The number of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) on the market is growing continuously. Finding the right provider can not only cost time and nerves, but also money in case of doubt. To help you find the ideal MSP for you, we’ve put together a 6-step checklist. Find out in this article which 6 points you should consider when choosing your MSP.
In 2005, a new type of service emerged – the Managed Service Provider (MSP). 16 years later, the MSP market is booming. This can be understood as a concept in which companies outsource certain services to specialized companies. Primarily, MSP refers to outsourced IT services that are performed on a regular basis such as:
- Managing IT infrastructure
- software management
- technical support for employees
- support in the area of IT security
… and much more.
MSPs often serve multiple clients and have broad expertise in specific areas.
Why is the MSP market booming?
IT system landscapes are becoming more and more complex and branched out, while at the same time the risk of cyberattacks continues to grow. Today, companies of all sizes need to secure their IT so that hackers cannot infiltrate malware into the system.
Originally, it was mainly large companies that relieved the burden on their IT departments by outsourcing less business-critical tasks.
In the meantime, it is mainly small and medium-sized companies that make use of MSPs, as the companies often do not have their own IT infrastructure in which the software can be implemented. At the same time, the growing complexity of IT due to many end devices and increasing cyber threats have left employees in IT overwhelmed with the multitude of tasks. MSPs and especially MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider) can compensate for internal personnel bottlenecks and thus guarantee the company’s IT security.
By providing the service, costs are eliminated. One advantage of the MSP concept is that these costs are defined in advance and can therefore be scaled based on use.
Managed services for greater security
MSPs therefore support companies in many emergency situations and thus help to relieve the burden on existing resources. The topic of IT security is also becoming increasingly important. But many SMEs see further need for improvement in this area over the next few years. MSPs specializing in IT security can provide rapid advice and remedial action in the event of security-related problems. At the same time, the costs incurred can be calculated and budgeted for. The damage caused by a cyberattack, on the other hand, cannot be calculated.
Besides all the advantages of MSPs, however, it is difficult to find the right MSP partner. There are many providers, and it is often not immediately apparent to what extent the offerings of the various MSPs differ. This makes it difficult to compare and identify the right MSP.
That’s why we’ve put together a checklist of six points to help you identify the right MSP partner for your company.
1. There are no hidden costs
Hidden costs that are not calculated in advance can quickly reduce any IT budget. One of the reasons why companies choose an MSP is that costs can be calculated and planned. Yet some MSPs on the market are opaque about their cost structures. Additional fees are often incurred when data has to be copied to other platforms or infrastructures. When reviewing MSPs, look out for hidden fees and, if in doubt, ask about additional costs.
2. The MSP listens to you carefully and asks questions
A trustworthy business partner should take enough time to listen to your concerns, needs and questions. The MSP partner should thoroughly learn about your business, needs and problems. During a get-to-know-you meeting, if the MSP dominates most of the conversation, you should pause. Choosing the right MSP is about selecting the one who asks you questions about your business, listens well to you, and asks about your needs and problems.
3. Offer flexible solutions for individual needs
Your business needs to adapt to changing customer needs. In the same way, technologies need to be continuously adapted. That’s why MSPs should also demonstrate this flexibility and willingness to adapt. No two companies and technologies are 100% alike. Your MSP should take the time to develop an individual solution that is perfectly tailored to your company and that also adapts flexibly to the changes in your company.
4. The MSP knows the industry and all regulations
Technologies and their internal and external networking are becoming increasingly complex. At the same time, due to the shortage of skilled workers, there are fewer and fewer people who are able to understand the interrelationships and backgrounds of the technologies. In addition, every company and every industry faces individual challenges. For example, a company in the financial industry needs to protect their IT differently than a company in the retail industry. In order to comply with the individual challenges of your industry and the associated laws, standards and regulations, it is very important that the Managed Service Provider has a good understanding of your industry. He or she should continually educate himself or herself to stay abreast of new or changing laws and standards. When in doubt, find out how your potential Managed Service Provider keeps up to date.
5. The MSP acts as your extended arm – also in the area of data protection
Many companies are still hesitant to hand over data sovereignty to a third-party provider. Compared to cloud and SaaS solutions, managed services offer a decisive advantage here: with the MSP, where the data is hosted is transparent and can be traced at any time, whereas with cloud solutions there is often little or no control over the country in which the provider operates its data center. For companies, however, it is crucial to retain data sovereignty in the DACH region in order to remain EU-DSGVO-compliant. This way, the data remains in good hands with the trusted managed service provider.
With an MSP, the customer should be the focus: A good managed service provider therefore adapts the solution to the needs of your company and simply acts as an extended arm. At the same time, he should work efficiently and, in the event of a specific security incident, act quickly and securely to prevent far-reaching consequences.
6. The MSP implements changes and adapts its offering
The MSP market has evolved over the past years. It has become apparent that MSP offerings that have apps in their service portfolio are particularly successful. Controlling a software via a web view is good. If the MSP has software in the portfolio that is also available via app, that is better. People work from anywhere these days and are increasingly using tablets and smartphones to do so. A good managed service provider also realizes changes in human behavior and selects suitable solutions for its offering.
Password Safe as a Managed Service
Password Safe is now also available as a Managed Service for small and medium-sized businesses. The solution can be deployed immediately and with just a few users. MATESO certified MSP partners completely take care of the commissioning, administration, maintenance and smooth functioning of our Password Manager. Password Safe as a Managed Service has a transparent cost model with calculable expenses. Changes can be made on a monthly basis. This way you can ideally adapt your company to changing conditions such as employee numbers.
With the basic version and individual additional services, you can adapt Password Safe as a Managed Service ideally to the needs of your company. In this way, you ensure a high level of security for your accesses while at the same time using them efficiently. And for working across locations, there is the Password Safe app for your smartphone or tablet. Find out why Password Safe MSP is the ideal solution for small and medium businesses in this blog post.
Are you interested in Password Safe MSP? Then learn more about our Password Manager here!