When it comes to Detroit IT support services, small businesses have a lot of various options. It can be challenging for a small business owner to separate the wheat from the chaff. More often than not, managed IT providers all claim to offer a similar set of services, but the client experience can be broadly different in the end. It’s important to ask the right questions before you sign anything, so we wanted to help with that process.
1. “How is your pricing structured, and what is included?”
Granted, managed IT is inexorably linked to flat-rate pricing. Having said that, it isn’t as though there’s any kind of industry standard that dictates how this flat-rate is billed for… or how comprehensive the services that are actually included in this flat rate are.
When all is said and done, the success of the managed service model is based on its flexibility and the level of customization it offers to the business utilizing it. Therefore, it is important to have some idea of what your provider offers, and whether or not it aligns with your needs and expectations.
You’ll likely want to follow up with questions like “what about emergency or after-hours support?” and “how does pricing change when I onboard a new employee?”
You’ll definitely need to know what to expect, especially when signing a contract. A lot of so-called managed IT service providers only handle the barest minimum of maintenance, and once you call them or have a problem, the bills start to rack up.
2. “What do you do to ensure your own security?”
As Michigan, and Detroit businesses in particular, face an increased risk of ransomware attacks, cybersecurity is a critical factor to consider when choosing a managed service provider. One of the biggest benefits associated with an MSP’s services has to be the cybersecurity support that a business can expect to receive from their chosen provider. However, when selecting a provider to work with, it is important that you also have an idea of how the provider manages their own security. Therefore, it pays to enquire with any of your candidates about their own protections and precautions. While we often focus on making sure your staff understands the importance of cybersecurity, cybersecurity management doesn’t end at your front door.
Find out what security measures your MSP uses to protect their own resources (which will include some of yours by default), and what their protocols are in different situations. For instance, be sure to find out what they do should one of their team members leaves. Have you heard of not trusting a chef that won’t eat their own cooking? In many ways, this is a similar concept.
3. “When you perform an IT/Network/Cybersecurity audit, what does it involve?”
Michigan businesses come in a wide range of locales and spaces, ranging from the cosmopolitan building of metro Detroit to the more rural areas of Michigan. Each office space is unique, and each business has different needs and goals, and thus requires different solutions. An audit is the most effective method to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your business. Audits of all kinds are one of an MSP’s biggest sales pitches, despite remarkably few ever revealing what an audit of any kind actually involves. When you’re considering your options, don’t hesitate to ask about what an audit will involve. If the MSP can’t or won’t explain, take that into consideration.
4. “What kind of experience does your team have? Do they hold any certifications?”
Here’s the thing: while people can learn a few basics and provide passable IT services to an extent, this level of expertise isn’t what you want to stake your business’ productivity on—particularly considering how easy it can be to exaggerate the level of experience someone has without any documentation to back it up. Don’t be afraid to push your potential IT provider to disclose the experience levels of their techs, and whether or not they actively ensure they remain trained up to current standards and practices.
During these initial sales meetings, it’s pretty likely that everything will be embellished. You are going to hear about the best-case scenarios. More often than not though, experienced technicians have been confronted with worst-case scenarios and have had to respond. You want someone experienced with that. You can hope you’ll never need their skills, but you’ll certainly be glad when they know what they are doing when things don’t go as planned.
5. “Who have you worked for in the past?”
In many ways, selecting an MSP to work with isn’t unlike hiring a new employee, which means that you should ask for references and an account of what they have achieved in the past. An MSP with a record of success should have zero issues in sharing what they have accomplished during any prior work for their current clients, and may even have some case studies to demonstrate their value.
We’re Confident Our Answers Would be to Your Satisfaction.
Why don’t you give us a call and find out for yourself? We’ve been offering managed IT services to Metro-Detroit and Michigan businesses since 2009, improving them at every opportunity that has presented itself. Ask us any of these questions (or any others you might have about managed IT services) by giving us a call at 248.545.0800 today.