Running a business is hard. Whether you’re a start-up or a large organisation, effective management of resources, people, equipment, processes, and legislating requirements is a continuous undertaking. Over recent years, businesses have become increasing more reliant on technology, with many IT solutions being implemented as a direct response to the pandemic.

With the reliance on tech due to continue, it’s essential that businesses are aligned with the most effective IT and, the most reliable IT solution providers. Your company’s tech underpins your entire operations, meaning that you need to be working with an IT Support Provider with the experience and capability needed to ensure your business remains operational – no matter what.

So just how do you go about finding the right IT support partner for your business? We thought we’d make a list to help you out, so we’ve put together our top 5 things to look for in your perfect MSP.


1. Proof of ability

A great looking website with well-maintained social profiles, regular content, and smiley employees wearing branded polo shirts isn’t confirmation that you’ve found a professional MSP. It’s easy to employ a marketing agency to make your business look flash, proficient, and skilled. Taking your MSP candidates at face value, may land you in hot water.

By doing your own independent research on each of your top IT Service Provider candidates, you can weed out the worst offenders, normally quite quickly. Go through their website and social profiles and check for these things:

  • Do they have enough experience to manage your needs? Some MSPs have been established for decades, and others maybe just a year or two.
  • Have they achieved the required certifications to support you? Are any displayed on their website, or mentioned in their pitch documentation?
  • Do they have any accreditations in the IT disciplines that you require, or with the provider that you know you work with, Microsoft for example?
  • Do they have favourable Google reviews?

One of the best ways to verify an IT Support Providers experience is to know who they’ve managed, and who they work with.

  • Are client quotes, logos or case studies available or displayed on their website?
  • Have they worked with a company within your field or vertical? If so, ask for a case study or report on the work that they were commissioned to undertake.
  • Have they listed any of the solution providers they are aligned with? You can investigate those providers and see what level of partner they are. For example, are they a Gold, Platinum or Bronze partner for Microsoft?

What about their employees? If they don’t have any references or employee culture pages dedicated to them on their site, have a look through LinkedIn to find their employees. Click through to see their personal profiles for their qualifications, experiences, recommendations, and the length of time they’ve been with the company.

2. Provision of Cyber Security Training and Testing for your Staff

Ensuring your IT, Communications, Backup and DR, Cyber Security and Cloud solutions are up to scratch is just one part of the service you should demand from your IT Support Partner. The other is training. Your ideal provider should run regular cyber security training and testing for your staff. Your employees are your weakest link, and need to keep up to date to ensure they’re protecting your data and your systems from cyber criminals.


3. Provision of Solutions Training for your Staff

Continuing with training requirements, your chosen IT Support Provider should also provide support for general employee training for new systems and solutions. They should also be available to provide training in the event that any services or hardware are updated, replaced or upgraded. Your incumbent should be on hand to ensure your teams are well educated and empowered to work effective by providing training programmes. Are they able to deliver training for remote working practices, new or updated programmes, and to ensure your staff understand network security? Their training solutions should also be designed for beginners, intermediates, and expert users.

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4. Manage Your Expectations, and Deliver on Their Service Terms

Every Managed Service Provider/IT Support Provider can make promises to deliver the best customer service, but you need to be sure they’re going to deliver on that promise. Defining a Service Level Agreement for the services and support you’ll be provided with is so important. Without this being documented and agreed, your IT Provider could deliver sub-par services, leaving your business waiting for system updates, user tickets to be resolved and other issues to be addressed, with no clear confirmation of when these will be rectified.

It’s so important to have your SLAs defined and agreed in advance; you can then be far better assured of their timescales for tickets, upgrades and fixes. No one wants to be waiting 4 days for a new toner, repaired laptop screen or a software update for a critical application.


5. Delivering Effective Support On-Site

In recent years, ensuring effective remote support has been a priority, but you need to ensure that your chosen IT Support provider is also effective at delivering on-site support when needed. You’ll need someone on site for issues including:

  • Hardware repairs, or firmware upgrades
  • Cabling, network and trunking requirements
  • Assisting with live events and WIFI security
  • Office moves or relocations, etc.

Should your incumbent IT Provider not be local, you may incur additional charges for physical call outs.  Over the last few years, working with an IT Partner that’s local to your business hasn’t been that important as we’ve all been working remotely. This has meant that ‘remote practices’ have become the norm for many industries, but should a ‘hand’s-on’ engineer visit be required, you’ll need to have those services defined in your contract. You’ll also need to ensure the terms for attendance times are outlined, as you don’t want to have a 72 hr on-site SLA, if your entire business depends on your IT being available 24/7.

When choosing the right IT Support Provider for your business, don’t be afraid to put them to the test. Ensure your research is thorough as you don’t want to end up tied into a 3 year contract with an IT company that simply hasn’t got the manpower or experience to look after your IT needs effectively.

Do feel free to get in touch with us at SPC IT, if you’d like to discuss your needs and requirements. We’ll offer clear, practical, and financially viable advice to ensure you have the knowledge to commissions the IT support your business deserves

Looking for a new IT Support Provider? Feel free to get in touch with our team, we’re happy to discuss your needs and we can talk you through how we can help your business transform.

Give us a shout now!