7 Questions to Ask when Evaluating Managed Service Providers

7 Questions to Ask when Evaluating Managed Service Providers

We’ve compiled a list of 7 questions to ask when evaluating Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to determine whether they are a good fit to meet your technology infrastructure and service needs. To succeed in today’s competitive business environment, an organization must have a state-of-the art information technology infrastructure. An outdated technology infrastructure can have a negative effect on your company’s productivity, efficiency, and customer service by:

  • Giving cybercriminals a free pass
  • Putting your company in hot water with regulators
  • Reducing overall productivity
  • Causing employee dissatisfaction
  • Upsetting your customers

Once you recognize the risks of not keeping your technologies up to date, it is imperative that you refresh your IT infrastructure. Although this may seem like a daunting task, if you are willing to put forth the effort it can be done.

This is where a managed service provider (MSP) can be of assistance.

While an MSP can augment a company’s technology expertise and knowledge gaps, if you’ve never worked with one before—and don’t know what to expect from them—finding the right partner can be difficult.

When you’re looking for an MSP, it’s important to consider their experience and expertise in your industry. They should also be able to provide references from past clients in similar industries as well as an outline of the services they offer. This will give you a better idea of what they can do for your organization and what kind of results they’ve achieved in the past.

You’ll also want to consider the size of the MSP and what type of services they offer. For example, if you’re looking for help with cloud computing or cybersecurity, a smaller company may not have the resources to provide those types of services.

7 Questions to Ask when Evaluating Managed Service Providers:

  1. Do you perform regular technology and security risk assessments? Proactively assessing your security risks will help you to stay ahead of emerging threats. A risk assessment report from your MSP should provide you with a roadmap of potential threats to the security of your business.
  2. Do you meet all my compliance needs? If you are required to be HIPAA compliant, then it may pay off to have an MSP that has experience working with the standard. The same goes for PCI compliance. Managed service providers can help you achieve compliance without having to hire a dedicated security team in-house.
  3. Can you provide documentation to prove you are compliant and following best practices? Working with an MSP that does not follow best practices and has a history of non-compliance can be detrimental to your business. Make sure that their work meets industry standards and complies with best practices.
  4. Do you have a disaster recovery (DR) plan? If your MSP partner does not have a disaster recovery plan, they may be unable to keep providing you with services in the event of an incident. Even if they have a plan, it must be reviewed and updated regularly.
  5. Does the company perform auditing to meet cybersecurity and compliance requirements? An audit improves an MSP’s ability to demonstrate that its information systems and processes adhere to stringent requirements in critical areas such as security and compliance. Make sure you don’t overlook this aspect.
  6. Do you have a high level of confidence in your security posture? If so, can you explain why? A poor security posture at the MSP could make it easier for cybercriminals to break into your network. In addition, if the security of your MSP is compromised, it could undermine all other efforts you’ve made to protect your business. An MSP should be able to explain why its security posture is strong and what measures are in place to keep it that way.
  7. Do you offer 24/7/365 support? Your data and IT systems, unlike your employees, do not require sleep. An MSP should provide around-the-clock monitoring and support to address infrastructure issues to avoid downtime, data loss, or cyberattacks.

Having an MSP on your side means that you can save time and effort while also getting better results. You must have a clear understanding of how they intend to protect your company from evolving cyberthreats, how they plan on ensuring that you’re in compliance with regulations to avoid fines and reputational damage, and whether they can provide you with data backups when you need them.

As always, we’re here to help.