When your business evolves from a scrappy startup to a more mature organization, there’s a good chance that your managed service provider (MSP) won’t evolve with it. Solo IT consultants or AI-based MSPs may work well for fledgling businesses, but as a company grows, so does its IT needs…meaning its old MSP may no longer be the right fit.
If you’re looking for an MSP that’s a better fit for your company’s current needs, here are some key questions to consider:
What’s their issue resolution time?
As an organization’s headcount expands, once minor technical glitches can become major drags on productivity. After all, there’s a difference between two employees having trouble with a glitching piece of software vs. 200 employees having that same issue. That’s why it’s important to discern whether an MSP offers fast issue resolution and can address the issue at scale.
But keep in mind that even when an MSP offers 24/7 help desk support, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee an issue will be resolved quickly — just because a provider responds to a client’s call or message right away, they may not have the expertise or resources to solve the problem immediately. This is especially true with AI-based MSPs that can use chatbots to respond quickly, but can’t offer solutions to complicated problems without lengthy delays. Customer-centric MSPs work differently. At Xantrion, for instance, we combine AI tools with 24/7 human expertise so that we’re able to resolve most issues in an hour or less.
What certifications do they hold?
As a growing company takes on clients in regulated industries and attracts sophisticated investors, those stakeholders may request that the company’s service providers deliver quality and security assurances through specific third-party certifications. For IT managed service providers, key certifications include SOC-2 certification by the Association for International Certified PublicAccountants (AICPA) as well as certification by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Do they outsource any of their services?
Clients and investors may also prefer the company partner with an MSP that doesn’t outsource any of its services. That’s because outsourcing, and in particular off-shore outsourcing, increases an MSP’s vulnerability to security risks. Especially in highly regulated industries like financial services, ensuring vendors don’t outsource or off-shore their services can be part of a robust vendor risk management program.
Will they provide regular reports on the work they’re doing?
Too often, businesses pay for services that don’t actually materialize. For instance, a company may have contracted with an MSP for regular patching and back-up management only to find that the back-ups aren’t available when they’re needed most. Business leaders can avoid such frustrating scenarios by partnering with MSPs that provide regular reports on the work they perform, including details such as dates of various security patches and information on local and off-site back-ups.
What kind of strategic advice and performance management do they offer?
From virtual on-boarding to cloud migration to automation, companies are increasingly focused on digital transformation. That’s why today’s best MSPs aren’t simply vendors — they’re true partners, providing strategic advice that’s tailored to a company’s industry and operations while helping to speed processes and prevent problems.
What’s the return on investment?
Companies often focus on the costs of working with a more sophisticated MSP while spending little time considering the return on investment. The latter is worth exploring for the sake of a business’s bottom line. Avoiding costly data breaches can mean hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in savings; faster resolutions to problems can result in greater productivity; and smarter approaches to IT can yield a competitive advantage. All of this is possible when you work with an MSP that’s right for your growing business.
If your company has outgrown its current MSP and is looking for a new partner to meet your growing IT and security needs, Xantrion is here to help. Our IT experts have helped hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses reduce IT support costs, improve cybersecurity and increase productivity. Contact us today to learn more.