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Introduction

So, your journey has begun in search of a strategic partner where you can outsource all or part of your IT department with the helping hands of a Managed Service Provider (MSP). A huge undertaking? But it doesn’t have to be. When buying IT managed services, CEOs and business leaders already know what they want.

The challenge is trying to find a provider that can identify with your IT requirements and deliver the essential services geared to help your organization thrive. As a decision maker, you want to align your IT with your business goals, your beliefs, and organizational personality. You want to make sure the service you are investing in is a wise investment that will bring the best return on your investment. So let’s begin this journey with a brief description of the MSP world.

Who Provides IT Managed Services?

Since the early 1990s, businesses, organizations, facilities, and government agencies at all levels, have turned to the MSP industry to help manage, monitor, and maintain their IT infrastructure, either at their office or remotely. From the most simplistic model of “Break-Fix” to the all-inclusive “Firm Fixed” models, MSPs come in all shapes and sizes, offering a variety of services.

However, the typical MSP has expanded their scope to deliver IT services, which include:

  • IT Security
  • Configuration/Network Design
  • End User Support (such as end-user troubleshooting, password resets…)
  • CIO Strategic Technology Planning
  • Security Patching
  • Cloud Hosting and Management
  • Asset Management
  • Network Monitoring & Reporting
  • Hardware Maintenance
  • Application Management
  • Remote Desktop Management
  • Mobile Device Management
  • Backup and Disaster Recovery

You may not need all of these services, or you may need other services that aren’t listed here. But finding the right MSP that fits your organization’s needs is crucial.

So what sets one MSP apart from another? It comes down to how well they understand your needs, your industry and your business objectives. How well do they “get you” and on a personal level, how well do they mesh with your team?

Let’s Start Off With a Quick Tip

When interviewing an MSP, ask yourself if they interviewed you. Did they really seem to take an interest in your organization? Did they ask intelligent, probing questions? Or, did they simply want to know the facts, so they could put a proposal together?

As you scroll through the following pages, consider the ever-changing landscape of IT Managed Services. It’s complex from contract terms to pricing, and for this reason, NTConnections has created this buyer’s guide as your starting point.

Our blog series will help you navigate the MSP decision-making process. It may not answer every question. However, it does provide a formula for asking the right questions, and to guarantee that you are making an informed IT outsourcing decision.