As technology and threats evolve, hiring a managed IT service provider to support and manage your organization’s technology is a great investment. The right partner can simplify IT, helping your team get their work done while keeping data secure. In other words, they’ll offer peace of mind that technology is fueling your operations and allow you to keep focused on business results.
But what exactly should you be looking for when screening potential partners? Whether you’re already working with one or looking to hire for the first time, here are the top 5 things to look for in a managed IT service provider.
1. Look for a managed service provider that excels at communication
IT issues – whether impacting the entire organization or one person – can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. Add in disorganization or miscommunication, it can also cost your organization in downtime and unengaged employees. If the team is unable to use the tech or is frustrated with the experience, they aren’t working to their full potential.
That’s why it’s important to look for an IT vendor with strong communication skills.
When your team needs IT support, you can rely on a great managed service provider (MSP) to focus on the employee as well as the technology itself. Driven by the desire to help, they respond quickly and talk about technology in an approachable way.
Through personal connections and quality support, these IT experts help build trust and confidence in your organization’s IT strategy.
2. Look for a managed service provider that values collaboration
Your technology fuels growth when it supports how your team works.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to look for an IT partner that works with you to create an IT strategy driven by your specific needs. Without wanting to learn more about your business, they can’t help you to develop strategies that help your organization thrive.
A great managed IT service provider talks with you regularly about your business goals – where you are and where you want to go – and adjusts priorities as needed. They value 2-way communication as a key to partnership. By being curious and asking questions, your MSP can make meaningful recommendations that fit your organization. After all, your success is their success!
Need help with an IT strategy for your business? Click here to learn more about WorkSmart’s IT Strategy & Planning services.
3. Look for a managed service provider that prioritizes cybersecurity
While it’s impossible to prevent all attacks, having the right cybersecurity strategy protects against the potential costs and downtime caused by one. That’s why it’s important to look for an IT partner that recognizes the probability of a cyberattack and helps you to be prepared.
Every organization has different threats, vulnerabilities, and risk tolerances. A great managed service provider helps to build a solid cyber defense with this in mind. They help to create knowledgeable employees and implement the right security tools to prevent threats from wreaking havoc.
Keeping in mind the likelihood of a successful breach, they also stress the need for reliable backups and a recovery plan.
61% of all SMBs have reported at least one cyberattack in the past year.
RELATED: 10 Small Business Cyber Security Statistics That You Should Know – And How To Improve Them
4. Look for a managed service provider that focuses on being proactive
Technology that isn’t properly maintained creates risk. Unreliable systems can slow employees down and interfere with their ability to get work done. It can also leave your organization vulnerable to cyber attacks.
That’s why it’s important to look for an IT partner that focuses on proactive IT support and maintenance.
A great managed IT service provider combines automated maintenance, system monitoring, and proactive support to keep technology running smoothly and securely. When working through issues, they look to remedy the root cause to prevent recurring problems.
You can count on these MSPs to be forward-thinking, focusing on business results (not the technology).
5. Look for a managed service provider that is process-driven
Having a proven process is the key to consistently excellent support. Using experience and best practices, a great managed service provider defines (and regularly refines) processes around delivering service.
This helps to set clear expectations whether onboarding as a new client, meeting for strategic planning sessions, or installing new technology.
RELATED: See how WorkSmart Service Coordinators keep clients up and running with a quick look at their ticket triage system.
Hiring the Right Managed Service Provider
You can get to know how well potential MSPs will work with your organization by asking questions about their people, their technology, and their processes. Get even more perspective by speaking with their customers, past and present! That feedback is a great way to gauge the overall quality of service.
Here are some questions to ask:
- What is your company doing to stay abreast of the latest technology, trends, and security measures? How do you protect your own organization?
- Do you outsource any of your technical operations?
- How do you go about customizing a service plan for a new client? What is your discovery process like?
- Do you offer any co-management services? Will you work with our in-house IT department?
- What does your service agreement look like? How often is the contract renewed?
- What price options are available? What is your pricing structure? Monthly fees vs billing hourly, More about pricing here.
Ready to get started with your own Managed IT Services plan from WorkSmart? We would love to chat with you about how our services can work to give you peace of mind and allow you to focus more on your business.
We’ll take care of the IT strategy while you do what you do best – run your business!