How to Choose a Managed Services Provider
More companies are migrating to the cloud than ever before. The unprecedented scalability and flexibility of managed services allow businesses of all sizes to reduce overheads, improve performance, and safeguard themselves against cybersecurity threats.
However, migrating to the cloud is likely not something you can accomplish on your own — not unless you have a dedicated in-house team and a generous budget to support it. As such, many SMBs are instead starting to recognize the benefits of hiring a managed services provider (MSP) to take care of cloud migration and future IT management on their behalf.
Some MSPs claim expertise across a full range of industries, offering their services to businesses regardless of what category they fit into. This should probably raise a red flag since it’s unlikely that such an MSP would fully understand the specific needs of every business in any given industry.
An MSP that offers a more generic approach might be, as the saying goes, a jack of all trades but master of none. Here at Dyrand, we work with companies in insurance, finance, professional services, manufacturing, aviation, and construction. Since we focus on these areas, we’re also very familiar with the various applications and systems specific to those industries.
Service Level Agreements
MSPs are committed to offering top-quality service defined by contracts known as service level agreements (SLAs). These contracts outline the minimum level of service that the MSP is obliged to provide, such as service uptime, cybersecurity monitoring levels, performance benchmarks, and service availability.
Any reputable MSP should be prepared to commit to their responsibilities by way of an SLA, but it’s highly recommended to choose a company that uses manageable and responsive agreements. SLAs should evolve along with the service and the needs of your business, so you’ll want to be able to evaluate and amend them at regular intervals.
Often cited as the #1 benefit of migrating to the cloud, scalability should be at the forefront of your mind when choosing an MSP. The last thing you want is for your growing business to run into trouble just because your existing IT infrastructure can’t handle all the extra work.
Some of the smaller MSPs might not be adequately equipped to scale their services to the needs of a fast-growing company. Although most MSPs offer their services without requiring any long-term commitments on your part, you should still be thinking ahead. After all, a reliable MSP should be able to take care of your business IT needs for many years.
Another key priority of migrating to a cloud-based IT infrastructure is to increase data visibility by implementing a centralized data storage and processing system. However, you’re not likely to achieve this if you’re relying on a combination of multiple service providers, vendors, and in-house systems .
Ideally, to take full advantage of cloud services, you’ll be better off choosing an MSP that can guide you through the entire cloud journey from initial planning to migration to management and future adaptation and optimization. You should also choose a company that has a strong relationship with one or more of the main hyperscale providers, such as Azure, AWS, and Google.
MSPs should continually improve their services by taking advantage of the latest technology and being deeply involved with the major cloud-computing platforms. Ideally, they should adopt an agile framework to provide continual improvement, an automated approach, and large-scale innovation.
After all, the job of an MSP is to build and provide a complete and scalable IT framework that allows your business to take advantage of the same technology used by some of the world’s largest corporations. An MSP should be able to scale to migrate and manage a multiple-vendor infrastructure that’s always on the cutting edge of technology.
Dyrand Systems is one of Canada’s most trusted private cloud service providers, offering the full range of managed IT services for SMBs. If you’re ready to take the next step in the evolution of enterprise IT, give us a call today.