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7 Key Questions to Ask When Picking a Managed Service Provider

Do you find it harder than ever to keep up with the growing tech needs of your business? You aren’t alone. Businesses everywhere are struggling to keep up as they try to keep up with technology.

Luckily, managed IT services have appeared to take some of the work off business owners’ hands. That’s why the market grew to a value of $152.05 billion in 2020.

You need to do your homework to find the right managed service provider for your business. Ask the seven questions below to find the right IT support for businesses.


1. Do You Have Specialists?

Many businesses can get by only working with technical support specialists. They don’t need to do anything specialized with their tech setup, so it doesn’t make sense to invest more than that.

For others, finding IT companies that employ technology specialists is necessary. If they want to take advantage of the newest tools, they’ll need people with advanced knowledge to make it happen.

If you’re in this situation, make sure to ask about the number of services a provider offers. Here are a few things you can look for:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Machine learning
  • AI
  • Automation
  • Custom software development
  • Network infrastructure

There are a lot of other tools you can use to help your business run more smoothly. Look at each of them to see if any of them can help your company move forward.

2. How Do You Handle Billing?

Not all IT companies handle billing the same way. You have two main options when working with providers.


With the break-fix model, you don’t pay a monthly fee. This method is helpful if you don’t believe you will need much support. Whenever you have an issue, you call your provider and have them resolve the problem.

In most cases, you’ll get charged an hourly fee. However, if the total hours you need is less than a monthly retainer, then a break-fix model will be more cost-effective.


A retainer is excellent for companies that know they’ll need a certain amount of support every month. You’ll work with an IT company to determine what your current needs are. Once you come to an agreement, they’ll offer you a fixed amount of support every month for a single fee.

This method is excellent if you know you’ll need a large number of hours. In addition, you’ll likely save money on the hourly rate since you’re providing guaranteed revenue for the IT company.

3. Are You Proactive?

All you’ll do is run in circles if you just tackle problems as they arise. If you don’t do the work to upgrade your equipment and look for future issues, you’re always going to be playing catch up.

That’s why it’s essential to work with an IT company that’s proactive. They should actively seek out upgrades to make sure your IT equipment is always in top shape.

They can also use network monitoring tools to check on the health of all your systems. This software will send alerts whenever errors show up on your computers. These alerts allow your IT team to take care of problems before they become more significant issues.

4. What Vendor Relationships Do You Have?

Buying all the hardware and software that you need for an office is expensive. It can end up being a large part of your company budget. That’s why you need to look for as many deals as you can.

Most IT providers are partners with large hardware and software companies. They commit to buying their products, so vendors give them bulk discounts. You can take advantage of those discounts when working with managed services providers.

See if your provider has access to any deals. If so, it will be even more cost-effective to outsource your IT support.

5. How Do You Handle Reporting?

You need to know what you’re getting when you work with a managed IT firm. This is especially true if you work with them on a retainer. So how do you know they’re doing the work they say they are?

An excellent reporting system answers those questions. Ask your managed IT company how they handle reporting.

Ideally, you should get weekly reports about what happened the previous week. It should inform you about incidents, improvements, and potential upgrades your company can make. 

You can also use these reports to gauge how well an IT company is performing. For example, do you have as many problems as before after they make an upgrade? If so, they might not be doing their jobs well.

6. Do You Have Local Offices?

It’s tempting for many small businesses to reach out to large IT companies to meet their needs. They’re proven, so it’s a safe bet that they can handle the job.

However, some of those companies might not have physical locations in your area. Sure, they can remote into your computers if a problem occurs. On the other hand, what happens when the computer equipment suffering problems is offline and can’t be accessed remotely?

You need to ask yourself this question: “does it make sense to find IT support near me?”

Having your managed services provider local means they can stop by the office when problems occur. As a result, you’ll know for sure that your issues will get resolved quickly.

7. What Hours Do You Offer Support?

In today’s world, it’s not uncommon for people to work at all hours. With remote work more common, people are moving their offices to home to work on their own schedules. The question is, do you have tech support available during those times?

Ask your managed IT services provider what schedules their tech support works. If they only offer support during normal business hours, you might be out of luck if something breaks in the evening.

If possible, find a provider that offers support 24/7. They should be able to find people to work during any shift your company needs.

Don’t Hire the First Managed Service Provider You Find

It’s hard to be in business today if you don’t have modern tech tools to help you run things. Get in touch with a managed service provider in your area today to set up an interview. The sooner your company gets up to date, the quicker you can start competing in modern markets.

If you want to learn more about tech and what it can do for your business, head over to the blog to learn more.

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