5 Qualities to look for in an MSP: A checklist

5 Qualities to look for in an MSP: A checklist

More and more small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in Vancouver and elsewhere are turning to managed services providers (MSPs) for their various IT needs. And it’s not hard to see why, given the myriad benefits of partnering with an MSP, from lower costs to round-the-clock maintenance and support to enhanced network security.

However, you shouldn’t sign up with the first provider you come across. For you to reap the full benefits of outsourcing IT services to an MSP, make sure to choose one that:

❑ Has technical expertise

From virtualization to data backup and recovery and everything in between, your MSP must be well versed in the ins and outs of business IT. Their teams must have the appropriate training, certifications, and experience in various aspects of technology, especially those relevant to your needs.

For instance, if you want to optimize your business’s network, partner with an MSP that specializes in network setup, configuration, and maintenance. They’ll be able to provide you with the necessary solutions to ensure that your systems stay online and protected against threats all the time. If you want to shift your operations to the cloud, go with an MSP that can provide a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective cloud solution and guide you throughout the migration process.

❑ Has a proven track record in your industry

Look for an MSP with experience and a proven track record of success in your industry. An MSP that knows the nuances of your industry will be able to recommend the most strategic IT solutions for your business. At the same time, they are aware that your business has needs that differ in one way or another from those of other organizations in your industry. They will take the time to understand your unique needs and tailor solutions that will help you address them.

To ascertain an MSP’s capability to serve your business, read customer reviews and testimonials, vendor feedback, and case studies on their website. A reputable MSP will be willing to give you a list of references; take the time to ask past and current clients about their experience working with the MSP.

❑ Is committed to delivering comprehensive cybersecurity measures

The best MSPs employ professionals who are knowledgeable in and keep up with the evolving cybersecurity landscape. They are thus in the best position to recommend and implement the most appropriate, most effective solutions for securing your data and systems.

Check if your MSP offers essential security tools such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, email security software, and advanced encryption protocols. They should provide 24/7 monitoring services, wherein they regularly assess and analyze your network’s health and performance for threats and vulnerabilities. This enables them to address issues before they become productivity-draining problems.

Also, look for an MSP that provides guidance on cybersecurity in the form of training and education. They can help you design and implement a security awareness program that will boost your staff’s understanding of security best practices, enhance your company’s cybersecurity posture, and ensure its compliance with industry standards.

❑ Is always available and quick to respond

Availability and responsiveness are hallmarks of a good MSP. They understand that problems can crop up at any time of the day or night, and so they provide 24/7 help desk support, even on weekends and holidays. They can troubleshoot small issues such as resetting passwords remotely as well as immediately deploy technicians to your premises in case of more complex problems, like your on-site server breaking down. Speedy service and round-the-clock availability — along with continuous monitoring — ensure minimal disruptions to your business, even if disasters happen.

❑ Offers robust disaster recovery strategies

And when disasters do strike, your MSP should have robust strategies in place to minimize the impacts on your business. This is particularly important given how vulnerable SMBs are to both man-made and natural disasters. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic — a catastrophic event if there ever was one — has shut down many small businesses across Canada and put many more at risk of closing their doors forever.

A reputable MSP will make sure you’re prepared for the worst by helping you develop and implement an effective business continuity and disaster recovery plan. This involves conducting a risk assessment and a business impact analysis. Doing so will help you identify the events that can affect your operations, as well as their potential impacts and the severity of these. Armed with this information, you can determine the measures to take and the resources you’ll need to reduce your risk for disaster and ensure business continuity.

If you’re looking for a reliable IT partner for your Vancouver, Burnaby, or Richmond business, look no further than Quicktech. Our teams have what it takes to provide you with the proactive support and dedicated customer service your company deserves. For more information about managed services, call us at 604-709-8324.