Jacqueline Langen

June 23, 2022

Article

7 key questions to ask a potential IT service provider

Choosing the right IT provider can make or break your company’s overall success. If you ask the right questions, you can avoid technological downfalls and endless money pits while maximizing your business operations. Managers tend to face roadblocks when it comes to solving employee tech issues, which is where an MSP comes in.  

By asking the right questions when searching for the best-fit Managed Service Provider (MSP), you can help identify if they are the right fit for your company. Read on to find out some of the essential questions to ask when interviewing potential MSPs for the benefit your business 

1. How will they enhance your organization’s efficiency? 

The “break-fix” model is one of the past. When looking into potential MSPs, you want to make sure that they develop a thoughtful IT strategy that best aligns with your business objectives. From preventing issues such as data loss, cybercrimes, hardware failure and more, the right MSP should provide long-term IT solutions.   

Constant system monitoring and IT road mapping help ensure that your IT provider has full visibility over your IT infrastructure and in most cases, will be able to respond to potential issues before they become a threat to your business. The benefit? Fewer disasters, increased efficiency and reduced system downtime.  

2. What is their company culture like?

At the end of the day, you want to work with people whose values align with yours. In addition to speaking with a sales representative, you’ll need to speak with their staff to get a better understanding. Who will your account manager be? What is their communication style? Do they speak in technical jargon, or in a way that makes sense to you? 

Regardless of their company culture, a high-quality MSP will be committed to solving issues and respond in a timely manner. Working with a responsive provider that you feel comfortable speaking to creates a higher chance of providing the results you want.  

3. What types of services do they provide?

In addition to the cost, it’s critical to know what types of IT services and solutions an MSP offers. Do the services they offer align with your business needs? When speaking to providers, ask for a full list of their service offerings and if they provide tailored solutions packages.  

If an MSP has a higher price point, ask why. Not all MSPs operate at the same level, so aim to understand why a certain company’s services come at an increased cost. Will these services create a higher ROI? Is there another added benefit you are unaware of? These are all important details to understand when conversing with potential MSPs.  

4. Can they provide documentation for all services?

It can be hard to have full visibility of your IT infrastructure and IT department. For this reason, it’s important that the MSP you choose to work with can provide documentation that breaks down all of the services being provided.  

From project descriptions, deliverables, cost and more, you should fully understand how your IT provider is allocating their resources. Other aspects you should expect to see from your chosen IT provider include an inventory of all IT assets, maintenance details, log of all tickets and total time spent, up-to-date user and contact lists.  

 

5. What is their industry expertise?

Each industry faces an individual set of challenges. Working with an MSP that is experienced with the IT landscape of your business can dramatically impact the success of your partnership.

Do they have experience working with other companies in your industry? How do they approach typical IT issues associated with other businesses in your industry? When chatting with different IT service providers, make sure that they are familiar with your industry, corresponding systems and IT challenges associated with it.

6. What is their support response process?

When it comes to support requests, it’s crucial to understand each MSP’s process and make sure it works for your business. Does the MSP provide around-the-clock support? For critical issues such as critical system failure or a security breach, how long will it take to receive a response and solution? IT never sleeps, so it’s important to have a well-suited account manager whom you know and trust constantly monitoring your systems.  

7. Who are their technology partners?

An IT provider with long-lasting and reputable partner relationships should be top of mind. When it comes to highly-specialized tasks, an MSP with quality partnerships will be able to solve complex situations more efficiently. Furthermore, this will save you the hassle of contacting the provider directly and shelling out thousands of dollars in service fees.  

Ready to find your perfect IT partner?

If you are ready to enhance your business operations with an MSP, our team of Vancouver Island IT experts are ready help and are committed to seeing your business succeed. Get in touch for a free 30-minute discovery call and find out how we can excel your organization.