A Checklist to Help You Choose the Right IT Firm

All tech firms are NOT created equal. 

So when you’re shopping for a firm to manage desktop support, keep your network running 24/7, protect your data from hackers and thieves, and help you plan and budget for technology upgrades…

…you have to be prepared. 

Here are a few questions to ask when vetting prospective Managed Service Providers (MSPs). 

If they can’t answer yes to all of these questions, you should probably look elsewhere.

Do you offer flat fees and, if so, how do you define what’s included in your service and what’s not? 

This is critical. Too many MSPs nickel-and-dime their clients to death. Businesses may balk at a flat fee. But in our experience, you get better service and budget certainty with a flat-fee provider.

Can you provide documentation that specifically outlines the processes and systems you implement for your clients? 

If the answer is no, they probably don’t have adequately documented systems in place, and that means trouble. Without documentation, things fall through the cracks and mistakes happen.

If we hire you, will you create, update and share with us detailed documentation of our network and customized systems?  

Every client is different, so a good MSP will adjust its systems to fit your needs. Why document it? See above.

Do you allow short-term (i.e. monthly) contracts? 

If not, do they define the terms under which you can opt-out of a long-term contract? You don’t want to get stuck in a long-term contract with an MSP that doesn’t deliver. A good MSP will keep you as a client because they’ve earned it, not because they’ve locked you into contractual prison

Do you regularly test backups and data restoration for both onsite and cloud storage? 

A few months ago, I told this true horror story about a company that lost critical data because the backups were corrupt (and the IT guy never tested them). Your MSP must have systems in place to avoid this nightmare. 

This is just a partial list. If you want to be certain you pick the right MSP, we’ve created this:
25 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring an IT Firm. This is a must-use checklist when interviewing a prospective MSP that wants to manage your critical business technology.