January 31, 2023
Does your 2023 IT plan include moving to a Managed Services Provider (MSP), but you aren’t sure what to look for to ensure you receive what is promised? Have you transferred to an MSP but aren’t seeing the promised value? Developing an MSP plan or checklist can be the difference between success and failure. Focusing on the seven areas listed below can help you achieve the desired results and allow you to focus on your core business.
does the provider have a solid team, or are they continually changing out team members servicing your account? The provider cannot work effectively if they constantly have to learn about your environment and delivery requirements. Ask the MSP to provide their average turnover rates and compare them to industry averages.
do you have an assigned customer success manager (CSM) or know whom to call for an emergency (especially after-hours)? Ensure your MSP has a defined escalation path with a secondary contact to step in as needed. Talk with their client references about their overall satisfaction.
review the list of applications the provider supports. Typically they cover most technologies but may not cover every single area. You don’t want to be surprised if you call about an issue with third-party software only to find out it is not supported or included in the contract.
not meeting SLA response times or having response times below industry standards are red flags. You must understand how the SLAs are calculated and their minimal level of reporting for you to review and confirm results.
if your organization must follow specific regulations such as PCI compliance, ensure the MSP can meet the requirements.
for existing MSP contracts, fluctuations in invoicing can indicate poor scoping by the provider or an inability to predict cost and effectively manage your account. For new contacts, review what triggers cost changes to avoid surprises.
review the contract termination clause for moving to a new MSP or bringing the services back in-house. Can you easily transition or terminate the contract before the end date? What happens to your data?
Regardless, if you are moving to an MSP for the first time or searching for a new MSP, starting with an evaluation of your current environment is critical to determine what is working, what could be improved, and what needs to change. It also provides direction for your future state and helps you achieve your goals. As an IT services provider, we offer full MSP services or can tailor services to meet your needs.