Picking the right managed services provider (MSP) is a huge decision for any organization. The true benefits of managed services can only be achieved by choosing the right provider. Here are some key things to consider when evaluating managed service providers.
Level of Skills & Expertise
Depth and breadth of skills at your MSP is critical. As an extension of your internal IT team, the MSP can augment and enhance your capabilities without the costs associated with hiring and retaining your own staff. Ask about the skill sets of their staff, how they gain and share new knowledge and their expertise around scalability.
Services Management Excellence
The MSP is responsible for the operational well-being of your company. As such, their mandate must be two-fold - maintain your existing services, and enhance your capabilities through a process of continuous improvement. This can take the form of streamlining existing services and operational practices, and more importantly the introduction of new services that can help improve your business.
Adherence to Industry Best Practices
Does the organization uphold the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices? The ITIL are best practice guidelines designed for the IT service management industry that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the client or business. An organization that upholds these best practices typically demonstrate improved service delivery and customer satisfaction, reduced costs through improved use of resources, greater visibility of IT costs and assets and better management of business risk and service disruption or failure.
Strong Partnerships that Support Multivendor Environments
They should have partnerships with multiple vendors and be knowledgeable about a wide range of products and vendors. The best provider will play the role of a trusted advisor; they should be able to make the best recommendations for your organization.
Your service provider should be able to provide you with a service level agreement that provides clear and measurable performance guidelines. This agreement is a blueprint of the service they will provide and can protect your organizations assets and reputation. The service provider you choose should be more than happy to sign an SLA.
What are their current clients, previous clients and industry analysts saying about them as a service provider? Research the reputation of a provider to ensure you are choosing one with an excellent track record.
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