How to Evaluate a Managed IT Service Provider

There are many reasons for which you might choose a managed service provider (MSP). Whatever your reasons, there can be no doubt that you need to find the best company for the job. This is easier said than done, as most people have no idea of how to evaluate these kinds of services. After all, the MSP is a somewhat new phenomenon and is still poorly understood by most. Yes, this kind of thing has technically been around for a while, but it’s only in recent years that their use has become widespread. Since you are now more likely to need this information, let’s go over a few tips that will help you to evaluate a managed IT service provider.

1. Ask About High-Security Options

It doesn’t take a whole lot of technical expertise to set up a cloud server. Admittedly, it’s not something that the average person could do, but the average IT person could do so easily. However, setting up a cloud server that is capable of providing the highest levels of online security? That is a lot harder to do.

Even if you don’t need the highest levels of security for your cloud, you should definitely ask about these options. If nothing else, it demonstrates that the company knows their business and that they are prepared for the possibility of cyber-attack. They should offer things like encryption, network monitoring, frequent security audits, and secure storage.

2. Make Sure Your Company Offers An SLA

Usually, when you set up your cloud account, your provider will explain the terms of their service-level agreement (SLA). To put it simply, this is a contract in which the terms of service are laid out clearly. You really want to make sure that your chosen provider offers this kind of deal because all of the best companies do.

An SLA will usually guarantee a certain amount of uptime per month. Uptime refers to the hours in which the cloud is operational, as opposed to downtime (when it isn’t working). Because downtime can cost a lot of money in terms of lost productivity, this is very important. An SLA will also spell out all the tasks for which the company takes responsibility, and this will tell you how diligent they really are.

3. Ask How Long The Company Has Been In Business

This one isn’t all that important, but it would be foolish if you didn’t at least ask. Companies that have been in business for a longer time will tend to be more professional, and they will tend to be more standardized in the way that they do business. This is good because it offers stability and predictability.

4. Find Out Some Details About The Staff And Servers

To the best of your ability, you ought to find out a little bit about the people and machines that will actually serve you. First of all, you want to make sure that the cloud provider has allocated sufficient resources to meet your needs. If the staff is too few, or if the equipment is substandard, they may have trouble giving you the service that you want.

5. Ask About Documentation And Support

This is perhaps the most important question that you will ask your cloud provider. It is inevitable that certain things will go wrong, whether its a routine outage or a critical server crash. When that happens, you and yours will need to get ahold of the company quickly and start the process of resolving the problem. Thus, you need to make sure that it won’t be too difficult for them to do so.

Naturally, good documentation can save a lot of time. When the cloud provider gives you a good set of troubleshooting instructions, it is often possible to figure out the problem and the solution with no input from them. An online database of help files is ideal, but any kind of documentation offered is a good sign.

6. Look For Some Reviews

Finally, you need to try and examine this company’s track record. You need to see if they have suffered any major data breaches, as this reflects poorly on their security standards. You should also look for bad reviews, but be aware that not all reviews are trustworthy. You should read the complaints to make sure that they are sensible and consistent and apply the same critical eye to the positive comments as well.

Conclusion

The cloud offers many distinct advantages, but there is one little caveat: A cloud can only be as good as the company that hosts the server. We have said this before, but we should reiterate that it is very important to evaluate your cloud provider with the greatest care. In a worst-case scenario, you could end up with a business partner that doesn’t provide reliable service, costing you large amounts of profit.

We hope that you will be lucky enough to find a provider that gives smooth and efficient service for years to come. We also hope that you will be kind enough to fill out the contact form below, as it helps us to bring you more interesting content like this.