Over the last decade, UK’s managed services provider industry has grown exponentially. However, this growth has been recorded in larger companies that see the huge benefits of outsourcing crucial areas of their business operations. The problem now in the UK is getting more SMEs, and statistics indicate that 83% of them cite trust issues as the main reason they fail to use Managed Services Providers (MSPs) as they don’t believe their data will be protected. Hopefully, these tips will convince you otherwise.
- Experience in handling your type and size of business
It is one thing to be experienced and another to have expertise in handling businesses of a certain size and type. When choosing a managed services provider, this is one crucial thing to look for. Some MSPs have expertise in managing large companies and may not necessarily be well-equipped to handle a small business. No matter how knowledgeable they might be, you will likely face problems with certain aspects of their service delivery.
For example, an MSP with experience handling bigger businesses may only deal in software designed to handle extensive data. Choosing them may be a waste of resources that could have been diverted for a fit-for-purpose contract. Moreover, the digital challenges faced by larger companies are sharply different from smaller businesses. These reasons make it imperative to consider experience relevant to your business type. A proven track record will be ideal.
- Around-the-clock monitoring and availability
Any business’s IT structure, regardless of size, must be monitored constantly. In addition to around-the-clock monitoring, the MSP needs to guarantee a quick emergency response time. If they cannot provide that, you have the right to keep searching until you find one that does. Constant monitoring of your IT structure and network is a service guarantee you cannot take lightly.
According to data, every 19 seconds, one SME in the UK is hacked. Additionally, 4,500 small businesses lose their daily data through hacking. Certainly, that is something to be worried about if you run a small business. This makes it the more important to choose an MSP willing to provide 24/7 monitoring. That way, you can access IT support services when required during out-of-office business hours.
- Focus on those offering flexible contracts
Due to intense competition in the sector, some MSPs have a way of getting businesses tied down with uncompromising contracts. A typical example is an annual contract. Instead of an open and flexible contract, you may be coerced into signing a one or two-year agreement that could be detrimental to your business. What happens if you are unhappy or unsatisfied with their service quality? You will be automatically bound to a rigid agreement, and backing out would be a breach.
You can avoid these inconveniences by setting your sights on a managed service provider that offers flexible terms. With this option, you can always switch plans or providers whenever necessary. Choosing providers with short-term contracts and flexible terms and conditions is recommended. In some situations, the downside is that a short-term managed service agreement or contract is more expensive than an extended one. Indeed, you will find pros and cons with each one, but the tip is to choose the most suitable one for your business operations.