Many small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) today are turning to managed IT services providers (MSPs) to maintain their IT infrastructures and take care of complex and time-consuming IT tasks. These technology experts are the ideal partners for companies looking to grow their business while saving on IT costs.
However, with so many MSPs to choose from, selecting the one that best fits your SMB can be challenging. Here are five key qualities to look for in a potential provider to make sure you partner with a reliable one.
1. Technical expertise
An IT team is responsible for strategically managing your company’s IT environment, as well as aligning technological solutions with business goals and opportunity development. As such, it’s important that the people who make up the team are knowledgeable in various facets of IT to be able to bring value to your SMB.
Many MSPs have significant technical expertise that can be invaluable to your business. They can take the arduous task of managing your IT infrastructure off your plate, and their pool of experts can even share advanced or specialized knowledge with your in-house staff. Partnering with an MSP is a practical way of augmenting your SMB’s security, networking, and communication capabilities without breaking the bank.
2. Industry expertise
An MSP that knows the ins and outs of your industry can spell success for your SMB. If they have experience in and understanding of how businesses operate in your particular sector, then they are better equipped to implement strategic IT solutions that meet unique operational needs and user expectations.
For example, if you work in a highly regulated industry such as healthcare or finance, it would be wise to ask an MSP about their approach to and experience with compliance. These industries have stringent data protection and security requirements, which would be a steep learning curve for an inexperienced MSP.
3. Flexibility and scalability
Not all businesses are the same, which is why a dedicated MSP will take the time to understand your SMB’s unique needs and pain points instead of providing you with a one-size-fits-all solution. They will make sure to offer only products and services that suit your tech requirements, from telephony options to business apps and software.
In addition, a reliable MSP will allow you to select the type and level of service you will get from them, whether this entails consultation services or a fully hosted IT with round-the-clock support. As your business grows and your requirements change, they must be able to scale their offerings accordingly, providing your SMB with all the necessary services and support.
Further reading: How SMBs can save money with managed IT services
Rather than reacting to IT issues as they occur, a reliable MSP prevents them from happening in the first place. For instance, they will monitor and detect network bottlenecks long before your users experience difficulty accessing your network. And in case your systems do experience downtime, a dependable MSP will make sure to bring them back up quickly. In addition, they will let you know of any problems before these significantly impact your users.
Proactiveness doesn’t only prevent technical issues from escalating, but it also helps your SMB maintain a secure network and a competitive advantage. A proactive MSP will help you continuously find new opportunities to improve, optimize, and innovate your systems and processes.
The most desirable quality of an MSP is the ability to address issues swiftly. That’s why on top of prompt on-site servicing, reliable MSPs provide 24/7 support. Many implement automated support solutions, like a help center or a chatbot, but the best MSPs have on-call technicians who can respond to and resolve IT-related emergencies remotely.
As an MSP, outsourceIT can help you take advantage of current and emerging IT solutions to ensure that your SMB prospers. OutsourceIT is Washington DC's best Managed IT Services provider, Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. Call us today to get started!