Trust is hard, especially when it comes to business because everyone has their own skin in the game. Choosing to outsource functions of your business is never a decision to take lightly. You are granting access to an outsider under the assumption they will protect your interests as well as you would yourself. Some of the most common functions to outsource are IT related because of the technical experience required. Here are the top 6 things you should consider when choosing an IT Managed Service Provider (MSP).
- How long have they been in business?
While time is not always a strong predictor of performance, in IT it is more valuable than you’d think. Longevity indicates the MSP has evolved its offerings over time and kept current with the latest technologies.
- Can they offer testimonials or references?
This is generally a good practice when hiring any vendor. Of course you run the risk the references come from friends that would never speak ill. Read between the lines. Look for details about how available and how responsive their service techs are. Often, IT support services are the most imperative in emergencies, especially when there is potential for down time. An MSP can have a laundry list of services, but that doesn’t mean they are top-notch service providers.
- Do they offer on-site presence in the event it’s needed?
The beauty of many managed services, like cloud computing and server monitoring, is that they can be conducted remotely and automatically. But, if you need someone to be in your office in the event of a malfunction or disaster, can they be there? If you are local to your MSP, how quickly can you expect service?
- Do they offer a wide range of services that you need or may need in the future?
You can choose separate providers for different functions, but it is certainly more convenient if you can go to one trusted provider for your servers, computers, printers, data storage, and security. That allows them to get the total view of your systems and potentially can allow for better pricing options.
- Are they forward thinking?
Do they offer services that tie into current IT trends? Cloud computing is a necessity even if you’re not ready to migrate yet because you’ll need it eventually. You need an MSP that can help you keep your network data flowing regardless of the higher demands today’s many devices require from it.
- Do they put an emphasis on data and cyber security?
Security is the name of the IT game. While computers and the internet have certainly increased our productivity and speed, they have also created an inherent vulnerability. Your MSP needs to have a range of security offerings, like backup and recovery and antivirus, but also needs to have stringent internal security as well. You need to be certain they are not leaving a backdoor into your valuable data.
If you ask these questions and find yourself satisfied with the answers, then you’ve probably found a Managed Services Provider you can trust. Great Lakes Computer has been in business for over thirty years. We have a roster of clients willing to tell you how much they value our service. We are extremely responsive and our Help Desk is available day or night. We offer a range of services from Managed Print to Cloud Computing to Backup and Recovery. We can also help with issues like HIPAA compliance and digital forensics. We keep ahead of IT trends to ensure our clients have all the IT support they may need. Your security is our main focus.