IT Strategy

How to choose the optimum MSP for your organization

December 7, 2023
How to choose the optimum MSP for your organization

DeepNet is an MSP, or managed IT services provider, a unique company that seamlessly teams with its clients to manage some or all of their IT needs. But all MSPs are not created equal. And only one is the best fit for your company. We can help you figure out if you need an MSP and how to choose the right one.

You know IT is foundational to the health and security of your company. YET…

  • Technology changes so fast, it’s tough to keep up
  • Keeping security current to combat cyberthreats is more challenging these days
  • Hiring a team expert in all IT areas is too expensive
  • Employees spend time resolving IT issues, which causes burnout
  • Planning and budgeting for IT is complicated and needs ongoing management
  • IT costs are often unpredictable with our current MSP

If you are faced with any of these IT challenges, you are not alone! Many successful businesses experience IT growing pains. AF: then mention something related to how an MSP can solve these issues

What is an MSP?

An MSP is an organization that stands in as your IT department (fully managed), or as an extension of your IT department (co-managed). By creating an economy of scale, MSPs can bring high-caliber IT services to organizations of all types. MSPs play a valuable role in business because they help companies of every size stay safe, secure, and competitive.

You can think of an MSP as an IT department-for-hire—a company made up of technicians and strategists that integrate seamlessly with your company to provide IT-related services, such as

  • Systems administration
  • Cloud & infrastructure management
  • Managed network and internet services
  • Round-the-clock IT support
  • Cybersecurity audits and monitoring
  • Location set-up and employee onboarding
  • Remote or office-based device/workstation management
  • Strategic advice and tactics focused on your goals

Diving deeper, you can see how these services fit together to provide a seamless IT environment for your organization.

IT support is one of the best-known—and most valuable—services an MSP provides. A top-notch provider will have a short average response time and friendly, competent technicians. Most importantly, clients should have access to a team of experts that help prevent technology glitches, security breaches, and employee downtime.

Managed internet solutions provide comprehensive support for maintaining your secure internet connection and online presence, including cloud hosting, web hosting, and reliable and cost-effective local access. MSPs offer management of wireless networks, ISP oversight, and support for hardware while continuously monitoring and addressing any risks or issues.

Enterprise-level security and compliance is a benefit that MSPs can provide small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) through an economy of scale. Comprehensive security is imperative to SMBs because the threat of harm is increasing in this category since the global shift to remote working. SMBs don’t have the budgets to implement the departments, processes, and technology typically required to manage today’s risks—yet they do have increasingly valuable information.

Full IT asset lifecycle management is an important service an MSP should provide. Professionally procuring, deploying and sustainably disposing of computers, laptops, docking stations, and phones keeps information secure from the start all the way to the recycling center. MSPs will be able to choose the right equipment for your organization at the best prices available and create an efficient network of assets that play well together.

Remote workforce management is key to any growing business today. MSPs can efficiently onboard and offboard remote employees and manage devices and workstations in any location. Further, an MSP can help ease the transition from a standard office-based workplace to a distributed workforce—and back again.

Essentially, an MSP helps your organization run more securely and efficiently, while increasing your impact in your industry.

Does my business or organization need an MSP?

As with most service outsourcing, the short answer is, “It depends.” But it is not a stretch to say that literally millions of US businesses and nonprofit organizations would benefit from a relationship with a managed IT services provider.

Small and medium-sized businesses, or SMBs, represent 99.7% of US companies, and they have particular characteristics. Small businesses generally have fewer than 100 employees and make less than $50 million annually. Medium-sized businesses employ between 100 and 999 employees and generate between $50 million and $1 billion. While that is a huge category, IT is one area that ties these businesses together.

Often SMBs will find themselves cobbling together IT, using employees who should be focused on other roles. Sometimes they will have a full IT department for management and support, yet it is not quite meeting the company's needs or providing the level of security demanded by today’s standards. Other times, companies will have a CIO whose responsibility is to oversee an outsourced team. If your organization is an SMB, you would do well to investigate how an MSP could fill the gaps in your IT structure.

Organizations in start-up or growth phases can benefit from an MSP to quickly set up networks, and infrastructure, rapidly onboard office-based and remote employees, and open new locations. MSPs can help companies stay focused on growing their businesses while staying efficient and secure.

Organizations with specific compliance needs hire managed IT services providers to handle the intricacies of specialized information privacy. Healthcare organizations must be HIPAA compliant. Financial and law firms might choose to become SOC 2 compliant at the request of a prospect or to gain a competitive advantage. Government organizations and contractors need various levels of security clearance. An MSP can lead audits or join your audit team, and keep you in compliance over the long term.

Organizations that have had security breaches or excessive downtime should consider an MSP to lower risk and increase stability. A reputable MSP will offer enterprise-level cybersecurity and information data controls to businesses of every size. During onboarding, your MSP will focus on getting you up to their standards and proceed with real-time monitoring and ongoing prevention.

What should we look for in an MSP?

Each company in the market for an MSP will have unique needs, yet some offerings are the baseline standard, and you should always look for these:

  • Clear and transparent pricing and scalability. An MSP’s pricing structure should not be confusing or overwhelming. Look for some services to be included in a monthly flat fee, some services to be charged by the project and one-time fees to be charged at onboarding. You might come across per-device pricing, per-user pricing, all-inclusive pricing, and tiered pricing. Any one of these frameworks is appropriate as long as fees can easily be scaled to meet the needs of SMBs and growth-stage companies.
  • Clear and transparent service agreement. A reputable MSP will provide a plan for your company for the life of the agreement. It will include what happens during onboarding, standards that need to be met, the service level for day-to-day operations, and projects the client plans to undertake, such as opening a new office. The contract should be overseen by a dedicated team and reviewed regularly to ensure that it's meeting your organization’s goals.
  • Rapid IT support response and resolution. This is a baseline requirement for any MSP and will be one of the most visible benchmarks in your relationship. Professional and friendly helpdesk employees should be available across the U.S. during office hours and for 24/7 emergency support.
  • Enterprise-level security. We can’t emphasize this enough. SMBs are at an increased risk for information breaches, cyberattacks, and work disruptions due to natural disasters. Using an economy of scale, MSPs can bring the level of security procedures and processes you would find at a large company to a company of any size.
  • Dedicated tech advisory team. These are your strategists. When you contract with an MSP, they join your team to offer seamless tech support, management, and expert advice. Your dedicated tech advisory team will lead your onboarding, evaluation, and operations. They will offer strategies and tactics to help you increase not only efficiency and security but to amplify the impact your organization can play in your industry. With the help of your tech advisors, your workplace will run more smoothly, your employees will experience greater satisfaction, your clients will benefit and your bottom line will increase.

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