Here is the vital checklist – What to look for when selecting a managed service provider?
The global managed services market was worth $239.71 billion in 2021, and it is expected to increase at an average annual growth rate of 13.4% from 2022 to 2030. The MSPs offer a wide range of services, from IT support and cybersecurity to cloud management, making them indispensable partners for businesses of all sizes. However, choosing the right managed service provider is a critical decision that can impact your company’s success. Read on to explore the considerations for selecting the right managed service provider.
The MSP’s Track Record
- Before partnering with an MSP, do your homework. Relying solely on their website and promotional materials is not enough. Gain insights by reading customer feedback, testimonials, and reviews and investigating their industry affiliations. The MSPs consistently receiving positive reviews indicates their commitment to customer service and problem-solving capabilities.
In addition, pay attention to their annual client retention rates, their current collaborations with prominent tech companies like Microsoft, and the size of their customer base. Once you’ve done that, assess their certifications. A lack of information may suggest that the MSP’s service may be unreliable or result in unforeseen expenses. Therefore, the importance of conducting research before selecting should not be disregarded.
Expertise in Managed Security Services (MSS)
- While many managed service providers offer specialized services, not all include cybersecurity services. Some may provide basic or surface-level security, which may not be sufficient in dealing with advanced threats.
However, as the landscape of cyber threats and their sophisticated attack methods continues to evolve, an MSP must be well-prepared to handle such threats. A reputable MSP with security expertise can help you address vulnerabilities, proactively respond to incidents, and safeguard sensitive data, enhancing your overall security posture.
Service Alignment With Your Needs
- While MSPs offer services across various industries, some focus on specific sectors like healthcare, legal, manufacturing, or non-profit organizations. If your business falls within these categories, you should inquire about the MSP’s expertise in your industry. This can help you determine if they are a suitable fit for your organization.
Additionally, it’s advantageous if your potential MSP offers compliance services designed for highly regulated industries. Managed service providers offer the following regulatory compliance standards:
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2)
Ensuring that the MSP aligns with your industry-specific needs and can aid in meeting relevant compliance standards is essential when evaluating potential partners.
Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)
- A Service-Level Agreement (SLA) is a comprehensive document that outlines the responsibilities of both parties involved and guarantees certain things. For instance, an SLA may include guaranteed response times for resolving open support tickets or ensuring uninterrupted service availability. In SLA negotiations, it is imperative to insist on round-the-clock IT support, including remote assistance.
This level of availability is vital because your business cannot afford the risk of potential downtime due to unavailability by your managed services partner. Consider, for instance, a cloud service provider guaranteeing 99.9% uptime. This commitment means they would compensate if the service experiences less than 0.1% downtime. SLAs play a crucial role in business continuity.
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