It is fair to assume that in today’s age IT Managed Services can be an asset to any company, big or small, IT or non-IT. Managed services present a cost-effective solution to IT issues and add an extra level of security for your business’s confidential information. A Managed Services Provider Company (MSP) can offer your business a number of digital solutions ranging from unified communication solutions to server security.
Before you start working with an IT MSP company, you should sit down with them to find out what they are really bringing to the table. We have tried to outline the top ten questions you should ask a potential Managed Services Provider before signing a contract.
- How Well Can You Handle Infrastructure Failures?
In today’s cyber-centric world, an IT disaster or a data invasion is practically inevitable. When investing in Managed Services, it is essential that you find a provider that is prepared for handling crisis and disasters. A reputed MSP will be happy to talk to you about a disaster recovery plan (DRP). Ask for specifics like the recovery point objections (RPO), and/or recovery time objections (RTO) that you want to set. In layman’s language, check if they have a recovery policy in place, or they will work with you to create a customizable plan. If the Managed Services provider does not have a detailed and well-thought recovery plan, it is time to move on to the next.
- What Specific Services Are Covered Under My Contract?
Asking this is the best way to figure out if there are any hidden fees or conditions in the contract. Managed Services providers can differ on how their services packages and processes. Some have all-encompassing suites and others offer customisable services. Specify exactly what you are looking for from a provider. Ask your MSP to clarify how they are going to charge you for it. Don’t accept one lump sum amount as the agreed fees. Insist that they break things down for you and seek more clarity on claims. Find out if they put limits on services, such as the number of times a week you can call the help desk or cap on the number of devices covered in a plan. You do not want to be hit by surprise fees at the end of the month that upsets your planned budget.
- What Are The Review And Audit Mechanisms?
It is a double-edged sword to outsource your digital infrastructure to a third party. You never know what they will do with your digital data and infrastructure. Make sure your Managed Services provider has set procedures on how to keep you in the loop. If not, there are some standard practices you can ask about like reports, meetings, etc.
- How Will You Add Value To Our Bottom Line?
The focus of any enterprise is its economic growth. You would obviously want to choose a managed services company that will make this easy. Associating with managed IT services company should allow you to focus on growing your business and not on the growing problems of technology associated with your business. Team up with a managed service provider who promises excellent results, great quality of service and expertise in the domain of managing the information technology challenges and issues. The right managed services providers can lighten the load of overstretched IT departments. By outsourcing your IT services you are shifting capital to operational expenditures and thus making your bottom-line healthy.
- How Will Your Services Help Us Stay Ahead Of The Competition?
Technology is everchanging. A Managed Services Provider Agency that is adaptable to both growth and change is the right partner for you. A good MSP should have a flexible plan to ensure your company is as up to date as possible and ahead of the competition. It isn’t enough for a Managed Services Provider to offer you today’s cutting-edge technology, you need to be sure that they will keep you ahead of others on these technologies and have a disruptive mindset.
- How Strong Is Your IT Infrastructure?
If a Managed Services Provider Company cannot take of its own infrastructure, how can they be able to take care of yours? You should check if themanaged service provider companies invest heavily in creating a world-class IT infrastructure to serve their clients. Does their superior and latest IT infrastructure has provision for more storage and cloud space? Can the infrastructure take care of the requirement of higher bandwidth for a particular project or to fight the fierce competition?
You need to know if maintenance and updates will affect your productivity and budget. It is good to confirm with your MSP that there will always be a way to contact them with these types of technology concerns. You do not want to find yourself in a position where your IT service is down and you cannot reach your provider.
- What Are Your Terms On Non-Disclosure Of Data?
Organisations need to be more aware of their data and the misuse. Especially those companies that deal with other people’s personal data. Ask your Managed Services Provider — what will you do with my data if we terminate the contract with your company? If they turn nervous about these questions, that should be a big red flag. There should be no uncertainty about whom that data belongs to and its confidentiality
- How Talented And Skilful Is Your Team?
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so it’s important to assess the talent and capabilities of the weakest member of the team of your MSP. Try to understand if the MSP has a small team or a big one. Is it made up of IT experts and security engineers, or sales reps, customer service agents?Are they focused more on customer service and retention or business development with new clients?What experience level do the team members have?
- What Is Your USP As A Managed Services Provider?
Managed service providers or for that matter any agency is asked this question a lot. It can also be a starting point of your cost negotiations. The benefit of ending with this is that you are more likely to receive a genuine answer by saving this question for last. If you are not fully satisfied with their response, request some customer testimonials.
You can ask as many questions you want, but at the end of the day, you have to follow your gut because you know what is best for your company. You deserve straightforward, well thought out answers as to your questions as you will be trusting the MSPs with the most important part of your organisation. Do not hesitate to speak to a few more service providers and industry experts before you take your final call.