When you outsource your IT support to a managed service provider (MSP), you need to be confident that you’re getting value for money.
In theory, using an MSP provides a range of benefits, including better productivity, increased security and access to knowledgeable experts. But there are certain things you can do on your side to make that partnership work even better for your business.
In this article, we’ll show you how to extract every last drop of value from your IT support provider.
How to Create a Valuable Partnership With Your MSP
Once you engage and hire an MSP to support your IT operations, you’ve already taken the first step to increased productivity and maintenance. Good MSPs will supplement your business by proactively managing your systems, applying modern technology to protect data and ensuring everything runs smoothly.
However, there are further steps you can take to build a formidable partnership that works even better on both sides - meaning you can maximise your IT output to boost your business’s performance.
Here are some tactics and tips to help ensure you make the most of your MSP.
Share Your KPIs and Business Growth Plans
Good managed service providers should be agile and have the ability to scale their service levels in line with your business requirements. To help them do this, share your growth plans and any goals and KPIs that you’re looking to achieve. In doing so, you’ll provide additional context for the MSP to tailor their package and better recommend the right solutions to support your IT systems.
Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions of your MSP - they’re there to help you, so you need to be sure that they’re able to support you in the right ways to help achieve your goals.
Make it a Collaborative Relationship
The best partnerships are ones where both sides are working together towards a common goal. Once you’ve established the goals and overall targets with your IT provider, it’s important to align with them to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.
Though the MSP will be responsible for part or all of your IT systems, the most effective partnerships blossom when both provider and client have good, open lines of communication. You should be able to reach out to your MSP for expert advice and guidance, and they should be on hand to proactively offer their expertise and suggest better systems and processes.
Involve Them in Decision Making and Strategic Plans
When you’re making internal plans, it can feel like an insular thing you want to protect from the outside world. However, your IT provider will likely have the knowledge and experience to support you from a strategic perspective.
For example, if you’re undertaking a large-scale IT project, consult your MSP and ask for their advice on how they would approach it. You can also bounce ideas off your provider for smaller decisions such as new software and system rollouts. The MSP will have experts with a range of specialisms, so it’s worth tapping into that valuable knowledge to ensure the best outcome for your business.
Trust Them to Keep You Connected and Secure
Don’t forget: you’re hiring an IT support provider because of their expertise and the benefits they can bring to your business. For that to happen effectively, you need to be able to trust them, particularly when it comes to data protection and cyber security. You must have full confidence that their systems, software and processes will keep you protected.
Of course, that trust has to be earned - through a strong and reliable service. Once you start noticing increased periods of downtime or feel your MSP is dropping the ball, you might want to consider the relationship.
Make Sure They Can Scale to Suit Your Needs
As you grow, your company’s reliance on more advanced and reliable IT systems will increase. In these circumstances, you need to be sure that your MSP is able to scale their level of service to suit your growth.
For example, if you go on a hiring spree, is the MSP well placed to increase its monitoring to cover the additional users and machines? Are they able to quickly adapt to your requirements?
Continually Review and Adapt the Relationship
Businesses change. People come and go, processes change, systems are replaced. Your chosen IT provider, therefore, needs to be adaptable to your requirements. And there’s an onus on you to help navigate change by involving the provider and adapting the relationship to suit those needs.
When anything is changing within your business, also review the partnerships you have, as the agreed levels of service or deliverables may need to be tweaked in line with the changes.
Value Their Expertise and Knowledge
A good MSP should be a trusted ally within your business. That’s because they’re experts within their field - often with specific specialisms in more niche areas of the IT industry. That’s a powerful thing for your business, as it provides you with immediate access to knowledge and insight that would otherwise be out of reach.
And remember; the suggestions and recommendations your provider makes aren’t just for their own good - they’re for yours too. After all, they want to retain your business (and grow their own client base). So, when it comes to IT, use and value the expertise and experience that your MSP can provide.
Ready to Build a Beneficial Partnership With an MSP You Can Trust?
When used correctly, a managed IT service can be a powerful and even transformational partnership for your business. Whether you’re engaging with a provider to oversee your entire IT operation or you’re looking for some tactical support to complement your existing IT team, an MSP can be a force for change within your company.
What makes a good managed service provider is that they’re flexible, adaptable and listen to your needs. But you can make that relationship even stronger and more beneficial by working in tandem with your support company to ensure you’re both moving in the same direction and working towards common goals.
The first step, though, is to find a perfect partner - and you can do that by downloading this free guide to managed service providers. Get your copy now!