When your company’s technology is working right, it can feel like magic. Communication is flowing, productivity is high, and everything just works the way it’s supposed to. A great partnership with an IT MSP (Managed Service Provider) is a crucial part of tech strategy these days, where the MSP acts as facilitator and advisor to your company’s technological growth plan. The right MSP should feel like a trusted partner who handles all aspects of the always-shifting tech landscape so you don’t have to! But what about when you’re partnered with the wrong MSP?
Growing businesses change constantly, and what worked about your IT provider in the past may not be working now. It happens all the time – maybe your current MSP has grown over time and shifted focus to a business segment that’s a little different than your own, leaving you feeling like second fiddle to newer clients. Perhaps your company culture no longer aligns as it did in the beginning of your engagement. Sometimes you want to move more flexibly toward emerging technology or need to scale faster than your current MSP can accommodate. The question then becomes “how do I find a better IT provider for my business?”
Let’s start with the basics – when shopping for a new IT managed service provider, consider:
- Services offered. Do you want a company to provide email support? Security? Cloud Solutions? Make sure they are a focus of your targeted organizations.
- Industry Expertise. If the IT provider works with other companies in your industry that’s a good bet they’ll be a good fit for you.
- Vendor relationships. Check to see if a prospective MSP already offers the products you use.
- IT Strategic partnership. If you want help developing a tech roadmap or need assistance vetting technology staff, find a provider that focuses on strategy.
More and more companies offer overall technology support including phones, DNS management, cloud/on-premises infrastructure and software licensing. Consider a one-size shop as many customers see cost savings vs. employing multiple vendors. You may not want to commit to that level of change right away but knowing that your IT provider is equipped to manage all of your tech down the line leaves you with lots of flexibility.
Do not underestimate the value of a proven strategic technology partner. Business administrators have to make hundreds of decisions every day. The right MSP will plan for the long-term future and growth of both parties and should be able to provide a strategic roadmap with deliverable end dates for project phases, as well as offering guidance on IT leadership hiring decisions. If you find yourself feeling like the current MSP is just falling a little short, it can’t hurt to take a look at potential partnerships – the right MSP has the potential to be transformative. Hopefully you’ll find some of the above information useful to your search.
This blog was written by Open Approach’s Senior Support Technician, Josh Suprenant.