Deciding to outsource IT responsibilities to a managed IT services provider can be a wise choice for small businesses. However, not all MSPs are made equal.
It is crucial to choose a managed IT company that offers a selection of services that meets the business’s unique needs and at an affordable price. When determining if an MSP is a right choice, ask the following questions:
What IT services do you offer?
One of the first questions a business should ask when interviewing a managed IT services provider relates to their services. Established MSPs generally offer a wide selection of services to provide businesses with comprehensive IT protection and management.
Some of the most common services a business can expect to see include data backup, disaster recovery, IT help desk, IT cloud services, structured cabling, remote monitoring, unified communications, and network installation and management. An MSP should also provide both local area support and unlimited remote support.
Do you have experience in my industry?
Every industry is unique and has different technology requirements. When searching for a managed IT services provider, it is best to find an MSP that provides IT services to your particular industry.
This can give business owners the peace of mind that the managed IT services provider knows how to meet the business’s specific needs. Many established MSPs can back up their claims with past client testimonials.
Is the price being quoted fixed?
Price is an important factor when choosing a managed IT services provider. Most small and mid-sized businesses must stay within their budget to avoid cash flow issues in other areas.
The price that an MSP quotes may seem like a good deal, but it is important to see if the initial pricing is promotional or fixed.
If it is a temporary promotion, ask how much the service will cost once the promotion period ends. Companies may save money by selecting a package deal that includes multiple discounted IT services.
What are the terms of the service contract?
Contracts should always be read carefully to ensure that the terms of the agreement are well understood. Do not hesitate to ask questions about any difficult terms that you don’t understand or that do not mesh well with the company’s needs.
Agreeing to a contract that does not fit the needs of the business can end up costing the company more in the long term. Also, ensure that the agreement offers an escape clause. If, for whatever reason, the business wants or needs to break the contract, this should be possible without harsh penalties.
How do you approach technological changes?
Technology is always on the move and businesses must keep pace or risk falling behind their competitors. Many businesses rely on managed IT services providers to help them keep up with the latest technologies and achieve maximum innovation.
An MSP offers services that help companies streamline their operations and eliminate interruptions that waste time and money. Ask the managed IT services provider how they respond to changes or updates in technology and how fast they can adapt.
Does your business have a good reputation?
Reputation can say a lot about a business, regardless of the service they provide. While most companies will say that they have a good reputation, ask for documentation that proves that they have satisfied past and present customers.
Inquire about reviews from clients or testimonials that outline the business’s strengths and weaknesses. Businesses can also perform their research online to gain feedback about a particular managed IT services provider.
How do you prevent downtime?
According to a survey of 200 companies conducted by CA Technologies, the results concluded that approximately $26.5 billion in business revenue is lost each year due to downtime.
Managed IT services providers play an important role in helping businesses keep downtime to a minimum, leading to fewer losses and higher productivity rates.
There are many ways that MSPs can eliminate downtime and similar interruptions, such as backup systems, firewalls and the use of multiple internet connections. Regular maintenance and networking monitoring can also lead to smoother operations.
Speak with a Managed IT Services Provider
Hiring a professional managed IT services provider is not always an easy decision. Many business owners are hesitant to invest money in a service that may not pay off in the end.
Choosing the right MSP that matches the business’s critical technology needs can make a dramatic difference in a business’s ROI. Take the time to ask plenty of questions to the managed IT services provider to help ensure that it is the right choice.
Choosing a managed IT services provider is one of the most important business decisions a company will make. To learn more about services offered by MSPs or to speak with an experienced provider, contact SeaGlass Technology.