August 30, 2022
Many MSPs will look the same on the surface so how can you differentiate them?
When it is time to identify additional resources for your IT, do you hire an in-house IT person? Or look to an outsourced IT resource like a Managed Service Provider (MSP)? Either way, keep these tips in mind when deciding on the best path forward:
1. In-house IT vs. Outsourced IT - 15 years ago, IT management and the associated job responsibilities were a world apart from where they are today, and the security threats and the potential damage inflicted by them were much less. Since that time technology (and the threats associated with it) continues to evolve at an exponential rate, and the knowledge and skills required to do the job effectively have increased along with it. Therefore, the reality of SMBs hiring a fully capable IT staff with all the certifications and references of a highly qualified MSP, are highly unrealistic. Typically, by partnering with a qualified MSP, SMBs can benefit by accessing a full team of experts for a much lower investment.
2. Consider an IT Health Assessment - If you value technology and understand its power to accelerate business growth, then consider doing an IT health assessment. You wouldn't undergo a medical procedure without having a qualified medical practitioner conduct a proper evaluation and present their recommendations to you before deciding on a procedure. Similarly with IT, it is best to seek a qualified IT partner that will take a systematic, holistic approach to your IT ecosystem and develop your recommendations accordingly rather than provide ad hoc solutions without the big picture in mind.
3. IT Should be Transparent - You wouldn't drive a car without a functional, real-time dashboard to provide you with critical information about your car's performance. Similarly, you shouldn’t fly blind with your business IT. Whether you are inquiring with your internal IT team or a prospective IT provider, have them show you how they track critical KPIs. Do they have access to this data in real-time? Is it in one place? Do you have access to it? And is it easy to understand?
4. Not all IT Partners are Equal - When you buy a car, it's a tangible object that you can see, feel and drive, so differentiating between one and the other is straightforward. You don't have that comfort when comparing IT providers. Many MSPs will look the same on the surface so how can you differentiate them? Are they a Microsoft Gold Partner? How qualified is their support team? Is their support team based in the U.S. or overseas? What customers are they working with? Can they explain technology in a language you a understand? Technology might be complex but that doesn't mean it can't be communicated in a clear, understandable manner. Partner with an MSP that works to understand your business and sheds light on your IT, not hides it in obscurity