Your business is affected by every decision you make but, few decisions are more important than selecting which Managed Services Provider (MSP) to partner with. The increased popularity of MSPs has given rise to a greater pool of providers with a varying range of expertise and experience, and it can be difficult to determine which of these providers are a good fit for your company. It is critical that you consider several criteria when making your decision, because your MSP will serve as a lasting partner for your business.
You may develop specific criteria related to your business goals, but there are a few standardized criteria you should consider before committing to an MSP.
The MSP you choose should offer skills beyond that of your internal IT team and access to specialists and experts. Identify these skill gaps and ensure your MSP can add value to your existing IT team by delivering on these skillsets.
Look for an MSP with experience across multiple industries. It is critical that you work with an MSP who has excelled in a variety of different situations and comes with strong references.
Experienced MSPs like Milestone, focus on proactively preventing problems from occurring through data analytics and root cause analysis and stay away from a strict break-fix philosophy.
Ability to address questions
MSPs who do not provide specific, contextually relevant answers to your questions are likely to show a similar lack of knowledge and attention in their services. Challenge potential MSPs early in the vetting process.
Responsive Service Level Agreement
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) establish agreed-upon standards for quality, scope, responsibilities, and delivery time. Select an MSP that provides SLAs that are managed, responsive, and evolve with the service to ensure continual improvement.
Accessible IT Services
Work with an MSP offering onsite services that allow close monitoring and seamless integration with your organization. Ease of accessibility leads to faster response time, predictable costs, and increased flexibility in the service delivery model.
Strong MSPs value customer service and consider the way that people, technology, and processes work together. Comprehensive MSPs like Milestone, focus on process improvements that allow your people to work more efficiently towards organizational goals.
Alignment with Industry Best Practices
Select an MSP that operates according to industry standards giving you the confidence that you are receiving high-quality service that includes strategy, design, transition, operation, and continual service improvement.
Ensure that your MSP can help you scale. Look for an MSP who can continue to provide services and recommendations about people and processes as your company expands and your organizational goals change.
Look for an MSP that gives you the Governance framework around their services. Service Governance will ensure consistency and visibility in the quality and reliability of services.
While this is a primer for what to look for before selecting an MSP, your business may develop specific benchmarks to measure the ways in which an MSP can meet your business-specific needs.
We provide more such pointers in another article here.