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4 Considerations when contracting with a Managed IT Services Provider

When the time is right for your business to bring on a Managed IT Services provider, there are several things to consider before signing a contract. Businesses both large and small have certain needs that are better managed by professionals. Contracting with a managed service provider allows owners and upper level management to focus their attention on growing and managing the business. Teaming up with a managed service provider has several benefits – if you choose the right partner. Conversely bringing on a managed service provider that doesn't understand your needs or one that is unable to provide the level of service required can be an expensive mistake. Here we look at the things you should consider before signing on the dotted line.

1. Does the Managed IT Services contract support the goals of both parties? When it comes right down to it, every business is in existence to turn a profit. When you select a Managed IT Services provider, you want to find one that will work with you to support your business strategy and achieve your goals. A Managed IT Services Provider that is interested in selling services or products that don't match the needs of your company just for the sake of making money is one that should be avoided. You are contracting with a provider that will maintain vital company systems, therefore you want someone on your side who is able and willing to create a package and price that reflects your needs and not their bottom line.

2. Will Managed IT Services be cost effective? When you enter an agreement with a Managed IT Services Provider, you are agreeing to pay a predetermined amount of money for their support and services. This can be very cost effective versus paying an hourly rate for IT support. When you have a Managed IT Services Provider in your corner, you can feel confident all vital areas are being covered regardless of the number of hours needed to do so.

3. Compare several Managed IT Services companies before making your final decision. It is easy to get lost in the mumble jumble of the IT world when you don't understand the language being spoken. While this can be disconcerting, don't let a language barrier lead to a poor business decision. You are hiring a Managed IT Services Provider to cover technological areas outside of your expertise; however, you don't want to be completely unaware of what is going on within your company. Look for Providers who understand business dynamics at the highest level and can explain how their solutions support your vision and mission, strategic objectives, goals, etc. Be wary of MSP’s who incessantly use “technobabble,” a form of jargon that uses buzzwords, esoteric language, specialized technical terms, or technical slang that may be confusing, misleading, or nonsensical to an outside listener. If you’re uncomfortable now, imagine how uncomfortable your employees are going to be at every touchpoint going forward.

4. Signing a contract with a Managed IT Services Provider ties you to that provider according to the terms of the contract. Once you have taken this step, it is important to remain in the loop regarding services provided. Review progress on a regular basis to ensure the needs of your business are being met. If you have done your homework and signed on with the right Managed IT Services Provider, you will have one less thing to worry about when it comes to managing your business.