What are Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and how to find one
What are Managed Service Providers (MSPs)
A managed service provider, also known as an MSP, is an outsourcer that is contracted to remotely manage or deliver information technology (IT) services to a client company. These services may include network, application, infrastructure, or security management. An MSP assumes full responsibility for those services and determines proactively what technologies and services are required to meet the needs of the client.
An MSP’s services are provided by staff who are either on-site at the client’s location or in another place. MSPs can also include hardware, software, or cloud technologies as part of their services. Services including digital transformation advice, compliance audits, technology roadmaps and needs assessments are now being offered by MSPs in order to help businesses plan for the long term.
A definitive guide to finding your MSP
1. Perceptive Service
Your MSP should serve as your IT advisor or virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO). There is less risk of your systems and users needing fire-drill intervention when your vCIO is involved. They assist clients to reframe response concerns so that there are no major issues to deal with before they occur. Backup and disaster recovery solutions, as well as cyber security awareness training, are all tools the vCIO uses to ensure company continuity and prevent interruptions to your workflow.
This key consulting role has basic and advanced levels. Basic vCIO is often packaged with account management if you have a dedicated contact. Advanced vCIOs have additional fees due to their extended responsibilities, such as office transfers, work-from-home migrations, due diligence, and compliance audits.
2. Technological standards matter
IT infrastructures that are both powerful and flexible are built on a foundation of standards-based business systems. Standards help things communicate effectively. As long as your digital assets have a lifespan, standards place the odds in your favour.
Each and every one of your laptops, docking stations, wireless mice, keyboards, monitors, and other peripherals is an essential component of your digital architecture, and it is important to pay attention to each component since all of the moving pieces need to work together smoothly. An IT service provider should be able to handle each component of your IT infrastructure.
3. Professional to the core
Expertise in adherence to regulations and compliance is mutually beneficial. Every business must follow rules and regulations. As well as being knowledgeable about your business, your service provider should also be in compliance with its own industry standards. Your assets are at risk if their network operating centre is compromised. Make sure they are compatible with all of the key manufacturers and applications in your environment. Is their liability portfolio covering everything that could affect you? How much cyber liability, contractual liability, general liability, and property coverage do they have? Do they have the right level of insurance?
4. Company structure
Make sure your MSP’s business and ownership structure, as well as financial stability matches your requirements and preferences. By law, public companies are more transparent than private companies. Partnerships may be risky and private firms may be more prone to mergers and acquisitions that can impact your business. How easy can you check their credentials, history and financial stability?
Your IT systems and users are monitored, managed, supported and secured by MSPs on a fixed-fee basis. If your systems are standardised and up to date, they may charge you a reduced set fee. After the first rate has been established, the cost of your IT infrastructure, machine quantities, or user headcount may increase or decrease. Because price rises are unavoidable for everyone, they should be mutually agreed upon in advance by both parties.
Are you certain about the start and end dates of the contract, as well as whether or not it will automatically renew? If the partnership doesn’t work out, it costs both parties money. Everyone is affected by bad results, both in terms of hard and soft expenses, and it is best to avoid this from the outset.
To find out more about ASG, a leading IT company in Johannesburg, get in touch with our team.
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