Choosing the right managed service provider (MSP) can be challenging. Calgary businesses often turn to a managed service provider to manage their IT infrastructure, support their operations, and ensure that their technology aligns with their strategic goals. Because of the important role they play in the overall security of every organization, selecting the right managed service provider is a critical decision, and businesses need to carefully consider several key factors to make an informed choice.
Important Considerations for Choosing a Managed Service Provider
With reports of cybercrime increasing more than 70% since 2017, finding the right MSP for your Calgary business is essential. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting an MSP partner.
Expertise and Industry Knowledge
A managed service provider should have a proven track record and a deep understanding of your industry and its specific IT needs. Look for certifications, case studies, and client testimonials that demonstrate competence. Read reviews. Measure the prospective MSPs experience against your specific Calgary business needs.
Scalability and Flexibility
As your business grows and evolves, your IT requirements will change. It’s important to choose an MSP that can scale its services to meet those changing needs. Discuss your short- and long-term goals with the MSP and verify that they can adapt their services accordingly. Scalability helps ensure you won’t outgrow your MSP or be stuck with services you no longer need.
Does the MSP cover all your IT needs, from infrastructure management to cybersecurity and cloud services? Do they demonstrate a clear understanding of the layers of security necessary to protect your data? A reputable provider should offer regular security assessments and audits to identify vulnerabilities in your systems and ensure compliance with industry standards.
Data Security and Compliance
Data security is non-negotiable in today’s digital environment, and a managed service provider can help ensure you remain compliant. Make certain that managed service providers have robust security protocols and can assist with compliance requirements specific to your industry. The MSP should be well-versed in the latest cybersecurity threats and prevention strategies to keep your data safe.
24/7 Support and Monitoring
Downtime can be costly, both in terms of lost revenue and reputation. A reliable MSP should offer 24/7 monitoring and support, to detect and resolve issues before they impact your business. Proactive monitoring and rapid response times are essential for uninterrupted operations. Ensure that the provider offers round-the-clock monitoring of your network and immediate incident response capabilities, so that potential threats are identified and addressed promptly.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
We all have an understanding of the ways in which unexpected events can disrupt business operations. Your MSP partner should have a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution, which can be instrumental in making sure you can continue operating in the event of a crisis, whether it’s a natural disaster, cyberattack, or hardware failure.
An Eye on the Future
Technology evolves rapidly. An MSP should not only meet your current needs but also have a forward-looking approach to help you stay competitive. They should be willing to suggest and implement innovative solutions that align with your strategic goals. Look for providers that actively research emerging threats and have access to the latest threat intelligence. This ensures that your systems are protected against the latest attack techniques. One of the biggest hidden benefits of managed IT is access to new state-of-the-art technology and systems in which you would not typically be able to justify an investment.
Working with a Managed Service Provider
There are several steps involved in establishing a relationship with a managed service provider. Often, services will begin based on an initial assessment of your current security and infrastructure. The following steps are often part of onboarding an MSP:
Assessment and Planning
The MSP should conduct an initial assessment of your systems to identify vulnerabilities and assess your security needs. They will then develop a tailored security plan based on the assessment. When you are evaluating potential MSPs, pay attention to the communications you receive from the firm. Do they respond to your inquiries in a timely manner? Are they willing to explain the importance of the solutions they are recommending?
Deployment and Integration
Once your network assessment has been completed and you have contracted with the MSP, they will deploy the necessary security infrastructure, such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and security monitoring tools. They will integrate these systems with your existing network infrastructure.
Monitoring and Incident Response
Expect that your provider will continuously monitor your network for potential threats, using advanced tools and techniques. They will respond to any incidents promptly, minimizing the impact on your business.
Regular Updates and Maintenance
Your MSP should keep your IT network current with the latest security patches and updates, and the performance of regular maintenance will ensure optimal performance and security.
Reporting and Analysis
You should receive regular reports on the security status of your systems, including details of any incidents or vulnerabilities. These reports will help you understand the effectiveness of your security measures and make informed decisions.
You should feel as if your MSP is a part of your organization. Ideally, they will help to increase your efficiency, working seamlessly with your internal IT staff and giving you peace of mind.
Why Choose The ITeam
When working with The ITeam, you will be assigned a virtual CIO who will get to know your organization thoroughly and help you align your IT strategy with your overall business strategy. As you grow or shift your business priorities, your virtual CIO can help ensure that your IT infrastructure and security measures are keeping up with where your Calgary business is headed.
Selecting the right managed service provider is a critical decision for any business. The right MSP should act as an extension of your team, working towards your business’s success and technological advancement. Your business needs will evolve, and your MSP should be flexible, responsive, and ready to adapt to those changes. Regardless of whom you choose as a managed service provider, your choice should meet all the above qualifications to ensure that your IT needs are fully met, that you can achieve measurable ROI, and that you have peace of mind knowing your business is in good hands.
The ITeam works diligently to not only ensure that your IT infrastructure is operating like a well-oiled machine but also to ensure that we’re focused on the challenges of your specific industry. From compliance and governance requirements to unique trends in your business, we customize what we do to fit your needs. There are many aspects of a well-rounded approach to IT service management, and the ITeam strives to meet every need of their clients through proactive planning and execution. Comprehensive services range from remote maintenance to fully managed cloud hosting, with limitless benefits for your business. Get in touch today to learn more.