Managed Services providers (MSPs) are popping up all over Chicago these days, but a lot of them simply don’t measure up. When outsourced IT support is done right, it’s unbelievably valuable for businesses that don’t have the budget or in-house expertise needed to handle their own technology solutions. Unfortunately, some MSPs aren’t always equipped for long-term partnerships.
To ensure you have the best MSP for your company, you’ll want to look out for the following signs that characterize an exceptional managed service provider:
#1. Unlimited Scalability
One of the core benefits of outsourcing your IT is that your business will no longer be constrained by the limitations of in-house technology or staff. After all, few things get in the way of growth faster than dated and inefficient systems that slow down the entire office.
A quality service provider will have a large staff of technicians who are available to help you solve problems quickly. Furthermore, availability shouldn’t change if you need to add or remove users or computers to your service plan. You should always be able to scale your IT support up or down without affecting response times.
#2. Industry Expertise
When you’re evaluating MSPs, you’re likely to encounter those that make bold claims about accommodating businesses of all sizes and industries. Without any supporting evidence, you should consider this a big red flag.
Industry-specific expertise is critical, and any MSP you’re thinking about working with should be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of the challenges your organization faces, such as industry-specific compliance regulations and software integrations. Look for case studies that back up an MSPs claims with tangible evidence.
#3. Personalized Service
Even if an MSP does exhibit intimate knowledge of your industry, that doesn’t always mean they’ll be ready to offer the personalized service you need to ensure that your digital transformation is successful. Even among the most specific market niches, different businesses have different goals and priorities, and it’s imperative that your MSP takes the time to sit down and talk with you about the specifics.
Above all, you should consider an MSP a technology partner, and not just an IT vendor. Consider signing up for a free assessment to see firsthand what a prospective provider would propose.
#4. Prompt Support
Given that just an hour of unscheduled downtime can cost a small business thousands of dollars, you should expect prompt support and 24/7 availability. Moreover, these will need to be clearly stipulated in your service level agreement (SLA). For example, MXOtech guarantees that every call to our local helpdesk is handled in less than an hour.
#5. Local Presence
A lot of MSPs proudly claim a large geographical footprint. However, while advances in technology allow for remote support on a global scale, there willbe occasions when that’s not enough. You need an MSP with a strong local presence so there’s always someone available to make site visits. Always partner with a company that has offices in your city, and clarify what types of support requests will warrant a technician travelling to your location.
#6. Regulatory Compliance
Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing your IT to an external provider doesn’t allow you to ignore the need for compliance with government regulations. In fact, most regulations require that you ensure your technology vendors and partners are compliant. That’s why trust is everything when it comes to choosing a dependable MSP.
An MSP specializing in your industry sector should have a long history of successful compliance audits and a thorough understanding of applicable regulatory updates. Blog articles and whitepapers on industry developments are excellent indicators that an IT provider is knowledgeable on the right topics.
#7. Robust Security
Security is one of the most common concerns that organizations have when letting someone else take care of their data. However, it’s also a common misconception that cloud computing and outsourced IT is inherently bad for security. A dependable MSP will have reached an economy of scale that gives them access to enterprise-grade security technology and expertise that are far beyond the limited budgets of the average SMB.
Other articles you might find helpful:
- Hiring a Chicago IT outsourcing firm: How to get your time back from IT
- 7 job functions your Chicago managed IT services company should fill
- The ugly truth about Chicago IT consultants and vendors
- What onboarding reveals about your Chicago managed services provider
MXOtech provides managed IT services and round-the-clock support to businesses in the Chicago-land area. If you’re tired of trying to deal with technology problems yourself, contact us today to find out how we can help.