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What to Look Out for in a Managed Service Provider and How to Choose One

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Like everything else in life – not all Managed Services Providers are equal. For any business, there are many aspects of service that are non-negotiable. Certain services must happen in a specific amount of time, and with a baseline standard of quality.

So what should you look out for, and how do you go about choosing your company’s Managed Service Provider (or MSP)?

Well, here are 3 facets of managed services that businesses should look for when outsourcing their IT:

#1: The Managed Service Provider should provide the Standard Services required by Your Business

Outsourced Help Desk Support

Here’s the thing: 22 minutes of the average workday are spent dealing with IT-related issues. Over the standard 261 workdays in a year, that equates to around 95.7 hours of lost production.

No matter an employee’s salary, the math on dollars lost per year is staggering. Multiply that by your entire staff, and it is downright frightening.

This is what makes the 9am-6pm weekday help desk so important. Having a set of experts ready to help employees through their IT issues at any moment saves loads of time and money.

And because most IT issues can be resolved remotely, your tech team is just a call away. Don’t spend extra for an unneeded in-person visit from technology vendors.

On-Site Maintenance and MSP Support

Times have changed, and needing a local provider is becoming less common. Depending on the kind of company you are, you may still need one who can reach you in an emergency.

If your business still uses on-site servers, shared hard drives, or a VPN, you could need an MSP who can get to you quickly. On-site visits can also be important for infrastructure projects and IT relocation.

Yet, a managed services provider like eVantage Technology will strive to end your reliance on providers that are local.

And if your business/ client’s office is in Singapore, and you need smart hands on the ground, we got you covered as well!

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Solutions

Sometimes, managed IT providers are hired with cybersecurity in mind. These providers can be Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs), or otherwise MSPs with more network security-focused expertise.

Just about everybody is aware of the threats of cybercrime, but MSPs can take cybersecurity to the next level.

Cybersecurity is a battle on multiple fronts. Most viruses and malware come through email, but companies must also secure their networks and endpoints. The ability to respond to cybersecurity events is also important.

Many MSPs will offer cybersecurity training for your employees that includes how to avoid phishing emails. This is a huge benefit of managed IT services. MSPs are uniquely prepared to handle all aspects of a diverse cyber-defense, all while you focus on what your business does best.

Managed IT Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions

Regardless of whether you hire an managed service provider, your company should be equipped with a comprehensive disaster recovery plan.

The best managed services providers will have your backup and disaster recovery plan in place immediately.

Disasters happen, and the inability to recover can shut your business’s doors for good. Planning, storage, design, testing, monitoring, restoration assistance, failover, and reporting are all aspects of BCDR planning. All are essential to ensuring your most important data is secure in any situation.

MSPs For Cloud: Setup and Partnership

The cloud has something for every business these days. Finding a managed IT provider who is an expert in the main cloud environments can help you best leverage the cloud.

Make sure that your MSP offers cloud migration services. That way you can successfully transition your data to the cloud with ease.

Maximizing the cloud is a complex task. The right MSP will help you find the right mix of cloud environments and integrate them into your operations. No more wasted overhead.

Vendor Management From Your MSP

Trust is the backbone of any relationship, including your relationship with any vendor. Including your managed service provider.

To stay up to date, your company will need new workstations, server equipment, applications, anti-virus, data backups, and more. Procuring these pillars of IT will involve using many different retailers.

Over time, managed IT services providers have developed relationships with all types of technology vendors. The best managed service providers will know what vendors you can trust to find products and discounts.

Having a team that can lay out an IT roadmap and get you the parts to put things in motion is ideal.

Never worry about filtering through thousands of potential options. Your MSP should know who to go to whenever you need anything.

#2: The Managed Service Provider should be Knowledgeable of Your Company’s Industry Expertise

When you hire an MSP, you should be hiring an expert in the technology landscape. That kind of goes without saying.

But a cherry on top is if the managed IT provider is an expert in something else, too: Your industry.

Whether it is retail, healthcare, hospitality, media/entertainment, manufacturing, or otherwise, your industry has its specific challenges.

You don’t want an MSP who discovers these issues as they arise, you want that knowledge beforehand. That’s why you hired them in the first place!

Find a managed IT provider who has managed companies in your field before. At the very least, make sure they can prove their understanding of how to navigate your business’s unique challenges.

MSP Compliance Expertise

Compliance regulations are some of the most important pieces of industry knowledge that your managed IT provider can have. They also change all the time.

Industries have their own compliance regulations, like HIPAA and HITECH in the healthcare realm. But government entities institute their own compliance regulations too. So do countries like Singapore.

Top MSPs understand the regulations that your company must adhere to. They will also create a plan to keep your customer data protected in ways that comply.

Managed Services with Foresight, Proactivity, and Efficiency

As you’ve heard a few times already, technology is always changing. You need an IT team who adapts to it.

That adaptation is not very tangible, but there are signs that an MSP could show that indicate they will continue to evolve.

Do they challenge the status quo? Do they have a plan for your business? How far down the road are they looking? Are they fixing problems before they happen? Even better, are they constantly asking you about your business and trying to learn more?

Managed IT providers should always be asking questions, especially about you. They are meant to be leaders and learners, so make sure they want to grow with you.

#3: The Managed Service Provider should provide top-notch Service Quality

In the world of IT managed services, there are certain benchmarks that must be hit for an MSP to be worth its while. Many of them should be agreed to beforehand.

Managed IT services should reduce costly downtime and improve customer morale, but how can you measure that? How can you enforce it?

Timely Restoration of Managed IT Service

Unfortunately, occasional downtime puts you at the mercy of your provider. Nobody can get your internet back online if your internet provider itself is down. And, what’s worse is that downtime can cost your company around $5,600 per minute.

Imagine your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is down. You are losing valuable productivity, you are having to send employees home, and you need a fast resolution.

Most providers are trained to put the fault back on you. Chances are, your provider will tell you they are up and running, or try to sell you an “upgraded” service that you don’t need.

If your provider is down, our IT engineers will know how to speak their language. An MSP skilled in vendor management can talk to that provider for you. This ensure that you get faster escalations and that your problems are in front of the right people quickly.

A managed IT provider gives you a partner to perform root cause analysis, finding the exact issue at hand. An MSP can diagnose your problem and let you know if you are down, or the provider are.

Having a partner who can diagnose your tech and find a logical solution to fix it will keep your downtime to a minimum. All for much less than $5,600 per minute.

Fast Service/Response Time from Outsourced Help Desk

Time is money, as we have seen. Your managed IT provider should be finding more time for you.

Having an entire help desk at your disposal should make it easier to get on the line with a tech expert. If your help desk can’t get to your phone call in a timely fashion, it may be an indication of their speed when handling tickets.

With all this to look out for, how exactly do you choose a Managed Service Provider?

I know I know, there is a lot to consider when finally deciding on which MSP you ultimately want to outsource your IT to.

Your budget and the scope of services should determine which provider is best for you.

As you consider who you trust with the future of technology, think about what is most important to you and weigh that against other factors. Start with your current pain points, and project further into the future.

Also, consider who you believe is in the best position to be an extension of your team. In the end, that’s what managed IT is: an addition to your business, that you trust.

So here are 12 questions to ask yourself when choosing an MSP:

  1. Does this MSP have a help desk?

  2. Do they provide fast and efficient support response time?

  3. Are they capable of making on-site visits? Will you possibly need one?

  4. Do they offer backup and disaster recovery planning?

  5. Do their IT services line up with what you need?

  6. Do they have experience?

  7. Do they have experience in your industry?

  8. Do they handle compliance?

  9. Do they demonstrate foresight?

  10. Did they ask questions about your business?

  11. Is their pricing a flat fee or hourly?

  12. Do they have testimonials that show their value to other companies?

Interested in finding out more about eVantage Technology as your company’s Managed Service Provider? Click the green button below to contact us today!

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