Managing the health of a network can be a lot like managing your own health. If you want to be super healthy, you’ll make sure to do the right exercises, take the appropriate vitamins, and avoid possible risks. The same goes for managing a network. Here’s our prescription for what to look for in the Managed Service Provider that’s right for you. Check off everything on this list and you’ll be closer to an ideal IT support solution.
Pick an MSP that has experience in your industry.
Every industry has specific business needs and challenges. Many IT service companies will offer solutions that are the network equivalent of those modular homes that popped up all over the place in the 1950s. Unfortunately, a one-size-fits-all approach to networking just doesn’t work when one business is a hotel and the other is a hospital. Often, the result of a makeshift network is large-scale data compromise.
The Ponemon Institute found that 64 percent of patient medical files were successfully targeted by cybercriminals in 2016. Since medical data is not the only type of information commonly compromised, a healthcare company would want a Managed Service Provider who understands their special risks and vulnerabilities. An MSP that has worked with companies in your industry is far more equipped to build a customized solution that will meet your every need and protect your data
Pick an MSP that offers full-service support
You all have a friend that has “a guy” for everything. He has one “guy” who will come over and spend time physically connecting a network. He’ll have another “guy” who pops in for repairs, and yet another “guy” for those late-night server issues. When you pick an MSP, you want to just have the one “guy” to call – one who is backed by a team of specialist “guys” who can handle whatever you need and guide you through challenges.
Think of your MSP as your morning multivitamin. Instead of swallowing 19 pills, you’ll just have the one to keep you healthy and strong. The best MSP for your business should offer security and threat management, networking monitoring, and cloud services.
Pick an MSP that is available for you
A managed service provider may have all of the capabilities you are looking for, but it won’t do you much good if certain technicians are only available during limited hours. High on your checklist should be a company’s ability to support you after hours, during an emergency and just whenever you need some planning assistance. The best MSPs are just like the best doctors; they work on a preventative basis to stop problems before they happen. That being said, just like you’ll sometimes need to make an urgent appointment, you want to make sure your MSP is set up to give you the right assistance during on-call situations.
In any industry, downtime is a disaster. A survey by ITIC reports “98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000; 81% of respondents indicated that 60 minutes of downtime costs their business over $300,000. And a record 33% of enterprises report that one hour of downtime costs their firms $1 million to over $5 million.” These are the numbers you want to think about when you are considering your MSP’s availability.