What is a managed service provider (MSP)?
Businesses partner with MSPs to continuously monitor, maintain, and optimise their IT infrastructure, security, and more to support business goals and improve efficiency. By working with an MSP in place of, or in combination with an in-house IT team businesses can access a wider and specialised range of expertise, reliable and consistent support, and cutting edge technology solutions at a lower cost.
Working with an MSP has significant benefits, from minimising downtime to providing proactive support, and mitigating security risks. With all of this on the line you want to make the right choice, so we’ve done the hard work (you’re welcome) and put together 8 essential questions you should ask to evaluate an MSP’s compatibility with your business needs.
Questions to ask Managed Service Providers
- What specific services do you provide, and how do they align with our business needs?
Not all MSPs are equal in their offerings. Some will specialise in certain areas, whilst others (like Ever Nimble) are one stop shops with a range of services. Before you start looking for an MSP, it’s important to take the time to understand your business needs and goals so you can determine whether the MSP’s offerings are a good fit. As an (excellent) example, we provide comprehensive cyber security, IT, and cloud services.
- How do you handle security and compliance for our data and systems?
The changing requirements of data compliance are difficult to keep up with, but working with an MSP can save time and stress, strengthen your security online, and help you achieve compliance.
Your MSP should help you handle compliance by staying up to date with relevant regulations and policies, updating your equipment and devices, enforcing your cyber security to meet frameworks, and maintaining company-wide visibility.
At Ever Nimble, we take a proactive and ongoing approach to streamline your business’ compliance requirements. Learn more about our Compliance and Risk Management service that allows your business to achieve security and compliance overnight here.
- How will working with you minimise downtime and do you manage disaster recovery for our systems and applications?
With lowered productivity, lost business, and reputational damage the cost of downtime can be devastating. MSPs work to proactively prevent downtime, and should have the capability to identify and resolve issues before they affect your staff and customers.
MSPs should also have robust strategy in place to safeguard your business operations in the event of a disaster – from those that are naturally occurring, to cyber attacks, human error, and more.
- How do you handle updates and maintenance for the systems and software you manage?
Regular maintenance and updates are essential for your systems and software to run smoothly and fix vulnerabilities. This should be a typical function of your MSP to mitigate downtime and avoid more serious complications. Ever Nimble takes a proactive approach with automated maintenance and updates to keep your systems and devices secure.
- What is your process for monitoring and reporting on the performance of the systems and services you manage?
Regular reporting allows MSPs to demonstrate how they’re meeting service level agreements, and build stronger client relationships through transparency. We’d know – at Ever Nimble we provide comprehensive reporting on systems and services to keep our clients in the loop.
- What does my fixed fee include?
Before you lock in your contract, it’s important to get an overview of the services included and check whether they align with your business’ needs. Whichever level of support you require, MSPs are a cost effective alternative to an in house IT team, or outsourcing IT support by the hour when issues arise.
- What are your values, and what sets you apart as an MSP?
A company’s values offer an important insight into their workplace culture and working style. As you’ll be looking to establish a long-term partnership, you should ensure that the MSP’s values resonate with your own, and are a good match for your business. If you’re interested in our values, take a look here.
- Do you have testimonials?
Testimonials are a great way to get an insight into an MSP’s reputation and the experiences of people in your (potential future) shoes. They’re proof of great service, solutions, and happy customers. If the MSP you’re reviewing has testimonials singing their praises, they shouldn’t be hard to find (take our website as an example).
Partner with Ever Nimble, an award winning MSP
Choosing the right MSP for your business will save money and time whilst optimising processes, strengthening your cyber security, and ensuring your IT infrastructure is reliable. They take all things IT off your plate, so you can spend more time on your business. Interested in working with an MSP who puts their customers first? Get in touch with Glen at email@example.com.