The recent shelter-in-place orders around the country almost immediately forced a large part of the workforce to perform their jobs remotely and has business leaders reeling with the implications. How do you get your employees the software and hardware to effectively work from home? What are the cybersecurity risks if you don’t have a Remote Work IT policy? How much productivity will you lose without the right technology in place?
This critical situation has us all more reliant on technology than ever before, and you might be considering bringing in a professional IT team to help you navigate these new waters. If so, please review the following list of 10 things to consider when selecting a managed service provider (MSP), and then download a point-by-point checklist of 14 critical areas of concern that you can use to evaluate your options.
#1 Do they understand your organization’s needs?
IT isn’t a one-size-fits-all undertaking. What’s needed for one organization isn’t always appropriate for another. Some want to focus on productivity. Others privacy and security. Know what your company needs and go get it.
#2 Are they familiar with your industry?
Just because an MSP knows healthcare and banking doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for your organizational needs. Each industry has subtle but important differences that can be enhanced by an exceptional MSP. Pick the one best suited for you.
#3 What’s their skill and staffing level?
With MSPs popping up everywhere, there is a legitimate concern about qualifications. Make sure they have a high and expansive level of expertise as well as enough staff to handle your IT requirements.
#4 What’s their track record?
Industry familiarity and skill level are important but so is good old-fashioned experience and having a solid and reliable history of exceptionalism for a sustained period of time. Longevity and reputation are vital.
#5 Are they responsive?
Quality communication is important. In the IT world, speed is key. Especially when complications and downtime can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and result in extreme productivity and profitability losses.
#6 How proactive are they?
The best MSPs don’t have to troubleshoot as many problems because they anticipate issues before they arise. You want an MSP that’s always thinking ahead today to save you headaches tomorrow.
#7 What kind of monitoring do they provide?
In today’s world of increased data, accelerated speed of operation, and potential cyberthreats, anything less than 24/7/365 monitoring is unacceptable. Organizations need to know what’s going on in real-time, at all times.
#8 How capable are they regarding security?
As hackers get bolder and more sophisticated, they are increasingly targeting MSPs. How secure is the company in charge of your security? They should have the highest standards and competencies regarding privacy and security. [Download our checklist for the 14 key areas of concern when hiring an MSP for security.]
#9 How and when do they perform backups and updates?
In IT, it’s not always the latest and most innovative measures that are most valuable. Often, it’s the seemingly mundane, day-to-day activities done consistently over time that have the greatest impact. Like backups and updates.
#10 How do they approach productivity and innovation?
Are they keeping up with the latest trends and innovations? An MSP isn’t charged with just “holding your IT fort down” but finding new ways to keep your company productive, up to date, and forward thinking.