So you want to hire an MSP,
For those of you who don't know, a Managed IT Service Provider or MSP for short, is an outsourced contractor who is hired to remotely manage or deliver IT services. This can include everything from infrastructure services to security management and so on.
Hiring an MSP
As a business owner, you may be asking yourself, is it necessary to hire an MSP? Can't I just hire someone to the team to cover all that?
Well, in reality you could. You could hire a full time IT professional and hope they have enough knowledge to handle problems that arise. The issue with this is that it can limit your range of expertise and prove to be very expensive. The median income for a salary based Network Administrator was $84,810 in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number also does NOT include the cost of healthcare, paid time off, and other benefits.
The job market has remained at an all-time low. Businesses are focusing cash and other resources on attracting personnel that will help them grow their core operation. Shifting resources from strategic to support roles may impede a company's capacity to compete. Which may be one of the reasons why corporations are outsourcing IT activities and will continue to do so. When you contract an MSP you pay a fraction of the cost. Instead of paying one salary, you onboard a CTO, IT engineer and about 2 help desk personnel.
Choosing an IT Service Provider
When choosing an IT Service Provider, it is important to know that they all offer different services.
Every business relies on IT nowadays, and there's no disputing that. There are many IT Service Providers to choose from, and each one has a different approach to service delivery. Just because you have a vendor in place doesn't mean that the IT infrastructure is secure. It also doesn't mean that you're getting all the value you need from an IT perspective. When adding value in the IT service market, the saying "You don't know what you don't know" holds true.
2022 has already started off with a bang for a Everything including tech is constantly evolving and changing. Keeping your devices updated and responding to your support requests should be their primary function. Your provider should have at least those two pretty well covered. IT Service providers should be asked about the back-end tools they use as well as their standard operating procedures for patching systems. However, your provider's most valuable assets are their employees, not their latest processes or tools.
Criteria for Hiring a IT Service Provider
Now, there are certain things a company can look for when it comes to hiring a provider. Do they have a team of individuals talented in all the fields of IT capability. One of the biggest "talents" you should be looking for is expertise in cyber security. Is your company going to be covered when it comes to ransomware attacks on personal information?
Cyber security has become a central element in the industry's evolution. The tech and the people who support cyber security efforts have also evolved. From simply patching systems to taking a holistic approach to the securing of the entire network. IT Providers are now hiring the new wave of Cyber Security Engineers. A company's digital assets can be protected by these experts. They conduct vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, as well as remediate security gaps and serve as strategic security consultants. In 2022, companies should assess the strength of their potential partners when evaluating IT Services Providers.
Another aspect of knowledge should be of the cloud. Nowadays, you store everything in the cloud. Which means it is important that your team can handle this new storage adaptation.
Cloud adoption is simply another major trend in the technology sector that cannot be avoided. IT Service Providers are expected to manage on-premise infrastructure. They can also manage deployments across Amazon's AWS, Microsoft's Azure, and Google's Cloud Platform (GCP). According to cloud technology, the company's long-term IT strategy should also consider the cloud strategy of its strategic IT partner. A company looking for a new IT provider should inquire as to which platforms the MSP is most competent in. This is so they can ensure they are in alignment with the company's needs.
And lastly, another huge role in finding the IT provider that is right for your company is to find a Solutions Expert - A team with the skills your organization values.
A providers Solutions Architect role can be one of the most valuable assets it has to offer. Often also referred to as a Virtual CIO or VCIO, these individuals have mastered the field of information tech. They are able to offer advice and direction to others. IT Services Providers are able to assist clients with their most pressing projects and challenges. To the extent that providers offer this additional service, it should be a part of your support agreement. In terms of helping a client achieve their technology goals, their advice can make all the difference.
All in all, it is important to do a thorough evaluation process when choosing an IT provider. Organization size, industry, an technology complexity all impact on how to evaluate an IT Services Provider. A thorough understanding of the IT Provider's back-end systems is essential. As well as the types of talent and roles they employ should be part of the evaluation criteria. Oh, and you should probably like them, right? No one wants to work with someone they simply don't have that sort of connection with. In IT, I'd like to think it's particularly important. Ultimately IT is a support business. While skills and knowledge are valuable, you're going to select a provider that fits with your company's culture.
Finding the right IT Service Provider can be a huge game changer for any business. It frees up resources a company would have delegated hiring only one person. They now have onboarded of up to 4 IT professionals for a fraction of the cost. Figure out your company's needs, and fit the role of talent accordingly.
I hope this information gave you a little more insight on what an IT Service Provider can do for you.
Need help finding an IT Service Provider for your business? Contact our IT experts today to find out more. We’re happy to suggest the best solution for your needs.
STG IT Consulting Group proudly provides IT Service in Greater Los Angeles and the surrounding areas for all of your IT needs.
We look forward to meeting with you!