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Best Practices to Look for in a Managed Services Provider (MSP)

Since the late 1990s and early 2000s, when companies began depending more heavily on IT services for overall operations, the need for subscription-based services to help manage that technology started becoming more valuable. Now that the rise of technology has made IT essential to every size and type of business, the need for managed services has become more prevalent.

Managed services, or the third-party management of IT, is now used by companies of all sizes. According to the MSP Alliance, such providers are crucial to delivering a reliable, ongoing service that caters to the specific needs of the business.

With the growth of managed services providers, or MSPs, has come the creation of vertical markets designed to serve a specific industry, such as legal or health care. And MSPs may also specialize within those verticals, offering a specific service like mobile device management, security or hosting.

While it’s important to find an MSP that can provide the specialties and services that fit your company’s needs, it’s also crucial to know that your MSP is following best practices. This ensures that you are partnering with a service provider that you can trust and rely on.

Here are five best practices to look for when selecting an MSP for your business or organization.

No. 1: A Proactive Approach to Managed Services

One of the reasons you want an MSP is so you don’t have to stress about IT and infrastructure issues. A great MSP will be proactive and provide services such as maintenance and monitoring to catch glitches before they become problems. By identifying potential problems within the system and quickly resolving them, they can prevent issues that could affect the entire network.

Look for: An MSP with remote monitoring and management (RMM) capabilities to ensure it can monitor your equipment around the clock in real time, perform maintenance as needed and resolve critical issues immediately.

No. 2: A Strong Commitment to Ethics

Because you are trusting your MSP with critical information, you have to know that it is completely committed to privacy. Your MSP has access to sensitive client and employee information, corporate data and company assets. It’s important not only for your peace of mind but also for attaining and retaining the confidence of your clients.

Look for: An MSP that meets regulatory compliance, has a written commitment to ethics as part of its overall mission and can document the measures it takes to protect sensitive information.

No. 3: World-Class Security Measures

In today’s business world, security is a top concern and priority for companies of all sizes — and that should be the top priority of your MSP as well. Regardless of size or industry, no organization is off limits for hackers and cybercriminals, and no single method of security is sufficient for protection.

Look for: An MSP that provides at least seven layers of security protection that includes firewalls, strong password policies and two-factor authentication, encryption, and web and email filtering. Additionally, since 75% of security issues are the result of human error, look for an MSP that invests heavily in employee training.

No. 4: A Strong Reporting and Review System

Even though someone else is monitoring and managing your network, it’s important for you to know what is going on with it — always. That’s why it’s important for your MSP to have a solid reporting system to let you know exactly what’s going on with your network. Based on this information, you can choose where to allocate IT spending and identify any issues that arise.

Look for: A company offering monthly and quarterly reviews to keep you up to date on the status of your IT operations and all related business processes.

No. 5: Immediate Emergency Support

Regardless of what measures are in place, there may still be times when emergencies occur. Whether it’s the result of a natural disaster like a flood or tornado, a fire or human tampering, you need to know that you can get help immediately — even if it’s after business hours.

Look for: A service provider that offers round-the-clock emergency support, will guarantee a response within a certain time frame if you have to leave a message, and is able and willing to add more resources if needed to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

Your IT management is too valuable to risk leaving it to a company that doesn’t follow best practices. Identifying what you need from an MSP is the first step toward ensuring your data and IT infrastructure are in good hands.

If you’d like to know more selecting an MSP partner or if you’d like to learn about Aventis System’s maintenance support or advanced IT services, call us at 1.855.AVENTIS or request a quote today!

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