How To Choose & Get most from MSP
Managed Services providers for the cloud is a recent phenomenon and is still maturing. In a maturing market, businesses should resist the urge to align with the lowest cost provider; instead should favor expertise and alignment with strategic business goals.
Imagine an organization being overwhelmed with IT support tasks with pressure to resolve them in a timely fashion while IT support may not be the strategic imperative for the business.
A very typical scenario of the businesses today—overwhelmed with complexity of IT systems, myriad of cloud services and balancing IT budgets.
What to look for in MSP to maximize outcome?
Range of Expertise
One of the key criteria to look for is range of expertise. In today’s cloud compute environment, there are no traditional barriers between networking, and system administration skills. A successful cloud MSP typically should house not only several experts from the technology stack but also knowledge about other providers & services in the market.
As a CompTIA report states, cyber security has emerged as a top business disrupter and driver of MSP business model. Businesses may not have expertise or the rigor to run say a complex Vulnerability Management Program. Hence, businesses are typically leaning towards MSP to guide and keep them away from disruption. In an event of a compromise, MSPs will be able to bank on its expertise to help the business to recover faster.
Business Farming capabilities
MSPs ability to understand the business of its customer should be the key driver for decision making. Understanding of business imperatives will not only enable the MSP to empathize with end-user but also spot new revenue or cost cutting opportunities hidden inside IT.
Businesses should be aware of the warning signs while choosing the partners. Given commoditization of MSP in certain pockets, there is a strong temptation for business for bargain hunting. April advises CIOs to resist the urge and to look out for these warning signs:
Cookie cutter SLAs – “It should be a red flag if an MSP offers you a cookie-cutter service-level agreement (SLA). It’s a much better sign if they seek to craft a customized contract based on your business and needs.”
Talking Technology – “Look for MSPs that understand your business and that speak less about the technology,” she says. “I think that’s important across the board. You want a partner that can talk about business outcomes and how their services are going to help further your goals from a business perspective, not a technology perspective.”