Lost the spark with your MSP? 8 things to look for in an IT partner.
As we celebrate the week of love, many people are undoubtably reassessing the relationships in their lives - both personal and (potentially) business. Whilst personal relationships may be at the forefront of such revaluations, have you considered whether your MSP relationship is fulfilling all your business’ IT related needs?
An IT service partnership is a relationship that needs to reassessed every now and then - is your MSP still providing the innovative solutions you need, or keeping your data safe thanks to their unwavering dedication to compliance and accreditation? If the answer is no, then now may be the time for you to reaffirm your needs.
Today we’ve compiled our list of the top 8 things to look for in a potential MSP partner; from support availability to disaster recovery, we’ve covered all the bases that’ll help you ignite a spark with your next managed IT partner.
1. Support Availability
Unless you have a 24/7 in-house IT team, then it’s necessary to look for an MSP who can ensure your network and security are running securely at all times. However unlikely it is to occur, it’s important that your managed IT provider is available 24/7 in the case of a breach, hack, or IT disaster. Take into consideration all eventualities when choosing who to partner with!
2. Forward Thinking Solutions
A forward-thinking IT partner is a must; if you want to ensure business growth and profitability for years to come, then your IT strategy needs to match your aims. Before partnering with an MSP, gauge their perspective on IT roadmaps and their place in future-proofing your systems and technologies. Solutions for the here and now are important, but so are innovative and beneficial solutions for the future. Budgeting is also a key component of foreplanning, and ensuring your MSP understands your financial constraints and concerns at the outset is crucial.
3. Proactive Maintenance
Whilst you may have previously budgeted the bare minimum for your IT, only spending extra when your systems are in dire need of fixing, this isn’t a reliable solution to ensure the security of your business. Opt for a managed services provider who will provide proactive maintenance, ensuring your systems are functioning at optimal all year round. The cost of a data breach or system failure can have catastrophic consequences for business - whether the cost is financial or reputational. Find an MSP who can wisely spread the costs, providing reliable, proactive services.
4. Watertight Security Solutions
Before jumping straight to disaster recovery, it’s important to ascertain whether your MSP partner can provide the cybersecurity solutions your business needs. Before a signing a contract, ask your potential MSP partner if they can provide services such as cybersecurity audits and penetration testing - key services that allow for the development of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy tailored to your business’ needs. It’s important to know whether your managed IT partner has the skills and expertise to keep your business’ data out of criminal hands, make sure you’re happy with their security offerings before committing to a long-term relationship.
5. Disaster Recovery Plans
It’s important to consider worst case tech scenarios, no matter how unlikely they are to occur. Find an MSP who will provide comprehensive disaster recovery plans - whether the disaster is a weather-related outage or a hack, it’s essential to cover all bases. Any reliable and proactive IT services partner will give you a concrete plan for all eventualities, demonstrating their commitment to protecting your business’ best interests.
6. 3rd Party Services and Partnerships
It’s essential to choose an IT partner who has good and reliable relationships with major tech vendors. One of the benefits of engaging the services of an MSP is having their support in managing your tech needs and service provisions; your MSP should know the best service vendors to suit your needs, and have the expertise and knowledge to recommend and deliver such services. For example, the Fitzrovia IT team have been a part of the Microsoft Partner Network for many years, thanks to the resources and training opportunities presented by qualifying for the network, our team provide the best in Microsoft Solutions.
7. Compliance and Accreditation
It’s important to look for an MSP who has invested the time and resources in becoming a certified and fully compliant services provider. We recommend seeking out an IT partner who has demonstrated their commitment to data management and protection. For example, ISO/IEC 27001 is an internationally recognised system of requirements for information security management systems, an MSP with this accreditation commitment to data protection and GDPR compliance. It’s important your MSP is compliant and certified across the board, so you can rest assured your systems and data are in safe hands.
8. In House Employee Development
Whilst it may not be the first thing you consider, an MSP that opts to develop and train its employees in house is likely one that’s committed to providing top quality service to its clients. Providing employees with a supportive environment to learn and excel in their field not only develops greater employee happiness and career fulfilment, but also allows an MSP to develop a uniquely specialised team of solutions providers. As a people-first business, we at Fitzrovia IT are committed to providing employees with continuous in-house development and training opportunities - much to the benefit of our clients.
As highlighted by one of our clients, his experience with Fitzrovia has been exceptional as we ‘provide training and development opportunities for staff’ who are ‘are always striving to be the best.’
Feeling the spark?
If you feel your MSP relationship has previously been lacking what your business needs, then use our list to help identify a potential new managed IT partner. It’s important to reflect on your new MSPs service provision and company ethos - only opt to work with a firm that reflects your needs and concerns. Many different MSPs excel in different areas, and it’s important to highlight the fields that you feel are most important to your business’ continued development.
To find out more about partnering with Fitzrovia IT, or to discuss any of the areas highlighted throughout our key pointers list, speak to one of our expert team today.