Everything You Should Ask When Comparing Managed IT Providers
When comparing managed IT providers (MSPs), you must ask questions that will let you evaluate them efficiently. And as a managed IT provider ourselves, we know how much of a difference it makes to have the right partner for your business.
In this article, we’ve listed the questions you should ask each MSP, including why you should ask them and the answers to look for. An MSP’s answers will allow you to compare them thoroughly, enabling you to get the best provider for your organization.
This article outlines the following:
Company Background Questions
Company background questions are designed to help you build a picture of an MSP’s culture and qualifications. These are the first set of questions you should ask.
1. What are your qualifications?
You want to ensure the company is reputable and trustworthy and has the credentials and accreditations to operate in their industry. By asking for their qualifications, you ensure they have the skills to meet your IT needs.
2. How do you ensure data security and privacy?
Asking about their data security policies can help you evaluate the company’s reputation, trustworthiness, and compliance with data protection laws and regulations.
3. What experience do you have working with companies in my industry?
An MSP’s previous projects, clients, and results with companies in your industry will help you evaluate a company’s track record, reputation, and quality of work.
4. Can you provide references or case studies from other clients?
Asking for references is a tried and tested method for evaluating a company. It’ll involve a little more research – as you’ll need to reach out to these previous clients or read the case studies – but it’ll provide another layer of insight.
5. Are there any reasons we shouldn’t hire your business?
This question will help you evaluate a company’s honesty, transparency, and professionalism. You'll see their trustworthiness and credibility first-hand – and if they are willing to admit their limitations and challenges.
After evaluating the MSP’s trustworthiness, it’s crucial for you to ask about their pricing model.
6. What are your pricing and contract terms?
Asking a company this question is an excellent way to determine if they offer the best value and quality for your needs and budget. It’ll help you compare the value and quality of their products or services with other potential partners.
7. Why are you charging those prices?
Looking into an MSP’s justification for their prices allows you to see if they’ve put thought into it. A company with a well-thought-out and explainable price point thinks beyond profit, and that’s the kind of MSP you want to partner with.
This question helps prevent unpleasant surprises later and allows you to evaluate their price transparency. Some MSPs hide project-based fees or onboarding fees, which damages trust.
9. How will we save money with your services?
At the end of the day, you don’t want to spend more than you need to on IT services. Asking about the tangible benefits of their services can help you determine whether they’re truly worth it.
Lastly, it’s time for you to evaluate MSP services and determine whether they meet your IT needs.
10. What services do you offer, and can you customize them to our needs?
This question allows you to evaluate the level of customization and personalization the provider offers, such as custom applications, configurations, security, scalability, and performance.
11. What is your response time for critical issues?
It's essential to ask about their response time so you can assess the value and quality of the provider’s services, reliability, and availability.
RELATED: What SLAs Should Your Business Look for in a Managed IT Provider
12. What kind of disaster and recovery plan can you provide?
By asking about an MSP’s available disaster and recovery plan, you can evaluate their readiness for future security incidents and data breaches.
13. How long does it take to complete projects?
If you have tight deadlines, getting a rough estimate of an MSP’s project completion time is crucial. This information can help you find the MSP that strikes a balance between thorough and speedy work.
14. Do you provide reports for your service?
Asking for possible reports clarifying ROI, turnaround times, and overall impact will go a long way to helping you decide which MSP to partner with.
15. What strategic IT advice would you provide?
Lastly, ask about the strategic IT advice they provide for clients – you want to ensure they’re capable of handling future company growth.
Ready to Find the Best Managed IT Provider for You?
After asking each MSP the previous questions and comparing their answers, it’s time to start partnering with your chosen MSP.
As an MSP ourselves, we want to help businesses easily go through the partner selection process, whether or not they choose to partner with us. So, we have the following free resources you can use to continue your selection journey:
- Everything You Need to Know About Managed IT
- Top Qualities of the Best Managed IT Service Providers
- What Businesses Should Look for in an MSP Proposal
- How ITS Managed Services Can Help Your Growing Business
If you’re looking into partnering with ITS, schedule an appointment with our IT experts and get immediate answers to these questions.