As a business grows and scales, so too do its IT requirements. A dedicated and skilled IT team doesn’t come cheap and it is next to impossible to keep up to date with the constant developments in technology. So how is your business going to handle increased demand, if you can’t effectively manage your IT systems? The solution lies in a Managed IT Service Provider.
To aid you in your search for one, this article will explore the 10 questions to ask your Managed IT Service Provider to ensure they’ll have your business covered.
What is a Managed IT Services Provider?
The term ‘Managed IT Services Provider’ (MSP) refers to third-party service providers who manage and monitor IT operations on behalf of an organisation.
IT duties such as hardware maintenance, cloud management, network monitoring and disaster recovery can all be outsourced to a team of skilled professionals for a fraction of the cost of putting together an in-house team with the same level of expertise.
We discussed the benefits of an MSP in a recent article.
What to ask a managed IT service provider
Using reliable managed IT services are paramount to the success of your business so when it comes to choosing a provider, it should not be a decision taken lightly.
Here are ten questions you should ask Your Irish Managed IT Service Provider:
1. How long has the MSP been in business?
Before placing your entire IT infrastructure into the hands of a newly appointed MSP, take some time to conduct your due diligence and establish some facts.
What are their credentials? How long have they been in business? What kind of industries have they supported to date? Ensure you are satisfied with the responses before making any final decisions.
2. What services and solutions does the MSP provide?
We are operating in a fast-paced technological world so it’s critical to stay on top of the latest developments and trends.
How up to date is the MSP with new products and support solutions for Irish business? And how will fees change as new tech is potentially introduced?
3. What is the communication process?
Good communication is essential in maintaining solid working relationships and this is no different when it comes to your managed IT service providers.
Regular check in’s with a designated point of contact or account manager, along with a well-established communication process will ensure you are receiving the best possible care from your MSP.
4. What is the support request process?
The whole purpose of working with an MSP is for dedicated and professional support. If an issue arises, you need to know who to talk to and what part you will play in resolving it.
Any good MSP will have standard operating procedures in place for such situations and once a request is logged, they should be able to take it from there without any further inconvenience to you.
5. What is the standard response time?
An important factor of the support request process will be the response time. Slow response times can be frustrating, particularly if the issue is preventing your business from operating as usual.
Choose a provider who values your time and has policies in place to deal with support queries.
6. What security measures does the MSP use?
Outsourcing and granting network access to third-party suppliers can open your business up to increased cyber security threats unless you choose a partner who knows what they are doing.
Safeguard your data and make sure that you are working with an MSP that takes cybersecurity seriously.
7. How often are reviews conducted?
Managed IT services is not a ‘set it and forget it’ type of deal. Each customer has different needs, and services should be tailored to suit those specific needs.
This also means that regular reviews should be conducted to establish any weaknesses and identify opportunities to enhance the service further.
8. How are incidents and outages handled?
It is one thing to be able to assist your business with disaster recovery, but how will your MSP cope if they experience an incident where their own systems go down?
Ask what the business continuity plan is and what it would mean to you in such a scenario?
9. Can the MSP scale with the business?
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, IT requirements will change as the business evolves and grows.
Ideally, you will want to pick a partner who will grow with you and can meet the demands and challenges that come with scaling a business.
10. Who can you talk to that’s already worked with the MSP?
One of the best ways to determine whether an MSP is best for your business is to find out what other customers have to say.
Testimonials on a website may be good social proof, however, nothing beats getting a recommendation first-hand.
Now that you know what questions you should be asking, all you need to do now is find the right provider.
At Calnet IT Solutions, we have been providing completely managed IT solutions to Irish businesses since 2003. With our managed IT services, you get a team of experts behind you ensuring you have the best-in-class IT working for you and your business.
As a certified Microsoft Gold Partner, our reputation is built on our commitment to our customers and understanding their requirements.
Contact us today to let us take care of your IT needs – so you can focus your energy on what you do best – growing your business.