How to Choose a Managed IT Partner

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Technology changes at a rapid pace and most small- to medium-sized businesses don’t have the resources on hand to keep up with it or the budget to support an in-house IT staff. That’s why so many companies outsource the management of their IT environment to a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

An MSP is a tremendous asset for businesses, providing them access to the technology they need to succeed while leaving them free to focus on their business. However, all MSPs are not equal, and something as critical to your business as its IT infrastructure cannot be entrusted to just anyone. That’s why you need to do your homework and choose an MSP you can count on to do right by your business. Here are a few prerequisites to keep in mind during your search for and evaluation of an MSP partner.

Possesses the necessary experience and certifications – First and foremost, an MSP should have the knowledge and expertise to adequately manage your IT environment. Inquire about the experience of their staff, their core areas of expertise, and the industry certifications they’ve earned.

Offers fixed and flexible terms – Ensure that outsourcing the management of your IT is within your budget and remains predictable by partnering with an MSP that offers services for a flat, fixed-fee that covers all of the offerings you require. Additionally, make sure your contract is flexible to allow for the addition or subtraction of services over time.

Is available when you need them – IT emergencies don’t abide by normal business hours—your MSP shouldn’t either. As your business depends on technology to function, it’s imperative an MSP offers 24/7/365 support available to immediately address any issues regardless of the day or time.

Has a stellar reputation – Your MSP should have a proven track record of providing IT excellence. Ask candidates to demonstrate this in the form of references and case studies outlining how they solved particular problems for clients. Any reputable provider will be happy to provide them.

Partnering with a Managed Service Provider will help eliminate headaches and the need for an in-house IT department. Utilize this checklist during your search to help identify the right MSP for your business.