30 Questions To Ask When Considering IT Managed Services
Most small business owners have to watch their spending. They can’t just run out and buy dozens of new computers or servers. They have to watch every dollar they spend in order to be profitable. Technology is bursting at the seams though and many companies have the money to take advantage of all the latest new gadgets for networks and servers.
Your business can fall behind if you don’t have big bucks in the bank. You read about the newest breakthroughs in data management. Or exciting new developments in machine learning. Machine learning can change the way you interact with your customers online. It is reshaping commerce. You can utilize its power to anticipate and meet customer needs more readily.
It would be great to have all that powerful technology working for you but you may have to watch every dollar you spend. You can’t afford to waste resources. Often, companies suffer when they can’t take advantage of the latest technology to manage ordering and customer service. It can be expensive and your in-house IT team may not be up to the challenge of managing new developments like Cognitive Technology.
Is There A Solution?
There is a way to level the playing field and that is with managed IT services. With IT managed services, you suddenly have well-trained and highly experienced tech people to help you learn about, install and set up these new devices. They’ll help you get the best prices on hardware and software. A great managed IT service provider is interested in helping you succeed.
Do your research when looking for a great managed service provider. Make sure their business practices align with your own. Ask the really hard questions. By speaking with managed IT providers and getting to know their business philosophy, you can find the one that will help you grow your business. Below, we go over 30 important questions to ask potential managed IT service providers.
6 Questions to Ask Regarding Your Contract and Fees
- Do you include an assessment of IT infrastructure before providing projected Service fees? If so, is this a separate cost?
- Do you have case studies or ROI assessments detailing the cost and benefits of your proposed solution, based on the data which I have provided?
- How is my data retrieved should my contract be terminated?
- Is your service level agreement consistent for all customers or is this negotiable?
- Can a break clause be initiated should I decide to terminate my contract?
- Does contract flexibility include monthly and annual payments with capping on yearly rate hikes?
6 Questions to Ask When Developing the Service
- What is your average network uptime performance?
- Are you able to diagnose and remedy service issues remotely without the client’s IT team intervention?
- Do you offer customized solutions for different businesses regarding growth plans and achievable goals?
- What metrics do you use to assess speed, reliability and overall performance?
- Do you have a list of tiered features and capabilities?
- Which software, professional services automation (PSA) or remote monitoring management (RMM) runs your managed services operation?
6 Questions to Ask Regarding Your Data Management
- What methods do you use to protect data?
- Who will have access to my data?
- How are data backups and disaster recovery handled?
- What redundancy gets built into the solution?
- Do you host multiple clients on the same systems, in a multi-tenant environment or exclusivity in-area?
- What measures and processes are in place to protect my data against security breaches or data leaks?
6 Questions to Ask Regarding the MSP’s Credibility and Capabilities
- How many years have you been providing IT managed services?
- Can I meet the team members providing my support?
- What is your level of expertise in my industry regarding regulatory compliance requirements.
- Do you employ a dedicated staff or do you hire temporary/contractor employees?
- What industry credentials or certifications do your company, and your technical staff carry?
- How does your IT service desk team stay current with new technology developments and trends?
6 Questions to Ask Regarding the MSP’s Support Model
- How is support provided?
- Is emergency support available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week?
- Will you provide references to call from any existing customers?
- Do you include channels such as telephone, email, portal access, and live chat?
- What type of training is provided by your company for my in-house IT staff to educate them?
- What percentage of issues are confirmed as resolved at first contact by your helpdesk?
What Else Should I Know?
Review these 30 questions, then think about what your company really needs to move to the next level. A few things are consistent, such as the need for access to responsive techs who can handle requests and incidents quickly and provide the results your business needs.
Your managed IT service provider should be able to help you assess your current IT infrastructure and understand what you need to provide customers with a better online experience. You can also improve your staff’s productivity and get better all-round efficiency.