10 things to look for in a managed service provider
A managed service provider (MSP) is a third-party contractor that cares for a business’s IT infrastructure through technical support (IT advisory, consultancy, maintenance, security, upkeep, etc.). The global IT outsourcing market is worth over $530 billion and is expected to reach $1.06 trillion by 2030 as demand for IT outsourcing soars.
According to a Deloitte survey, entrepreneurs opt for managed services mainly to accelerate digital transformation, access new tech capabilities, improve cybersecurity, cut costs, achieve regulatory compliance, and bridge internal skill gaps. In a nutshell, an MSP is a strategic IT partner that enables you to access and utilize tech more economically and effectively.
However, you can only reap these benefits when working with the right MSP. That means you must choose your IT partner wisely. Here are ten crucial things to look for in a managed service provider:
1. IT leadership. An MSP should provide you with IT governance services, ideally through a virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO), to help devise, implement, and guide your company’s IT strategies. A vCIO mobilizes and empowers IT teams and decision-makers to develop result-oriented action plans.
2. Responsiveness. Most IT issues must be addressed promptly to prevent costly downtime or damages. Look for a 24/7 availability and fast response times from your managed service provider. You also want an MSP that offers both remote helpdesk services and on-site support.
3. Transparency. Every fruitful business partnership is built on mutual trust and transparency. Even when delegating all your IT tasks, the MSP should allow you total control and visibility into your IT infrastructure. Also, the MSP’s service scope should be clear and measurable.
4. IT budget planning. Cost reduction is one of the main reasons businesses hire managed service providers. An MSP saves you money by optimizing your operational efficiency, planning quarterly/annual IT budgets, and finding ways to cut IT spending.
5. Disaster recovery planning. A good MSP ensures that your business can recover from disruptive events such as natural disasters, accidents, and cyber incidents. An IT disaster recovery strategy is a vital safety net and a big part of business continuity planning.
6. Vendor management. Your IT framework comprises different software, hardware, and cloud products from multiple vendors. It can be challenging to keep track of the various licenses, APIs, updates, and patches from all the vendors. An MSP simplifies this by becoming the vendors’ contact person, saving you tons of paperwork and time.
7. Emphasis on cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a significant concern for any IT-dependent organization. The global volume of cyberattacks stands at an average of 1,168 weekly attacks per organization. The MSP should protect your IT assets, customers, and staff from insider and external threats while adhering to regulatory data safety and privacy standards.
8. Clear backup strategy. Data backup is a crucial component of cybersecurity, disaster recovery planning, and security compliance. Ensure the MSP can classify and back up your data, with the most critical data sets being recoverable at high speed. Also, a data backup system must be secure, dependable, and readily accessible at any given time.
9. Predictable service costs. Most MSPs offer tiered or custom service packages to suit clients with different IT needs. Understand the MSP’s pricing model to ensure you’re paying for only what you need and in predictable subscription fees.
10. Experience and expertise. Vast experience and high-level expertise are two invaluable traits in the IT business. Look for a knowledgeable managed service provider that has been in the industry long enough to understand trends and patterns in IT management. That way, you’ll have the best chance of steering your digital productivity, growth, and economics in any direction you like.
In need of a managed IT service provider that meets all these qualifications? Look no further than GB Tech. GB Tech bears all the hallmarks of a competent IT partner for your business, regardless of its size or technical needs. We’ve been in the tech space for over 35 years, and our vast suite of services ranges from cybersecurity and cloud migration to data management and systems deployment.
We’d love to hear from you. Tell us what you need from a managed IT partner.