The 7 Key Questions to ask before switching your managed service provider

November 16, 2021
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Managed Services
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Cloud
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Microsoft
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To accelerate digital transformation and respond to the changing nature of hybrid work, many organisations are turning to their managed service provider (MSP) to help them adopt new technologies like Zoom, Desktop as a Service, and Remote Access. Adopting these technologies without the foresight and careful consideration of the industry changes carries potential risks in relation to security, performance, supportability, and cost blowout for many organisations.

 

If you are not happy with your current MSP’s support on your digital transformation journey, making the switch can seem like a daunting exercise. It may be tempting to simply switch on the basis of costs, particularly if you have many digital transformation projects to undertake. However, not all MSPs are alike.

That’s why we have complied the essential seven questions to help you maximise the benefits of having managed services, including increased productivity, improved stability and performance of the IT environment, alignment to business priorities, better asset utilisation of cloud platforms, and increased visibility and predictability of cost vs service outcome to the business. Achieving these outcomes means looking at MSP’s offerings in terms of enhancing your current levels of capability, processes, customer experience,and collaboration.


1. Skills and experience 

Managed service providers should, as a baseline, have certified skills that go beyond essential operating system maintenance and availability management. Ask about skill levels related to managing adoption, virtualisation, networking, cross-platform integration,mobility, security, application and cloud. Are staff police checked, do what is their access and do they comply to a certain level of security?

2. Consistent processes and management  

Your business needs to innovate rapidly and run IT services across hybrid infrastructure environments with consistency and visibility. As such, many are turning to managed services providers to help accelerate their business transformation. Will the service partner help your company minimise risk and cost while improving business processes and look to the 'Art of Possible'? What level of visibility do you receive?
 

3. Proactive, technology-based approach 

Find out whether the services provider has a "break/fix" mentality or a proactive approach that emphasises problem prevention and continuous improvement. Do they go beyond simple monitoring and device management? Advanced analytics can drive incident prevention by analysing failure patterns across platforms and processes, ensuring a robust infrastructure. Do you get service outcome that is in-line with your business and customer experience or effort-based allocation of resources?
 

4. DevOps capability for cloud transformation 

Maximising the benefits of cloud for a digital transformation isn't easy. The challenge to change legacy processes,culture, and organisational structure is tricky. You require not just an experienced managed service provider but a partner who can plan and deliver new business processes and drive innovation. Does your managed service provider take your business forward? 
 

5. Strong vendor relations 

Today's IT infrastructure is typically mixed, hybrid environments composed of hardware, software, network products,public and private clouds from various vendors. Your managed service provider should have at minimum proven experience working with multi-vendor, multi-cloud hybrid environments. More importantly, do they have relationships with leading vendors to help ensure innovation, availability and new product visibility? 

 

6. Consistent service delivery,both global and local  

Choosing a managed services provider with global capability can position companies of all sizes for growth and modernisation. Global delivery capabilities offer many advantages, including rapid implementation in new locations, the ability to effectively manage customer projects that span operations in multiple countries, local-language support for branches or subsidiaries, and in-country location of resources and data to help address regulatory and legal requirements. Ask whether the service provider employs standard delivery processes across all locations and how multi location teams are organised and communicate. 

 

7. Evolving range of services that fit your business 

You need the flexibility to add managed services without adding unnecessary cost and complexity to your sourcing strategy. Most organisations find that using multiple managed services providers restricts agility. Does your provider preserve future flexibility, and offer a range of managed services, including infrastructure and application management, managed security, desktop support and mobility, as well as managed cloud? 

 

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