What Is an MSP (And How to Choose the Right One for Your Business)

Managing data and IT solutions in-house can be challenging and expensive. That’s why many organizations turn to MSPs.  

Digitalization has forced businesses to alter their operations and make IT a huge part of their day-to-day affairs. Still, some owners can’t cope with the change effectively, so they hire a managed service provider, or MSP, to take care of the work.  

But what exactly is an MSP?  

Simply put, this is a third-party company you can collaborate with to help manage parts of your business, such as your IT or cloud needs. It provides technology and expertise to boost your organization’s scalability.  

Working with MSPs can have tremendous benefits for your enterprise. 

For instance, their profound understanding of cutting-edge technology can help you improve performance, operations, and security while reducing overheads. In addition, they can offer several creative solutions to help you navigate the evolving landscape of the big data world.  

But the strongest suit of any MSP is usually their ability to deliver tailor-made solutions that fit your company perfectly.  

Their expertise allows them to analyze your business thoroughly and render their services according to your strengths and weaknesses. Plus, they consider the regulatory environment and compliance to safeguard against legal issues.  

Another great thing about MSPs is that they can support your business even after hours.  

They offer support measures and staff to maintain and protect your organization 24/7. MSPs can even tap into your system to resolve issues and deploy updates without going to your office using remote technology.  

Overall, MSPs can help take your company to the next level. However, you can’t work with just any service provider. You need to select the right team for your enterprise, and the below will help you do that.

CHOOSING AN MSP – WHAT TO LOOK FOR 

Hiring an MSP shouldn’t be a hasty decision. Instead, you want to take a variety of factors into account. 

Here are the six important factors to keep in mind:  

FACTOR #1. THE MSP’S TRACK RECORD

Prospective MSPs should provide case studies and success stories to demonstrate they’re suitable for your business. You can also look for testimonials, references, and endorsements. These will help you determine if the team has been operating for a while and if their reputation is solid.  

Working with a reputable MSP can give you peace of mind with the knowledge that your system will be appropriately managed. Moreover, you’ll feel confident that the MSP will do all in its power to preserve its name.  

The MSP’s success hinges on yours in some respect, which is why they’ll view you as a valuable partner.  

FACTOR #2. THE RANGE OF SERVICES IT PROVIDES

MSPs offer a wide array of services. Some teams are full-service companies, meaning they address your cloud and IT needs comprehensively. In contrast, others may help you with different pieces of your tech puzzle.  

Therefore, consider your needs carefully and ensure your MSP can meet them.  

Regardless of your service package, the MSP needs to keep up with the latest technology trends. Otherwise, numerous security issues may compromise your company and allow the competition to prevail over you. 

FACTOR #3. SUPPORT

As previously indicated, MSPs can work round the clock to ensure your business is compliant and maintained adequately. However, they should also increase their support quickly and adjust staff schedules as your company grows.  

That’s why you should consider an MSP that offers training for your employees. 

It lets them understand the necessary changes and encourages them to train other team members as they join your business. But if your employees are too busy, you can instruct the MSP to carry out all the training.  

FACTOR #4. RESPONSE TIME 

Your network can go down for any number of reasons, preventing your employees from working and your clients from reaching you. This situation can even cripple your reputation, customer base, and revenue. In the worst-case scenario, it can even make you shut down your business.  

Fortunately, a high-quality MSP can help you avoid this scenario. They can identify threats to your system and neutralize them before hurting your company.  

Moreover, if an incident takes place, they should respond immediately. They need to mitigate the risks as soon as possible to keep your organization from crumbling. 

FACTOR #5. SECURITY AND BACKUP

One of the most important duties your MSP should perform is to shield your data from cyberattacks. This is critical to protecting your company and customers. Besides, safe data storage might be mandatory in your industry, which is why your IT department could use all the help they can get.  

Once you work with an MSP, they should recommend robust security solutions and endpoint protection to combat harmful software. And throughout their engagement, they should consider compliance to help prevent legal issues.  

Another major part of their mission should be the implementation of backup software. It enables you to retrieve your data in case of a breach. Such implementation may involve automation, a restoration plan, and a no-downtime policy.  

With a failproof backup and security strategy in place, you should be able to run your company more confidently. The risk of downtime will be drastically lower, allowing you to operate smoothly, maintain high sales, retain customers, and preserve your brand.  

FACTOR #6. GUIDANCE ON WORKFLOW OPTIONS

Your MSP shouldn’t just deal with cybersecurity – they should also suggest adopting the best practices across the entire tech landscape.  

For example, they should advise you on various CRM solutions and project management applications. They should also help you revamp your approach to workflow and data to create efficiency in all departments.  

The fact is, you can yield tremendous results from their guidance. Your team can work faster, collaborate in real-time, and be more tech-savvy.  

RECRUIT YOUR MSP CAREFULLY

While price is important when selecting an MSP, it pales in comparison to all the factors listed above. Be sure they’re a perfect fit for your enterprise, even if you need to pay more.  With high expertise, customized services, and an understanding of threats, a reputable team can help you stay ahead of your competitors.  

If you need more assistance choosing your MSP, get in touch with our experienced team. Let’s schedule a quick 15-minute chat and figure out the ideal MSP for your company.  

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.