With rapidly evolving technology and IT needs, businesses may find it challenging to keep up. If you feel overwhelmed with managing your IT needs, outsourcing your IT tasks is a great way to regain the necessary focus to run your business successfully. For this to be an effective solution, you need to find a suitable managed service provider.
What Is a Managed Service Provider?
A managed service provider (MSP) is a third party that provides and manages IT services to its clients. Organizations and businesses outsource a wide range of IT functions and processes to save money, improve operations and focus on running their business, among other benefits. MSPs leverage specialized knowledge to monitor and maintain numerous services, including security, networks, infrastructure, cloud services, disaster recovery and more.
What to Look for in a Managed Services Provider
Managed services providers can vary significantly, and there are numerous options available to businesses. When it comes to knowing how to choose an MSP, there are several things you should look for to ensure you’re finding the best fit for your business. Use these six factors to consider what makes a good MSP:
1. Relevant Services
Managed services aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Many MSPs offer different services focusing on different fields or targeting specific businesses. You’ll want to choose an MSP that offers services you can benefit from and use. Evaluating your needs beforehand can help you narrow down what services you need. From there, look for an MSP that can meet your needs.
MSPs should help your business grow, so find one aligned with your objectives.
2. Off-Site and On-Site Services
Availability is one of the biggest factors to consider when looking at MSPs. Not every provider offers on-site services like consultations and assistance, so if this is important to your business, be sure to find an MSP available for on-site visits.
Off-site IT assistance should be available to you 24/7 and the MSP should guarantee around-the-clock monitoring. This service is crucial to the early detection of cyber-attacks and system failures. Constant monitoring allows these issues to be resolved before damage occurs.
3. Certifications, Qualifications and Expertise
When trusting a third party to manage your IT tasks, it’s crucial that you check what they can actually do for you. Certifications and qualifications are great indicators of an MSP’s capabilities. They’re also signs that the provider desires to better themselves and takes the time to work towards advanced certifications and earn the necessary qualifications to succeed in the industry.
In addition to certifications and qualifications, you should look for a provider with technical expertise. The provider you choose should have the necessary skills to do the work you need. Seek an MSP that understands the technology you use and has strong partnerships and a team of highly-experienced technicians. Experienced technicians will do their best to save you time and money.
4. References and Credibility
Keep in mind that certifications, qualifications and expertise don’t determine an MSP’s professional character. Professional character refers to how a business treats and interacts with its customers and clients. You should only work with a provider that is trustworthy, credible and dependable. To determine if an MSP has these qualities, look at referrals, reviews and testimonials. Many companies and organizations share these on their websites, or clients may post them elsewhere online.
Clients are often quick to leave reviews and testimonials when they’ve had an especially good or bad experience. Reviews and referrals can give you important information regarding the type of experience others had with the MSP and what the business relationship might look like for you.
5. Experience With Your Industry
Like we said earlier, different MSPs often offer different services. This tends to lead to some MSPs working with specific industries or types of businesses. For example, one provider might have services that work especially well in the healthcare industry, while another MSP may focus more on retail IT solutions. While most professional providers could handle the challenge of an industry outside their niche, it may be more beneficial to you if your MSP has experience in your industry.
Keep in mind that the MSP doesn’t need to work exclusively within your industry, though familiarity with your industry can help them provide effective solutions.
Despite relying on the MSP’s expertise, you should still make technology decisions based on your business’s needs and preferences. Rather than forcing you to do things their way, look for an MSP that can adapt to support your business the way you need it. Both the solutions provided and the way they’re delivered should be done so in a way that fits your preferences. With an adaptable MSP, you’ll be more likely to get the support and solutions you need.
Why Choose Focus Technology
At Focus Technology, our customer-first approach ensures we find the best IT solutions to exceed your business goals, operations and objectives. To accomplish this, we welcome new clients with an expedited, three-step onboarding process. To find out how we tailor our services to your needs starting at the first meeting, here’s a brief look at our onboarding process:
- Planning: We’ll establish points of contact, so you’re actively involved in each stage. At our first meeting, we’ll gather information regarding your company, your goals, expectations, current IT solutions and more so we can customize your experience with us.
- Assessment: We’ll use the assessment stage to do a deeper dive to create a deployment plan. We’ll ask for in-depth business information, your systems and your work environment. Next, we’ll look closely at your goals to find the best solutions for you. Using all this information, we’ll set up a timeline and implement plans for moving forward.
- Deployment: After reviewing the plan with you, we’ll outline the services and timeline in a service-level agreement (SLA). With the SLA in place, we can deploy the plan and get your IT solutions set up. We’ll also be sure to train your entire company, so everyone is on the same page. Moving forward, we conduct regular performance reports and reviews to ensure our plan continues to meet your needs.
With Focus Technology, you’re encouraged to be as actively involved in our partnership as you like, giving you the best chance to find effective IT solutions.
Find Effective IT Solutions With Focus Technology
Our comprehensive managed IT services are customized to your unique business needs. With solutions like a complete IT department, data center, infrastructure, security, business continuity and disaster recovery, our professionals are here to maximize your IT efficiency and reduce costs. Contact our team today to find out what Focus Technology can do for you.