Questions to Ask Your Managed Service Provider
Most IT architectures are complicated
In the digital age, many businesses are finding that maintaining their IT infrastructure is an overwhelming challenge.
There are no aspects of the business that do not depend on a properly functioning IT infrastructure. The increasing complexity of that infrastructure has naturally led to outsourcing IT management and monitoring to companies that specialize in keeping it all running.
Your relationship with your Managed Service Provider (MSP) is huge. The truth is, you’re not just purchasing a service, you’re entering a partnership that is crucial to your business’s overall success.
How, then, do you vet potential partners? Below are some questions to ask.
How will you help us compete more nimbly?
How you can better compete is what’s really at the core of the MSP conversation. Can they make you more efficient, more flexible? Can they help you win more? Enabling you to be nimble by leveraging state of the art technology and adapting quickly to emerging market trends. Ask them about automations and machine learning. How do they do remediation and orchestration? What is their product roadmap for the next couple of years? What concrete examples do they offer that ensure that they can help you compete at the highest level?
How will you fix our IT infrastructure problems and optimize our environment?
When you think about it, this is exactly why you are engaging them: their expertise in how a well-managed, well run IT infrastructure is put together and maintained.
How will you help us adopt technologies more rapidly?
Are the MSP’s engineers and techs already up to speed on the latest and greatest? Can they help you determine which technologies are appropriate for you and which won’t offer you any benefit?
How will you enable better collaboration and innovation within our business?
Any partnership with an MSP should be bringing you a smoother and more productive environment for your team. Beware of sales pitches that offer the same set of tools, albeit at a lesser cost. You can do a lot better than that.
What is your uptime guarantee? Do you have reporting in place that will make me comfortable you are meeting the SLA we agree to?
The MSP should be managing and monitoring your applications, computers, networks and services to keep things running. Make them commit to response time and network uptime that’s close to 99.9%, which is the industry standard.
Is your help desk staffed in-house 24x7x365?
The SLA provides an overall assurance that they will keep you up and running. But if they outsource their help desk after hours or on weekends, your business is now dependent on your MSP’s SLA with their vendor.
How do you prevent cyberattacks and data breaches? What do you do if it happens?
Make yourself comfortable about the level of incident and penetration monitoring they have in place. Ensure that their incident response plan – including service restoration – is adequate.
Are your clients happy?
Client experience matters. Ask your MSP what processes they have in place to exceed their client’s expectation when they engage.
There also shouldn’t be any issue with your MSPs ability to provide references to current clients. When you talk to their references, ask if they feel the MSP delivered on what they promised both contractually and verbally, and how they perceive their interactions with your MSP.
The real value resides in the fact that managed services help to streamline operations, innovate with new technologies and drive more IT value to the organization.
About Plow Networks
Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee in 2012, the founders of Plow Networks came together over a shared vision of offering businesses a unique and best-in-class experience by providing them with a single partner for all of their technology needs.
Businesses are looking for simplicity and a partner they can trust. Plow Networks gives its clients confidence and peace of mind by analyzing their business needs and recommending solutions that Plow Networks can architect, implement, support, and operate; so businesses can focus on growing and achieving their goals. As a result, Plow Networks is now a leading Total Service Provider (TSP) in the IT industry.