Your company has decided to partner with a local MSP based in the New York Metro or Puget Sound area in order to handle its growing needs in the IT department. That’s great news! But, how do you choose the right Managed Services Provider?
First both you and the MSP you approach have to understand your needs and wants.
Begin the process with these three steps:
- Identify your requirements internally.
- Find a few MSPs that you like.
- Schedule a baseline assessment with your top picks.
Let's dive into each of these points further.
Identify the technology headaches
Start by identifying the information technology pain points in your company. This is the absolute first thing you should do before you start looking for an outsourced IT department. When you hire Amoeba Networks, you’ll get a complete assessment, but start with an internal mini-assessment and ask yourself these questions:
- Are we lacking in the cyber-security category or unsure in any way about the security of our information assets?
- Are we spending too much time dealing with IT problems?
- Is our existing internal IT department over-burdened?
- Are we losing control of or lack insight into IT resources, such as devices, servers, service contracts, and other assets?
For example, maybe you have a strong Project Manager who is overseeing IT for the time being and as your headcount is growing, he is spending more time fixing computers than doing his important projects!
Another common scenario is that as companies grow the security risks increase and get more complex. Is your current IT department providing multi-layered protection, business continuity protocols, and security awareness training?
Get perspectives from different departments
If you want help understanding the technology pains suffered throughout the firm, interview your colleagues about it. Hand-in-hand with the previous task of writing down anecdotal examples of pains, it’s important to involve different perspectives because it allows you to make a more informed decision.
Some department heads might have unique pains or plans that affect IT in some way.
For example, is your sales department using an outdated CRM? Is the productivity of customer-facing employees being jeopardized because of outdated software? It is very common for businesses to avoid upgrading, switching, or reinforcing existing business applications because of the perceived complexity of the task or pricing.
It’s important to pinpoint these specific needs prior to seeking bids. Come to the table prepared and ask for a baseline assessment before you sign a contract with an MSP. With network discovery tools and years of industry experience in hand, an MSP can illuminate potential areas of concern.
Evaluating MSPs in NYC
MSPs that have experience in your industry will understand your challenges. You can find out by reading the testimonials on their website, or simply by asking them for references of happy clients that are similar to you.
Besides vertical expertise, good MSPs should include guarantees present in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Warranties, client and provider duties, and protocols for when problems arise should all be detailed. The agreement also helps hold both parties accountable and can also serve as a benchmark to measure MSP level of service and performance. Ask your target MSP for a sample contract.
Finally, consider their process of delivering strategic advice. They shouldn’t be only fixing IT headaches. Their main goal should be to help bring technology planning and ideas to the table that will help your business move forward.
“There needs to be a synergy between your company and the MSP you hire. The personality of your business partner is just as important as the personality of your own business. To sum it up, the goals of your MSP should painlessly align with the goals of your company.”
It's not only about price
While it’s true that small businesses can save money by outsourcing IT, the final decision should not be exclusively about pricing. Hiring an MSP is about strategically partnering with a third-party provider to solve your company’s specific IT needs. The MSP should improve on your business’s existing strengths and reinforce the gaps within IT.