June 4, 2022
Matthew Kirkland

Looking for a reliable IT MSP? 6 Questions to ask a potential Managed Services Provider

Finding a reliable IT MSP can be a challenging prospect for many businesses in 2022 because IT isn’t just about computers and servers anymore. Services need to include security, cloud-based solutions, and monitoring. Not only this, some IT services companies can be smaller and may not have the required expertise to help you achieve your business goals and secure your business.

This article will cover six questions to ask to ensure you’re getting a reliable IT MSP partner.

Nerds On Site is a Managed Security Services Provider specializing in providing on-site support and managed services to SMEs in Canada & the United States. We offer a full suite of IT services and have over 1,000 years of combined experience throughout our global team.

1) Are they a Managed Service Provider (MSP) or a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)?

This question has only become critical in the past few years. Previously managed service providers could get away with offering traditional IT solutions, but with the rise of ransomware & phishing, this is no longer enough. You will want to ensure any potential business partner has the skills and expertise to cover your cybersecurity needs.

  • Does the prospective MSP offer any cybersecurity services on their website?
  • What type of cybersecurity offerings do they have? Simple monitoring and a re-sold firewall solution, or more vital services, like assessment, audit & zero trust?
  • What is covered by the monitoring they offer? Is it only for downtime management, or does it include vulnerability management?
  • What Endpoint protection/Anti-virus (if any) do they protect Client devices? Depending on the answer, we recommend checking into the company and seeing how reputable they are at supporting businesses. We recommend Webroot Business Endpoint Protection (preferred) or Crowdstrike Falcon (more expensive).

2) How will they handle your IT infrastructure?

If they don’t have a clear and immediate answer to this question, you should move on. One of the first things a reliable IT MSP should do is provide you with a clear understanding of your current IT infrastructure and make recommendations to improve your technology and security.

Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that have not had managed services in the past will often use equipment from their internet provider without any clear policies on network setup & use. Bigger businesses may be using traditional firewall solutions that may not suit today’s cybersecurity landscape.

A reliable IT MSP should recommend equipment (upgrade to a suitable secure business suite), network segmentation, network policies & a robust data security plan.

3) How are they going to help you achieve your business goals?

A reliable IT MSP will be able to use the knowledge and previous experience with other businesses in your vertical to provide real-world examples of how they can help your business achieve more profitability and productivity through your technology.

Reliable MSPs will look to build a relationship as a valued partner, providing a multi-staged process for the way they deliver IT services. The greater success of your company will be the greater success of the MSP.

4) Do they have a local presence?

A reliable IT MSP will be able to serve your business onsite when needed.

In the event of a critical failure of your systems, you want to ensure you can have an IT technician available to support your business and get up and running as soon as possible. Ask the potential provider about the turnaround times they can offer for on-site service if you need disaster recovery.

5) Are they reputable?

The easiest way to tell if a business is reputable is to check online reviews. If they don’t have any reviews, this isn’t always a tell-tail-sign that the IT services provider is not reputable. Some businesses don’t always ask Clients to review their services, and, for the sake of security and privacy, they don’t advertise who their Clients are online.

Ask the MSP to provide references from companies they have a long history of working with. Check the history of these organizations and call them to confirm they receive service from this provider and are happy. All reliable MSPs will have long-time clients who can attest to the quality of their services.

6) Do they have a full suite of services that suit your specific needs?

Managed IT Services come in all shapes and sizes and are often provided a la carte to suit a company’s specific needs. Nerds On Site offers the following services to our business Clients, and we recommend using this as a fair comparison.

  • Helpdesk Services (Remote & Phone Support, 24/7/365)
  • On-demand Onsite or Remote IT Support
  • 24/7 Proactive Network, Server & Device Monitoring
  • Reviewed & Managed System Updates
  • Guaranteed Business Systems Uptime w/Service Level Agreement
  • Backup & Recovery Setup & Support
  • Cloud Storage Setup & Support
  • Business Email Security & Support
  • IT Infrastructure Services
  • IT Procurement & Device Setup Services
  • Cybersecurity Assessment, Planning & Audit
  • Managed Secure WiFi & VPN Solutions
  • Device Hardening & Endpoint Protection
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) Implementation & Training
  • Security Awareness Training (SAT)
  • Post-Breach Remediation
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Block & Allow Listing Zero Trust Networking w/Content filtering, Ransomware & Phishing Protection

Conclusion

When choosing a reliable technology partner, the ultimate goal is to find an organization familiar with a company like yours and your day-to-day operations. If you’re an SME in Canada or the United States, Nerds On Site may be for you.

We’ve been helping SMEs as a reliable IT MSP achieve more productivity and profitability from their technology since 1995. So if you’re looking for a valued partner that knows what it takes to support your business, contact us today.

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