Managed IT service providers (MSPs) such as Safebit Solutions offer businesses the opportunity to outsource the more arduous and complex aspects of maintaining an IT network while benefiting from their specialized knowledge and expertise. When utilized correctly, the productivity gains from the reduced technical issues and freed-up resources achieved by MSPs result in savings that easily offset the cost of their engagement. This is especially true now given the distributed workforces borne from he COVID-19 public health crisis.
Not all MSPs are made equal, however, and choosing the one that’s right for your business is crucial. Here are some of the factors to consider.
1. Technical expertise
Part of an MSP’s function is to develop a strategic approach to your organization’s IT environment and identifying the correct technology-based solutions for its specific goals and context. Different IT capabilities, however, require different levels of expertise: the level of knowledge and skills required for basic troubleshooting differs vastly from that needed for more advanced network administration.
When choosing an MSP to partner with, it’s therefore important to ensure that you select a partner with an appropriate level and nature of experience as aligned to your company’s business objectives and IT needs. It’s also crucial to consider future goals, and what skills you’d like your MSP partner to impart to your in-house IT team so that they’re equipped to deal with anticipated obstacles.
2. Industry expertise
Just as MSPs vary in their level of technical expertise, so too do they vary in their familiarity and proficiency with different business types and sectors. It’s crucial to choose an MSP partner equipped to handle the needs of your industry, especially if it’s a particularly niche or complex one.
Many MSPs market themselves as industry-agnostic, and profess the ability to adapt their capabilities to different contexts. Where no clear industry alignment is visible based on a potential partner’s marketing, what’s important is to examine their capabilities and how these align with your business’s needs. This can be done by studying case studies of their past projects, looking up lists of former and current clients, and reading reviews and testimonials.
3. Technological sophistication
It’s in your company’s best interest to partner with an MSP that utilizes sufficiently sophisticated technology as aligned to your business needs. Having access to the best technology increases the breadth of solutions your MSP partner can apply to your business problems, with the benefit of bypassing both the learning curve and capital expenditure needed to adopt these solutions in-house.
It also pays to consider not just their current level of technology, but their policies and attitudes toward the adoption of new solutions. An MSP partner that continually improves its technological arsenal pays dividends in the long run.
4. Flexibility and scalability
The objective when choosing an MSP is finding one that can bring solutions to the table for the particular challenges your business faces. MSPs should have a willingness to tailor their service suite to your requirements.
An extensive list of capabilities without corresponding flexibility can actually become a liability in that you end up paying for services you don’t end up using because they came in a package. Likewise, an MSP should be able to tailor the scope of a given service offering to your business requirements.
Your IT capabilities are ultimately only one component of your larger business framework. Therefore, when handing off responsibility over such a component to an external party, clear and honest communication is essential. You need visibility at all times over what’s going on with your IT network — the problems being faced, what’s working and not working, and what possible roads forward look like. This enables management to make informed strategic decisions for the larger company with a full understanding of the context of each component.
You partner with an MSP so they can solve your IT problems, but counterintuitively, their doing a good job often means not seeing them in action. An ideal MSP will predict and prepare contingencies for any potential problems your business might encounter.
In fact, one of the core reasons for partnering with an organization with such specialized capabilities is so that your business can proactively address its problems rather than reactively putt out fires.
None of the above matters if you’re unable to reach your MSP when you need them. Find an MSP partner with services that suit your scheduling needs. This involves both general monitoring and support services that are run remotely, as well as accessible and prompt on-site assistance when necessary.
If you need a world-class MSP that fits all the criteria listed above, Safebit Solutions is your IT partner. Contact us now to see if our offerings suit your business needs.