What Important Questions Should I Ask an IT Managed Services Company?

Do you need to hire an IT managed services company for your business? Here are the most important questions you'll want to ask before pulling the trigger.

By the end of the year 2023, digital transformation among American businesses will hit a whopping $7.4 trillion.

This heavy spending on digital transformation is due to the mounting pressure within the business landscape to match the rapid changes in information technology. In the past, most businesses opted for in-house staff in their management of IT systems. These days businesses outsource IT services to reputable firms such as BedrockIT and others with a proven track record.

Today, this dependence on the internal workforce is failing the sustainability test. Most successful businesses are now opting for IT managed services in handling all their IT needs, including Splunk consulting services provided by TekStream. When you opt for IT managed services in your digital transformation journey, you’ll notice almost immediate results. 

But how do you ensure that you only contract the best IT company? Choosing an IT managed service provider to handle this critical role is never an easy task. In this article, we reflect on the questions to ask before signing an agreement. 

How Big Is Your Staff? 

The main reason you are seeking managed services is to ensure faster delivery of services. If the service provider has a stretched team of staff, they will struggle to meet deadlines. An IT managed service provider should have a large enough team to handle your needs. 

When issues such as absenteeism or sick leave occur, you need to be assured that the IT managed company service provider will still deliver. A reliable IT service provider should be able to answer this question with honesty. 

You should then use the information to make your decision. Most IT managed services require a team that’s available across all seasons. As such, a company with a big group of employees stands a better chance of delivering when it comes to deadlines. 

Who Are Your References?

Talk is cheap. Unless the potential IT managed services provider shows you tangible evidence of their ability to deliver, you can’t afford to trust them. The best way to ensure you only deal with the best service providers would be to ask for references. 

While tracking down such references may take time and effort, it’s worth it. Getting a service provider who can meet all your IT managed services needs is a matter of utmost importance. As such, you must try and meet as many references as possible before engaging the client. 

What’s Out of Their Scope? 

One of the most important questions to ask when dealing with a new IT managed services provider relates to their service delivery skills and scope. An honest IT company should be straightforward about what they can or can’t do. 

You don’t want to end up disappointed due to under-performance. It’s better to deal with an IT managed service provider who under promises but over-delivers. Understanding the scope of delivery beforehand will help keep your expectations in check.

You’ll also be in a better position to decide on whether you want to risk working with the service provider. 

What Compliance Mechanisms Do They Have in Place?  

Just like all other sectors, the information technology landscape has rules and regulations that govern operations. Some of the most common compliance regulatory frameworks in IT include HIPPA, PCI, and GDPR. If the service provider is worth their salt, they should be compliant. 

Your IT managed service provider should meet the certification necessary to ensure data safety and security. The worst part when dealing with an IT managed service provider is the fact that mistakes are costly. You can’t take chances with the process, which informs the need to be specific about compliance. 

Do Your Calls Get Answered by a Live Person?

You can’t overlook this critical question. A reliable IT managed service provider should be able to offer multiple avenues of communication. One such consideration is the availability of a live person to answer calls. 

Managing your IT functions means that you will have instances where making urgent calls is unavoidable. Unless you can find a reliable provider, who guarantees real-time communication, you might be stuck in a dilemma soon enough. 

Given the delicate nature of information technology system management, it’s important to have guaranteed real-time communication with a live person. 

Do They Offer After-Hours Support? 

Every reliable service provider goes out of their way to offer IT support. One way of going the extra mile is by providing after-hours support. Your potential IT managed services provider should offer a guarantee when it comes to providing after-hours IT support. 

What happens in case of an emergency during after-hours?

The best IT companies have solutions to such scenarios, including having dedicated staff who respond to after-hours support needs. The fact that emergencies are inevitable necessitates the need to have a standby team to respond and mitigate against the escalation of situations. 

Is Managed Services Their Primary Function? 

You’ll find many briefcase contractors in your search for a managed services provider. Some only deliver services through outsourcing. If the potential IT services provider can’t assure you of offering MSP services as a primary function, you shouldn’t commit. 

Contractors who have multiple other functions end up disappointing their clients. Unless you are ready for poor quality delivery, always insist on a contractor who takes MSP’s role as their main job. Such providers have a team of technicians, equipment, and facilities that focus on delivering quality. 

Do They Have a Physical Office? 

Before getting into a binding contract, ask the provider for the confirmation of a physical office. Further, visit the office to satisfy that it’s operational. This due diligence process eliminates any doubts, especially when dealing with the provider for the first time. 

If you are looking to find a company with a physical office that meets all your needs, search no more. 

Vetting IT Managed Services Provider Is Imperative

You are about to entrust one of your greatest assets to a company. This is a major step that requires focus and keenness. Vetting each potential IT managed services provider will ensure that you get the best out of outsourcing this vital function. 

With these eight questions, you are sure that you can’t miss the mark when choosing a reliable IT managed services provider. 

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