Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Managed IT Service Provider

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Written by Soubhik Chakrabarti

Most businesses prefer outsourcing their IT needs – and understandably so. Whether they are a small startup or a big company, a managed IT service provider can take charge of an organization’s technology requirements. It is a cost-effective and time-saving decision to hire an expert. 

Outsourcing can address different problems effectively. Some may not want to have an in-house IT department, while others may want to utilize new technologies. No matter what the reason, every organization needs to answer these five questions to understand their requirements better.

What Do You Want To Achieve by Hiring an IT Provider?

Each company defines its own targets for hiring an IT provider. The main benefits of outsourcing your IT needs are:

  • Rely on pre-trained IT providers to save up on cost and effort
  • Free up internal IT resources
  • Access to better technology and services
  • Better handling of IT issues like downtime

Determining your goals before hiring an IT provider can make the process much easier. Managed service providers have different services based on the client’s requirements. It is essential to discuss your needs as well as their approach to avoid any confusion later.

How Much Do You Want To Outsource?

Managed IT service providers are not only for those companies who do not have an in-house IT department. Some companies choose to work out a balance between outsourcing and relying on their internal team. 

If you have a dedicated IT department, identify the areas your team lacks in. Do you need to utilize the latest technology? Or are there too many projects for your staff to handle? Specific functions can 

You can choose to hire a provider for a single project, or hand over specific functions, or completely outsource your IT requirements.

What is The Change in ROI?

Most companies outsource their IT requirements to reduce the total cost. By outsourcing, you have control over your expenses. Depending on the company’s requirements, you can pause the services or scale them and pay accordingly. This isn’t possible with an internal IT department as you will have to pay employee compensation regardless of the workload.

But a short-term increase in ROI isn’t something you should be looking for. Technology evolves regularly. If your IT provider isn’t updating themselves or growing with your company, this deal can become expensive in the longer run. All this, without having your IT needs met.

How can the IT provider help with your current requirements?

There are specific requirements you would want to address when hiring an IT service provider. If you already have an in-house team, you should look for additional benefits an IT provider can help you with.

For example, most businesses do not have a data recovery plan. In today’s cyber-centric world, no one can predict an IT disaster. If you are investing in an IT service provider, you should consider their ability to recover data if your infrastructure goes down.

Another aspect you should consider is their reliability. While you are outsourcing, you have little control over the way your work is handled. Hiring a trustworthy provider will ensure they perform their duties diligently. 

Your service provider is an active part of your business growth. Understand what value the MSP will add if you choose to outsource to them. With the development of your business, your needs will also change. Is the MSP willing to accommodate any changes in plans? Are they able to take up the additional workload? When hiring a managed service provider, it would be good to ensure that you are their priority.

How Does The Service Provider Plan to Keep You in The Loop?

When hiring a managed service provider, monitoring their work is a little tricky. But, there are multiple ways through which you can keep check of the progress they make. Most MSPs have a procedure to keep their clients updated. You should check for these:

  • Reports: How often will the firm provide you reports of the work? (weekly, monthly, or quarterly)
  • Meetings: In-person or online sessions can give you insights into their work and help you convey any changes if necessary.
  • Admin Portals: Some service providers have portals where you can check on their work anytime. They will include reports and updates on different projects assigned to them.

Your business heavily depends on the digital infrastructure, and if people outside your company handle this, you wouldn’t want to be ignorant about it.

What Are The Pros And Cons of Outsourcing Your IT Requirements?

Hiring a managed IT service provider has several benefits like reduced costs, access to better technology, and access to a better skillset. It also has some minor drawbacks that can be handled well with proper planning. 

Issues often arise if you work with an unqualified agency. When you outsource, you hand over a major part of your company’s data to your service provider. This data is both valuable and confidential. The first significant risk would be data loss. If the MSP doesn’t have a data recovery plan, bringing all your data back will be difficult.

Another risk is leaking confidential data. This risk can be avoided by choosing a trustworthy and reliable MSP.

An indirect effect of outsourcing would be on your employees. They can assume you are planning to lay them off. If you do or do not have such plans, it is important to discuss them with your employees beforehand.

Choose The Right Service Provider

Digital infrastructure and the data it holds are your company’s most significant assets. When hiring a managed IT service provider, keep your requirements in mind. Thoroughly research the potential of outsourcing your IT needs and knowing about the service provider. 

MSPs can add value to your firm by bringing in the latest innovations and helping your firm grow with technology. Your relationship with your MSP should be built on confidentiality, reliability, and efficiency.

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