Hiring an internal team to manage your company’s IT needs can be expensive. Between paying each employee a full salary and hiring IT professionals from a wide range of specialties, the costs can add up quickly. Consequently, many businesses have started turning to managed services providers (MSPs) for help.
The right service provider makes a significant difference—while a good MSP will charge less for basic IT services and offer a diverse range of expertise, a bad MSP can lead to poor communication, network downtime, and mistrust. With your technology on the line, choosing the wrong MSP can cost you. So, how can you make sure you’re choosing a reputable MSP?
MSPs are responsible for managing the health of your company’s technology, and working with an experienced MSP can ensure your company has everything it needs to run smoothly. Your MSP analyzes your company’s data to make sure it’s available and useful to employees and customers who access it. If you have a problem with accessing data or with other technological issues, your managed service provider can help resolve the issue.
When your company utilizes new applications, your managed service provider should be able to help minimize and prevent onboarding issues. In the case of performance issues, your MSP should be able to resolve the issue and free up in-house IT staff to focus on more important work.
Because fixing problems before they cost your company is fundamental to a solid operating system, it’s important to prioritize prevention when choosing an MSP. To combat downtime, most MSPs offer some kind of uptime guarantee in their service agreement. While the standard is 99.9%, some MSPs offer 99.999% or more, known in the IT industry as five nines or better. Some MSPs even offer 100%, which may be required by regulation for certain industries, such as healthcare.
In addition to determining their uptime guarantee, find out what steps your managed service provider takes to prevent problems, review their prevention statistics, and ask for previous reports.
Ask what kind of security services they offer
Over 14 million data records have been stolen since 2013. With attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated and new types of cybercrime like social engineering, ransomware, cryptomining, and fileless malware, your MSP should be willing to explain security practices within their data centers and tell you how data is stored by external vendors.
Employees and customers need different levels of access to company data, and choosing a reputable MSP program that can integrate with other MSP tools can protect your company with top-tier security services. For example, OneLogin—the identity platform for secure, scalable, and smart experiences that connect people to technology—offers Multi-Factor Authentification, Single Sign-On, and SmartFactor Authentification to reduce reliance on passwords and prevent potential breaches.
Determine your IT budget
If you’re planning to hire an MSP to cut IT spending, it’s essential to make sure they can actually save you money. Can the MSP automate components of your workflow to cut labor hours? Is routine maintenance included in your contract? Are there any additional security fees? Will you be able to scale your network in the future?
Although working with a managed service provider can provide access to affordable expertise, reduce overhead costs, and increase your internal resources, hiring an inexperienced MSP can end up costing you more in the long run.
No two companies are the same, and finding the managed service provider that works best for your company will depend on your IT needs. Ultimately, working with an experienced MSP can help you secure company assets, save money, and free up resources to focus on your core competencies.