Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are a vital addition to the foundation of your business. They work with you daily to make your life and the lives of your team easier as they take on all your IT challenges in an effective and efficient way. If you’re currently looking to hire, here’s how you can weed out the cheats and find a partner that best suits your business’ needs.
Tip 1: Recognize and Avoid Fly-by-Night IT Technicians
They’re called fly-by-night technicians because they have no office, no insurance, and no ties to your business. No-ties means no accountability, stability, or opportunity for career advancement. These types of IT techs can usually be found in the “Services” section of Craigslist. They even promote themselves on the local Facebook yard sale page. Honestly, you’re better off steering clear. You’ll be lured in by attractive industry keywords and IT jargon, but don’t be fooled. When the cost of services seems too good to be true, it often is. You’ll want to stay away from sites with little credibility towards them or look too good to be true. Instead, gravitate towards finding a credible and reliable IT service.
To help find great IT services and professionals in order to weed out the “so-called professionals”, ask these 8 important questions:
- How long have they been providing managed IT services to clients?
- How many technicians does the IT service have on staff?
- What kinds of support will they provide to my business during critical downtimes?
- How many clients are they servicing or have they serviced in the past?
- Who are their professional affiliations?
- How is customer satisfaction measured?
- Do they have the correct liability insurance and updated Workplace Insurance Safety Board (WSIB) coverage?
Get what you pay for and get what you’re promised. You’ll know when a trustworthy managed IT service provider is worth hiring-- either as support for your teams or as hardware and software solution providers-- when they’ve been in business for a while, have a long line of satisfied customers vouching for their services, and are always by your side during downtimes.
Tip 2: Run Away from Run-and-Gun Businesses
Similar to their fly-by-night cousins, run-and-gun IT service providers bank on fixing what breaks- literally. Traditionally, this break-fix model of service has been a hurried solution to one-off problems, but all savvy business leaders understand you get what you pay for when it comes to IT run-and-guns. In the past two years, 59% of IT services have transferred from the break-fix model to a managed service.
The problem with paying by the hour for repairs, which is how most run-and-gun businesses operate, is that it’s an expensive and reactive approach. Since something has to break first, it’s beneficial for the servicer when things keep breaking. Let that sink in. Additionally, the lack of accountability and follow-up support from these types of break-fix IT solutions doesn’t instill confidence. Once the technician leaves the building, the job’s done.
You may not be able to financially support in-house IT staff, but that doesn’t mean you should find the least expensive hourly outsourced option. Instead of sporadic costs, set a monthly rate for services and receive a proactive approach from a consistent resource backed by experts. When you recognize the business advantages of outsourcing IT to a seasoned professional, you’ll realize a long-term, dependable solution is worth the investment.
Tip 3: Look for Professionality
Now that you know what you need to consider when your company is hiring for IT departments, it’s important to realize that the more professional your IT department is, the more likely it is for your company to succeed. When hiring, looking for people with experience in areas like technology development, leadership, and plenty of IT experience is a good combination for a successful IT team. The more professional your team is, the more likely it is for your company to succeed. Here are some skills you should be certain your service provider has:
- 24/7 cybersecurity services
- Network hardware/software asset management
- Remote management
- Cloud-based infrastructure
- Mobile device tracking and management
- Ability to adapt the infrastructure to grow with your business
Not all IT MSPs are created equal. Hire the wrong servicer to support your team or upgrade your equipment, and it’ll cost you more than an hourly rate and a headache. Fortunately, finding the right technician also isn’t rocket science. Create a relationship with a qualified, trusted managed service provider, and say goodbye to your IT troubles.