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A Managed Service Provider (MSP) takes care of your business or organisation’s IT infrastructure, providing ongoing support for your networks, applications, hardware and security. But some do this better than others.

There’s a lot of choice out there when it comes to MSPs. If you’re a startup or smaller business, you might be looking to hire one for the first time. Or, if you already have an MSP, you might be wondering whether you’re getting the most out of your IT partner.

Whichever sounds most familiar to you, here are some important qualities to look for.

1. They make everything simple

IT managed service providers know their stuff. But, sometimes, they can be guilty of trying too hard to prove it by drowning clients in a sea of technical jargon — even baffling them with technical know-how.

That’s why we think a good MSP should communicate in a clear, simple and refreshing way. This ties into another key quality of a good MSP — transparency. Complexities should be simplified, empowering you to understand your own IT situation and feel confident at every stage. 

A good MSP will offer you a clear picture, eliminating IT frustrations. They’ll give you total visibility of your IT strategy moving forward and what’s required next. This also allows you to communicate with internal and external stakeholders in language they can understand.

2. They improve your productivity and efficiency

Good MSPs are able to identify opportunities to introduce new ways of doing things, saving you money and time. They’ll help you to leverage the latest technology, techniques and processes, so you’re always at the forefront and can establish a competitive edge.

The possibilities here are almost endless, but this might mean moving to a new cloud productivity platform for remote workers, swapping out your older phone system for a new voice over internet protocol (VoIP) solution or securing a new 1Gbps connection speed.

By identifying aspects of your IT operation that could be improved, a good MSP will help to drive improved productivity, reliability and user experience across your whole organisation.

3. They provide a flexible, bespoke service

Every business has their own unique challenges and requirements, which makes a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach fairly unhelpful.

Your MSP should get ‘you’ as a business or organisation. They should take the time to understand your needs and develop solutions that complement and enhance your products and services, designed with your business goals in mind.

Simply put, a good MSP can be involved as much (or as little) as you’d like, enabling you to choose the type and level of support. You might have in-house specialists who require a shoulder to lean on when things go wrong — or a 24/7 fully-hosted and integrated support.

4. They keep you safeguarded

There’s no shortage of individuals out there seeking to exploit your business and customers’ data. Spear phishing, ransomware, crypto jacking — cybercriminals’ methods and techniques are increasingly sophisticated.

Most business owners and managers appreciate the importance of a rock-solid, proactive approach to cybersecurity, but staying ahead of the curve can be time consuming. In fact, only 37% of small UK businesses have a formal cybersecurity strategy.

That’s where your MSP should come in. It’s their responsibility to keep you one step ahead of cybercriminals, safeguarding your business with a bird’s-eye, round-the-clock approach. Good MSPs can usually monitor everything remotely, but should also be available to head on site if needed.

5. They work proactively and plan for the future

Whilst a good MSP can work reactively and respond with agility to problems, they shouldn’t usually need to. They might, for example, be able to help you avoid IT bottlenecks by spotting them before they become an issue for your users.

A good MSP keeps you in a great place and able to adapt and evolve, whatever the future holds. This means being able to scale up (or scale back) quickly and seamlessly, avoiding IT growing pains.

Planning for the future also means implementing and maintaining a disaster recovery strategy. This means that should the worst happen, you’re in a fantastic place to bounce back straight away, without having to pay ransoms or contend with days-long downtime.

Get the best from your MSP.

Cybersecurity, strategy, connectivity, networks, backups, remote working support and much more — our team is here to help you get the best out of your IT experience. Get in touch to discuss your needs.

Contact our tech team today