How to Choose a Managed Services Provider in Seattle – a Comprehensive Guide

The data is clear – IT services can help your business be faster, more resilient, and gain a competitive edge. But then the issue many business owners are faced with is how to choose the managed services provider that’s right for your business?

Many businesses struggle with this question, and rightfully so: there were an estimated 40,000 providers working two years ago, with that number only growing. 

Homing in on a single provider can appear like a time-consuming challenge fraught with pitfalls. Lets face it, not all 40,000 can be an elite-level managed service provider (MSP). Aside from gaps in quality, you also have to take into account that some providers won’t offer the services you need. Or the services they offer aren’t actually right for a business of your size, or be able to address your industry specific IT needs, etc. 

And the stakes are high; even just a few minutes of downtime can lead to losses in the tens of thousands; this study calculates that businesses lose on average $9,000 per minute due to downtime. A data breach can be even more catastrophic, with many businesses shuttering after data corruption or theft

In other words, choosing the right MSP can potentially be the difference between your business staying in business – and closing its doors for good. 

Questions to Ask During MSP Discovery

To make your selection process easier and faster, we’ve developed some managed services selection criteria that you can leverage in order to better determine the right IT support company for your business. 

Our list of managed services selection criteria and qualifying MSP questions includes: 

  • Does the MSP offer fully managed services? 
  • Is the MSP able to meet my industry’s specific demands? 
  • Is the MSP continuously evolving to meet developing security challenges?
  • Does the MSP resolve IT issues quickly and efficiently? 

While this does not represent an exhaustive list of all the questions to ask your IT MSP before signing, these questions are great jumping off point. 
Let’s now dive into the managed services vendor selection criteria more in-depth.

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How to Choose to a Managed Services Provider 

Does the MSP Offer Fully Managed Services? 

Perhaps the first question to ask an MSP you’re in the process of evaluating is whether they offer fully managed IT services. That’s because there are fewer ways to ensure a high IT ROI than with fully managed services.

Essentially, this means that your provider will be able to handle each and every one of your IT tasks. This includes: 

  • Network management
  • Cybersecurity solutions and services
  • Cybersecurity training
  • Hardware procurement
  • Cloud support
  • Cloud computing support
  • 24/7 monitoring, threat detection, and threat remediation 
  • Around-the-clock break/fix services
  • vCIO services
  • Disaster recovery plans and data backup services
  • IT roadmapping and long-term strategies

Managed services, when executed properly, positively impact your bottom line in a variety of ways: preventing expensive downtime, creating more efficient processes, automating workflows, and eliminating redundancies.

But by working with a single provider for all of your IT needs, you ensure that each solution and service is compatible and complementary to one another, allowing your business to maximize the potential benefits. This also serves to reduce your management burden by not having to juggle multiple providers, invoices, etc. 

Is the MSP Able to Meet My Industry’s Specific Demands?

Another critical influence on how to choose a managed services provider is whether they are able to meet your business’s unique industry requirements and demands. 

Healthcare and finance, for instance, have specific data protection mandates that must be followed, otherwise they may run afoul of regulatory agencies and licensing boards.  

Be sure to include this among your MSP qualifying, so you can make sure you’re working with an MSP that understands your business’s needs. 

Even if your industry does not have specific IT mandates, it still helps to work with a provider that has worked with businesses in your industry in the past. This can help streamline the onboarding process. You’ll also be able to leverage their industry-specific experiences to help optimize your workflow (procuring appropriate tech, automating work processes, etc.). 

Is Your Prospective MSP a Proven Managed Security Services Provider?

The number of cyber threats to your business only grows with each passing year. 

We see as many as 2,200 attacks per day, or one every 39 seconds – and that number is only set to rise.

Your IT security team will need to be able to: 

  • Train your staff in cybersecurity best practices
  • Identify threats and intercept them
  • Close vulnerabilities in your network and infrastructure
  • Ensure rapid incident response by specialists
  • Routinely monitor your network 
  • Provide support 24/7

As mentioned earlier, the benefits of managed security services can literally be the difference between keeping the lights on at your business or closing down for good. 

You need a security posture that is also constantly developing, preparing your business for evolving threats that, while not a risk today, could easily be a serious threat tomorrow. 

Being able to meet all the managed services selection criteria above will really help you figure out how to choose a managed security services provider that’s best for your business. 

Learn more about the IT services Attentus Technologies provides: Managed IT Services Remote IT Services Data Backup and Recovery VOIP Services

Does the MSP Resolve IT Issues Quickly and Efficiently? 

Your MSP needs to be able to provide fast response times to your IT needs as speed can often be the difference between a minor inconvenience and huge, productivity-derailing work stoppages. 

Your MSP should provide service level agreements or other assurances that guarantee your business will receive high-level support at all times. 

What’s more, they should be able to provide this for a cost that works for your business. IT support does not need to break the bank. Your provider should never take a one-size fits all approach but instead should customize a tailored package that meets both your technology and budgetary needs. 

An IT Partner That Meets All Your Managed Services Selection Criteria

The above technical questions qualifying your MSP must be answered affirmatively to ensure that your business is able to get the most out of its IT spend. 

With over 18 years in the business, we have a 96.6 CSAT rating – clients love working with us, and we love being able to support their growth with elite-level IT services. 

On average, we spend about 20 minutes per month per user on reactive issues. 

Get in touch with us today to learn how our IT services can benefit your business.