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Feb 21, 2020

55 Essential Questions To Ask About IT Managed Services

Finding the right IT company can be a long and tedious process – but once you think you've found the right one for you, don't rush to sign any agreements! Make sure to ask the right questions about what they are agreeing to do for you, so you know all your bases are covered.

55 Questions To Ask About IT Managed Services

Selecting a company to maintain your technology is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business. You must find the most competent and reliable IT support provider in your area.

But how do you know if the IT company you're considering is right for your business?

Some technology companies call themselves the best, but they haven't kept up their certifications. This is important because the latest certifications validate the skills that their techs learned in their training.

Don't just pick a company off the Internet because they're the closest one to you. Do your research to find out if they are truly qualified to protect your data and meet your organization's unique IT needs.

8 Questions About Service Development…

  1. What is your average network uptime performance?
  2. Do you have a list of tiered features and capabilities?
  3. Do you offer on-site hours built into the regular contractual fee?
  4. What metrics do you use to assess speed, reliability and overall performance?
  5. Is there enough flexibility to add or remove service offerings based on my business needs?
  6. Are you able to diagnose and remedy service issues remotely without the client’s IT team intervention?
  7. Do you offer customized solutions for different businesses regarding growth plans and achievable goals?
  8. Which software, professional services automation (PSA) or remote monitoring management (RMM) runs your managed services operation?

10 Questions About Managed Services Contracts And Fees…

  1. How is my data retrieved should my contract be terminated?
  2. Can a break clause be initiated should I decide to terminate my contract?
  3. Is your service level agreement consistent for all customers or is this negotiable?
  4. Does contract flexibility include monthly and annual payments with capping on yearly rate hikes?
  5. Can you provide a comparison detailing the cost of on-premises versus cloud solutions over time?
  6. Will I need to purchase additional infrastructure when your managed services work with my business?
  7. Does your fee structure cover additional cost management that notifies when new charges get applied?
  8. Do you include an assessment of IT infrastructure before providing projected Service fees?
  9. If so, is this a separate cost?
  10. Do you have case studies or ROI assessments detailing the cost and benefits of your proposed solution, based on the data which I have provided?

11 Questions To Ask About Data Management…

  1. Who will have access to my data?
  2. What methods do you use to protect data?
  3. Will my competitors be able to see my data?
  4. What redundancy gets built into the solution?
  5. Who owns my data if it gets hosted at your facility?
  6. How are data backups and disaster recovery handled?
  7. What happens to my data if you go out of business, are sold to or merge with another firm?
  8. What measures and processes are in place to protect my data against security breaches or data leaks?
  9. Ultimately, who is responsible for my data? You as the MSP, a third party, or me as the business owner?
  10. Do you host multiple clients on the same systems, in a multi-tenant environment or exclusivity in-area?
  11. Do you run your service operations through a 3rd party hosting providers or data centers? If so, can you provide or validate these?

12 Questions To Ask About The IT Company’s Qualifications And Capabilities…

  1. How do you train ad-hoc support?
  2. Do you employ a dedicated staff, or ad-hoc?
  3. Can I meet the team members providing my support?
  4. How many years have you been providing IT managed services?
  5. Would you classify yourselves as experts in IT managed Services?
  6. What is your level of expertise in my industry regarding regulatory compliance requirements?
  7. What industry credentials or certifications, does your company, and your technical staff carry?
  8. How does your IT service desk team stay current with new technology developments and trends?
  9. Are your IT managed services primarily what you do or are they an add-on service to your business?
  10. Will you provide references and phones numbers to customers that are still doing business with you?
  11. What percentage of your business gets dedicated to managed services versus other business models?
  12. When I’m required to provide an audit trail showing compliance, how does your company handle that?

14 Questions To Ask About The Support Model…

  1. How is support provided?
  2. How are complex issues escalated?
  3. What are the hours of emergency support?
  4. What are the satisfaction levels with your customer help desk?
  5. Will you provide references to call from any existing customers?
  6. Do you offer on-site support hours as part of the contractual fee?
  7. What are the first, second and third-line parameters for escalation?
  8. May we discuss your managed service support levels with existing clients?
  9. Is emergency support available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week?
  10. Do you include channels such as telephone, email, portal access, and live chat?
  11. What percentage of issues are confirmed as resolved at first contact by your helpdesk?
  12. Do you offer traditional hourly-rate support for hardware, software and other infrastructure?
  13. What type of training is provided, by your company, for my in-house IT staff to educate them?
  14. How do I guarantee the return on my investment covering support and organizational IT knowledge?

Are you starting to get the point?

These are just some of the questions you should be asking when determining which IT company you’re going to work with. You can’t rush the decision – if you really want these services to make a difference in your daily work, you need to verify how they work and what they’re going to do for you before you sign on the dotted line.

Like this article? Check out the following to learn more:

Do Managed IT Services Cost More Than The Break/Fix Model?

Outsourcing IT Makes Sense for Small Businesses: 7 Reasons

Are You Prepared? Your 9 Step Local Business Disaster Recovery Plan

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