Factors to consider when choosing a managed services provider (MSP) for your business

Factors to consider when choosing a managed services provider (MSP)  for your business

Outsourced IT services are heaven-sent to businesses that need customized cloud services, enterprise-level cybersecurity solutions, unified communication systems, and more. The good news for Florida-based small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is that there are hundreds of MSPs offering a wide range of IT services in the Sunshine State. The bad news is that having hundreds of options makes it more difficult to choose.

Some companies end up settling for an MSP that doesn’t understand their needs. Consider these factors when choosing an MSP to make your life much easier.

Deep expertise and experience

MSPs are expected to offer basic services like 24/7 monitoring, help desk support, and backup management and data recovery. However, IT technicians must also possess the skills to handle more complicated IT tasks such as cloud migration and virtualization.

It also helps to work with IT providers that specialize in specific industries. That’s because the software and IT support needs of a manufacturing firm differ vastly from that of, say, a healthcare organization, which has its own set of IT requirements.

Proactive approach

Proactive IT consultants help you avoid simple problems, like a server or network downtime, to complex ones, like cyberattacks and backup failures. They detect issues early and constantly improve your organization’s IT infrastructure to prevent technical problems from occurring in the first place. This is in contrast to a “break/fix” model of IT support whereby a technician is called upon to solve new and recurring technical problems.

A proactive MSP can also help you implement useful new technologies that automate workflow, improving work quality and increasing productivity.

Comprehensive cybersecurity and regulatory compliance

Hacking, data breaches, and router-targeted malware made headlines last year. These attacks compromised companies’ operations, damaged their reputations, and significantly reduced their profits. Obviously, you don’t want to fall prey to cybercriminals, but designing a comprehensive cybersecurity solutions calls for experts’ assistance.

Meanwhile, companies in regulated industries (e.g., healthcare, financial, legal, and insurance) must comply with the lengthy and complex rules and regulations of GDPR, HIPAA, FINRA, and other regulatory authorities. Dealing with these can be time-consuming, which is why the services of experienced IT consultants who are knowledgeable in these areas is valuable.

Service level agreements (SLAs)

An SLA is a contract that defines what a service provider must deliver to their clients. Evaluating an MSP’s SLA lets you set your expectations in case issues arise. An SLA must also state the extent of their liability, including penalties, compensation, and remedies that should be provided to the client in case these expectations aren’t met.

There will be a variety of IT service issues throughout the life cycle of your business, and you’d be well served to examine the provider’s warranties and compensation policies, your duties as a client, and problem-reporting procedures.

Sustainable pricing models

Plenty of things can go wrong in your IT system: computer crashes, network outages, server failures, and more. Paying IT technicians to fix these issues whenever they occur just isn’t sustainable and will drain your IT budget the more they happen.

IT providers offer a range of pricing models that give clients the flexibility to choose a payment scheme that best suits their IT budget. One of the most popular models is tiered pricing, which offers clients different price points, service packages, or “tiers.” An MSP like inrsITe offers fixed monthly fees to maintain your computers, networks, and your entire IT infrastructure, ensuring you never encounter downtimes, to begin with.

The MSP you work with should meet your expectations, not the other way around. inrsITe offers organizations in Brandon, Tampa, and Plant City, Florida high-quality, comprehensive IT support. Get the IT support that will protect your business all year round — speak to our IT consultants today!

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