8 Tips to Follow When Looking for Managed IT Service Providers

Choosing a managed service provider in Washington DC to help with your technology is essential. Finding the right MSP for your company means asking smart questions and looking for critical clues that the partner is the best fit for your business.

Here are 8 tips for choosing the right MSP.

1. Find an MSP that Understands Your Business

Different industries, regions, and companies have unique technology needs. You deserve an MSP partner that understands what’s needed to excel in your business … and be willing to learn. Your MSP should be a strategic partner, providing you with insights into the trends, issues, and opportunities to allow your company to make a difference. IT is not about one-size-fits-all solutions. You should expect a customized IT strategy that fits your needs and goals.

2. Choose an MSP that Offers Around-the-Clock Services

Today, business is a never-ending pursuit of success. That means your company may have staff located around the country and across the globe. It would be best if you had an IT solution from an MSP that is constantly accessible, providing support and monitoring for cyber threats at every turn. Your MSP should provide end-user support that offers what you need when you need it. For example, at Shipshape IT, we offer a 15-minute response policy to service requests.

3. Select an MSP that’s Flexible and Accommodating

Technology changes happen at lightning speed today. You need an MSP that can adapt and respond to these changes with the same agility. Your MSP needs to be adaptable to different operating systems, devices and software applications. It needs to accommodate your needs while recognizing where changes would benefit your business.

4. Look for an MSP that Offers Extensive Services

Your business needs an MSP that can offer a range of services that cover all the core components of your technology needs. Among the standard services your MSP should provide are:

  • Server and Infrastructure Support. These services ensure that systems are maintained and that your businesses infrastructure is protected and managed, whether on-premises or in the cloud
  • End-User Support. Your team needs access to services and support at all times. Choose an MSP that can provide knowledgeable service to solve software and hardware services that keep them connected and operating effectively. A coordinated help desk service that tracks triages and manages problems is essential
  • Redundant Data Backup. Ensuring that your company has unlimited backups of data, apps and operating systems is critical. Backups, in cloud servers located in multiple regions, give you access to information and apps whenever needed, especially if natural disasters events or cyber-attacks disrupt business operations 
  • Hosting Services. Your MSP should make available hosting services for your servers, applications, and websites. By shifting hosting responsibilities to your MSP, you can be confident that these essential programs and tools are available and accessible to staff, customers, and visitors
  • Cybersecurity. Keeping systems and data protected is paramount. You need a partner that will ensure that everything involved with your technology – data, devices, messages and files – are protected and secure. This protection requires a comprehensive strategy and diligent monitoring of threats and defensive measures to secure all components

5. Opt for an MSP that Offers Advanced Services

In addition to the standard services, your MSP should provide, consider what other services would benefit your business. At Shipshape MSP, for example, we offer other services to help companies understand, plan for, and leverage technology. These services include:

  • Strategic IT Consulting. Your MSP should offer strategic consulting services to solve your most pressing IT needs. A robust IT strategy helps you position your business to face immediate and future needs with technologies designed to improve operations and drive revenue
  • Business Continuity. Is your business prepared for the potential damage from a cyberattack or natural disaster? Having a practical, comprehensive business continuity plan ensures that your business is back up and running quickly after a significant disruption, with minimal loss and damage to your data or your reputation

6. Pick an MSP that has Strong Third-Party Relationships

You’ll gain considerable advantages from an MSP that has preferred and favorable relationships with major vendors. Your MSP wants to leverage its network to benefit its clients. It would be best if you looking for an MSP with suppliers with excellent reputations, great products, and preferred pricing deals. 

7. Find an MSP that Completes Comprehensive Assessments

The best way to begin a relationship with a new MSP is to conduct a comprehensive IT assessment. Having a trusted partner evaluate your existing technology, provide a report, and discuss recommendations lets you understand your strengths and weaknesses.

At Shipshape IT, our Support Requirements Assessment assesses your IT infrastructure to support your current and future business goals and objectives. The assessment helps identify risk areas and provides recommended remedies. It also results in a proposal for the customized, scalable IT services plan that will optimize your technology.

The Shipshape assessment examines all components of your IT system, including:

  • Email security and continuity
  • Firewall and VPN security
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity readiness
  • Internet redundancy
  • Data storage and recovery plans
  • Antivirus and malware security

8. Partner with a Proactive MSP

Your MSP should go beyond break-fix approaches to technology. In the long run, you need a partner that can take a proactive approach to your technology, anticipating needs and identifying solutions that prevent problems. 

Shipshape IT offers comprehensive MSP services to companies of all sizes and industry types, including law firms, nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers and federal contractors. Shipshape IT provides technology support and consulting in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. To learn more about how Shipshape IT can support your business, contact us today.

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