When it comes to IT, it is an increasingly common trend for the companies to not fully rely on their in-house IT team, but rather, sign a contract with an external service provider. It is especially true when it comes to smaller businesses. That’s because they don’t need an entire IT team.
It is completely enough if few experts spend a few hours once in a while attending the issues at hand. Still, if you don’t consider yourself an IT-savvy person, it might be difficult to tell whether your managed service provider is doing a good job. In a second, you’ll learn what are the things that you should focus on.
Is price the most important aspect?
If you own a small company and you have signed a contract with a managed service provider, then the price was probably one of the most important aspects that you have focused on. That’s understandable – unlike large corporations, you don’t have endless funds. If you have decided to rely on an external group of experts rather than hire a full-time IT expert, then most probably there aren’t that many things that your company needs IT-wise.
Unfortunately, if you spend less money on managed IT services, the effect might be correspondingly worse. If there are some issues that are reoccurring, it might be that the supposed “experts” don’t know how to implement a permanent fix. In the long run, hiring a bit more expensive but also a more experienced team of IT professionals could be a wiser decision.
Are they providing you the services that you need?
If you haven’t yet decided which managed service provider to choose, various companies will tempt you using an ornate language. You will hear (or see) a plethora of reasons why you should choose a particular company. They will surely claim that they can fix any issues (or most of them) that your company might encounter. Well, you certainly aren’t looking for someone who has less extensive knowledge, right?
Actually, it might be a viable option. Depending on the type of company that you are running, you might not need the world-class experts to help your company grow. Sure, it would be better to work with someone who is smarter, but their expertise might not be required to deal with the problems that your company faces.
At the same time, you would undoubtedly have to pay them significantly more. The ads will try to convince you that it’s not true, but you don’t always need the services of the best experts available. The decent ones might just be enough.
Is the communication between you and the managed service provider good?
Another aspect of the cooperation that you should consider is whether communication with the managed service provider is smooth. It’s great if the problems are solved by your MSP in a timely manner, but do those IT experts explain to you what the problem was? Do you have issues contacting them even in the middle of the week? If that’s the case, it could be a source of frustration.
Are all costs clear?
If you sign a contract with a managed service provider, you should know from the get-go how much various services will cost. Some shady companies might try to increase the costs of their work artificially. It’s crucial that you receive all the essential information before you make a decision. You should also receive process documentation. If, later on, you discover that the costs have increased, and you have no idea why, you might want to investigate what could be the reason.
You cannot predict how well your company will fare in a year. You might experience a period of incredible growth, but it is also possible that you might need to scale your business down. Whatever happens, you might need a different type of support from the managed service provider.
If you have signed a contract with an MSP that has a limited number of people in their team, you might need to change an MSP. It doesn’t mean that it is always better to do business with larger MSPs. If you think that for the time being, your company doesn’t need that much IT support, it might be enough.
At the same time, for the same amount of work you’ll typically have to spend less money if you sign a contract with smaller MSPs. Remember, though, that many things could happen and the demand for IT support of your company could change.