before signing any managed services contract, always check the provider’s cancellation terms. This is to make sure that you can exit the contract if you need to without incurring any extra costs.

Get A Breakdown Of Their Services

Some managed service providers work with their clients to create a customized package of managed services, while others work with a fixed list of services. When comparing managed service providers, make sure you get a breakdown of the services they offer and how these could benefit your business.

Reputability

If you’re new to managed services, ask for advice from other companies that have made the switch. Apart from providing some great testimonials, they’ll be able to point out both strengths and weaknesses in each provider’s service offering.

The best-managed service providers are those that create strong relationships with their customers, so you’ll likely be able to find reviews online.

Reliability

Seeking a reliable MSP is vital to keep the business running smoothly. Ensure that their service desk is fast and efficient by getting support directly from a professional. For example, at EMPIST, you speak to an engineer instead of agents the second you contact them. Also, having 24/7/365 support is essential.

Making Security A Priority

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center in 2021, at least 160 million people will be victims of cyberattacks. The best way to avoid being a victim is to reassure that your IT systems are being monitored and protected 24/7. Not all companies are tailored to have the same cybersecurity plan, so have one tailored to your company’s needs to maximize security.

Diverse With Devices

It’s essential to have an IT professional who understands the importance of mobile devices. Implementing and optimizing mobile computing for your employees increases employee flexibility and productivity. Mobile computing allows employees to access information from anywhere with ease.

Experience

Hiring an MSP familiar with your industry is a great advantage because they will understand and meet your needs. Seek an IT company that works with inclusive businesses and offers a variety of IT solutions that work for you. It is also not a bad idea to ask your MSP about their engineer’s experience and knowledge in your industry to see what they have to offer.

Focus On Business Outcomes 

The focus of the MSP should be on the business outcomes more than technology. The reason is that you want someone who can fix an issue and plan for the future. You can see their goal in the first meeting.

Conclusion

Hiring a managed service provider to take care of your IT needs is an excellent idea for any business looking to improve its technological capabilities and efficiency. To ensure that you get the best possible service, ask about their managed services and decide whether it’s the right fit for your company.

Speak to your peers about their experience with managed services providers before signing any contracts. This way, you can ensure that your business gets the most out of outsourcing and the service provider meets all of your requirements.

With decades of diverse knowledge in the IT industry, we can ensure that we will exceed your needs. Check out the variety of services we offer to start a plan for what works best for you! Contact us today at (312) 360-1900 or [email protected].

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