Even before the pandemic hit, small businesses were realizing the importance of outsourcing their IT support to adopt efficient, flexible, and cost-effective IT systems. Oftentimes, IT can become too complex and demanding for an internal support person (or team for that matter). Most companies simply can’t keep up, which is why small businesses typically outsource their IT needs to a managed IT services provider (MSP) like Louisville Geek.
What is an MSP?
MSPs are typically composed of engineers or specialists from various IT fields, and together, they provide various IT services such as network management, help desk support, IT consulting, cybersecurity, and cloud support.
What are the benefits of MSP’s?
For many small businesses, they end up saving money when they outsource their IT. Because any reputable MSP will have strategic partnerships with industry-leading technology vendors in place, their buy rates for software are far better than if a company were to try and purchase on their own. Another advantage is the ability for MSP’s to provide remote support. When an IT issue occurs, small businesses have the advantage of contacting a dedicated support team to resolve their issues.
How to select an MSP that is right for your business
There are always risks involved when selecting a service provider, and IT is no different. When it comes to IT support, there is no one size fits all package, which is why we recommend working with an MSP who can provide your business with flexible solutions. Always ask which vendors they work with (e.g. Microsoft, Dell). If the MSP is only partners with 1-2 vendors, that’s a red flag because they are limited in the number of options they can provide you and they may end up trying to pigeonhole you into a solution that doesn’t align with your business objectives. We recommend asking the MSP what types of certifications their engineers have. Even though a company might have affiliations with several vendors, if their technicians don’t know how the products work, what good does it do?
What types of questions should you ask your MSP?
Are they SOC 2 Certified?
If you are interviewing an MSP who is not SOC 2 certified, that should be an immediate red flag.
Selecting an IT provider is one of the most significant decisions any business can make and ultimately it comes down to trust. Service businesses, particularly those who manage sensitive data, need to develop security policies and procedures that are written out and followed by everyone in the organization. These policies and procedures should cover security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy of data stored in the cloud.
What vendors do they work with?
If an MSP only works with one or two vendors, that’s usually another red flag. Why? Because they don’t have the ability to provide you with multiple options. This means they can’t bargain shop for hardware or licenses because they are only allowed to purchase through those 1-2 vendors. Read more about why vendor relationships matter when it comes to selecting your MSP.
Do they have a remote help desk?
If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people can get their job done from anywhere these days. If an MSP is not structured to provide your team with remote support, walk away. Learn about why a remote help desk is the backbone of any successful MSP.
Are their engineers certified?
A key component to our success as an IT service provider is ensuring our technicians are staying up to date with certifications and staying active with the latest technology. Ideally, an MSP will employ engineers who have completed multiple vendor certifications, allowing you to rest easy knowing they are partnered with certified, confident, trusted individuals equipped with technical skill sets to meet your needs and expectations. Read about how Louisville Geek leverages vendor relationships to complete certifications on an ongoing basis.
With IT being the backbone of any small business, it’s important to select an MSP who truly understands your business objectives and views the relationship more like a partnership than an outsourced vendor. If you’d like to speak to Louisville Geek about IT support for your small business, head over to our contact page and a representative from Louisville Geek will be in touch within 24 hours.
Louisville Geek provides comprehensive managed IT services for a diverse range of businesses and non-profit organizations. We are passionate about IT and love what we do!