IT Managed Services
After an in-house IT departure, switching to a Managed Service Provider, or MSP, may seem daunting. Although there are several reasons to switch, you’re used to running your IT a certain way, and changing things up can be stressful. But new beginnings breed new opportunities: when you start a new job, you can reinvent yourself as the office motivator or social butterfly. And when you move to a new state, you can become the “good neighbor” or “neighbor with the best Halloween decorations.” Similarly, an MSP fresh start can mean bigger (and greater) changes for the way you manage, value, and utilize IT.
In order to make the most of your new MSP relationship, it’s important that you ask yourself several questions. By answering these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what you need from your MSP, what it can offer, and how to best utilize its services for your future goals.
If you’re about to start fresh with a new MSP, here are some important questions to consider:
What do you Know About Your Current IT Setup?
Every IT setup is unique. And if you want to improve your current setup, you need to understand what currently works and what doesn’t work. In other words, without basic knowledge of your IT setup, you won’t know what should change and what should stay the same.
When evaluating your setup, try these questions: How many servers do you have? Where are they located, and what do they do? Would your company be just as efficient with less servers, or would your business benefit from more? Similarly, are your operating systems out of date? And what security software is in place? Is this software constantly patching and upgrading? Are your backups constantly running? Do you have on-site backups, off-site, or both? And what about cloud hosting? The list goes on and on.
Once you’ve evaluated your setup, you’ll want a game plan for what to do next.
What are your Technological Plans for the Future?
A mature organization is constantly planning for the future. This might mean having specific goals (ex. transitioning all systems to Windows 10) or having more general ones (like improving cybersecurity). A mix of general and specific goals is invaluable for helping your company grow. However, you’ll want to ensure that your MSP has the resources for your specific goals. Additionally, it’s important that your MSP guide you through more general evolutions.
What Else Can Your MSP Offer?
A good MSP works with you as a partner. It’s in their best interest to keep your technology optimized, updated, and in good condition. They’ll also want to enhance your cybersecurity posture and understanding of IT. Unfortunately, a bad MSP will do the opposite—they won’t focus on what matters to you, or they might keep you in the dark about their methods. For this reason, it’s important to understand your MSP’s obligations to you. Once you know what you’re entitled to, you can ask more informed questions and advocate for yourself and your business. Again, a good MSP will advocate for you as well, but knowing what you want, what you’re owed, and what your MSP can offer will help your goals better align.
A new MSP means a fresh start. Now’s the time to focus on what’s important and to run your IT the way you want it run. However, if you don’t understand your setup, don’t have plans for the future, and don’t know what your MSP is responsible for… why would your IT setup be better than it was before? In order to optimize your fresh start, make sure you’re asking the right questions and aware of what’s going on in your environment.
Use this opportunity to mature your IT setup and reinvent your entire company. Your MSP is your partner, and it’s here to help you. All you need to do is tell it how.