What Boxes Should Appear On Your Managed IT Checklist?

While businesses around the world increasingly outsource the management of their IT, many struggle with finding the right managed IT services provider that fits their industry and workflow needs. Although choosing the right company can prove to be challenging, partnering with a competent, credible provider is a must in order to ensure you maximize the return on your investment. Not only do you want to get what you pay for, you want a partner who will adequately handle your IT needs to ensure your organization’s success. By collaborating with a Managed Service Provider (MSP), you can focus all of your efforts on value-adding projects, while a trusted partner ensures that your IT environment is up, running, and able to meet your team’s needs. Moreover, most MSPs have their niche expertise—including managed IT services. Therefore, the services rendered by dedicated MSP are targeted, cost effective, and efficient by design.
To help you select a managed IT services provider, here are a few are a few boxes that should appear on your checklist when researching potential partners:
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth plays an important role when choosing a managed IT provider. To help you make an informed decision, talk to peers and partners who outsource their IT about their experience. Ask them about their successes or failures working with different IT providers. Ask them if they feel comfortable recommending their MSP, or if they advise you to steer clear of working with them. Make sure to follow up by asking for an explanation to their answer. Asking around is a great way to narrow down your list of MSP options.
Client Recommendations
When considering a managed IT services provider, ask potential MSPs to provide client references. Then, reach out to their clients to inquire about their experience working with the provider. Make sure to think through questions ahead of time, including those that won’t receive a canned response—everything from the quality of services to how long it takes the MSP to return a phone call is fair game. If a potential provider is reluctant or unable to provide you with few references, then beware. Take that as a warning sign. You can also look up the company on various social media platforms or sites such as Yelp, Manta, and the Better Business Bureau to help you make an informed choice.
Your Requirements
If you plan to outsource your company’s services, it’s essential that you have a solid understanding of your business’s needs. Being conscious of your requirements means there are fewer chances of you being fooled or manipulated by an unethical managed IT provider. Compose a list of your specific IT requirements, and inquire whether or not a provider can meet these needs. For example:
 Will they perform regularly scheduled data backups? Do they maintain an offsite backup?
 Do they have the resources to get you up and running again for disaster recovery purposes?
 Do they remain abreast of the latest industry trends and provide ongoing training for their team members?
 Do they guarantee the security of your valuable data?
 What level of customer service do they provide? Is there any additional cost for service?

Flexibility and Scalability
Since businesses are constantly evolving and growing, it is important that your MSP is both flexible and scalable. For instance, when your needs change over the passage of time, will they be able to adjust their services to keep up with your company’s needs in the future?
While you may not need the services of an MSP around-the-clock, most organizations would benefit from 24-7 availability in times of need. Say an employee is putting in extra time on a weekend and there is an IT issue. Will the provider be able to provide support in a pinch and get them back up and running, or will it have to wait until standard business hours to be resolved? Make sure to consider your availability needs when selecting your managed IT MSP.
Deciding on a managed IT services provider can seem like a daunting task; how do you choose the right partner, and how would the wrong partner negatively impact your business? Doing your homework on potential providers can make the selection process go much more smoothly. Just be sure this homework includes creating a checklist with the above information to help you grade providers to see how they stack up. If you are considering Monster Technology as your managed IT services partner, contact us today. We are happy to explain how our service offerings match your IT needs.