September 23, 2021
These days technology is at the core of every industry, from healthcare and education to financial services and manufacturing. That’s why IT is more important than ever before. And while mid-market companies are aware of this, many can’t find or afford to hire in-house IT professionals, especially when it comes to specialty areas like cybersecurity and cloud.
Fortunately, there are numerous top-notch Managed Services Providers (like Mindsight) to fill the gaps. Besides being less costly than permanent staffers, they offer you 24/7 access to top IT minds who’ll make sure your business is up and running smoothly and securely. . That way you can focus on other aspects of your business with peace of mind.
It’s vitally important, however, to choose the right MSP for your company. Here are some things to consider:
Find a provider with shared values and one who will cater to organizations of your size. If you’re a sprawling behemoth, go with a bigger provider. Mid-market companies, on the other hand, would do well to choose a smaller provider with a high-touch approach. A large corporation may be able to tolerate a managed services partner who doesn’t sway from process, but this likely won’t work for a mid-market company that needs more agility from a managed services provider. Flexibility and attention to your immediate needs is something that a smaller managed services provider can offer.
Make sure that whichever provider you select has a solid track record. Has the provider retained a good number of its’ customers or have many of them left? Is the overall staffing level consistent or is there high turnover, especially within the solution architecture and engineering teams? Has there been turnover among senior management? (Also, check to make sure they’re properly insured against any mishaps that might occur while they’re working on your systems.)
Proper Auditing and Certifications
It’s also important that the MSP has had its processes and controls audited and certified by a third party. Ask for a copy of their SOC2 report, or similar audit evidence. An unbiased outside assessment is far more reliable than potentially empty promises from someone who merely wants your business.
Any MSP worth its salt will agree to hit certain performance benchmarks or suffer financial penalties for not doing so. Service level agreements, referred to as SLAs, “define the level of service you expect from a vendor, laying out the metrics by which service is measured, as well as remedies or penalties should agreed-on service levels not be achieved,” according to CIO.com. SLAs are a critical component of any technology vendor contract and any major contract without an SLA is open to misinterpretation and legal troubles – not to mention financial loss for the client should things go sideways. In addition to keeping providers on their toes, SLAs also inspire efficiency and innovation that benefits both parties.
Response Time and Methods
What if there’s a cybersecurity breach — how long will it take to address and mitigate? Who is responsible for what in this scenario? What if there are functionality issues with software your companies uses, who is responsible for resolving the issue so business operations aren’t disrupted and customers inconvenienced? These are things often covered in SLAs.
As your business grows, will your MSP easily be able to keep pace with that growth, or are they too overloaded with other clients and responsibilities? Is the provider equipped with the level of talent and proven processes, like the ITIL framework, to handle more complex issues that may arise as your business grows?
In addition to being responsive when issues do arise, are they proactively communicating with you on a regular basis about issues that could arise and how they’ll be handled?
It should be noted that Mindsight meets all of the above criteria and more, so we stand at the ready to serve all of your IT needs. But no matter which MSP you choose, you now have a better idea of what to look for. And here’s a good place to start. Because we’re just that helpful. Happy shopping.
Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.