5 Questions to Ask a Prospective Managed IT Provider – A Seattle Business Owners’ Guide (Part 9)

A while ago, we wrote a blog post that clarified the 5 questions you should ask when interviewing prospective managed IT providers, which was meant to help out in the earlier stages of the MSP selection process. 

However, at this point, you’re on Part 9 of the Seattle Business Owners’ Guide to IT Security. You’ve absorbed a wealth of information about MSPs – what they are, how they can help, and specific services they offer – and you’ve probably been contacting MSPs as you’ve been reading through the series. 

At this point, you don’t just know a lot about MSPs, the MSPs you’ve been interviewing know a lot about you too!  

And that means it’s finally time to ask them the 5 questions that will help you understand how their services can benefit your business, specifically

New to the Seattle Business Owners’ Guide to IT Security? Get the facts when you start reading Part 1 – or simply fix yourself a cup of coffee and settle in for a great read right now. 

The Questions

When you’re coming down the homestretch with your IT support provider selection, make sure you ask them these 5 questions before signing a contract. The right managed IT provider should know enough about your organization by now to personalize their answers to your specific needs

The answers we’ve provided below are a hint of how we think a good MSP should answer these questions, but they are by no means the only right answers. 

How will your IT services make my company more proactive?

A good managed IT provider can help your company take a proactive stance on IT security, so you can defend against malicious hacking, IT snafus, and “oops” moments before they happen. All of these potential disasters can be prevented or mitigated with:

How will you save my company time and money?

When your company is proactive on security, you’ll obviously save time and money because you won’t have to spend that time and money if you have to face a potential disaster that could have been averted. But, you know what? Those are pretty esoteric savings – after all, one could use the same logic to say that we all save time and money every day by not winning the lottery because it probably takes a lot of effort to figure out what to do with all that cash. 😉 

Therefore, the more concrete way your organization can save time and money with managed IT providers is by increasing your productivity. If everyone on your staff knows they have someone to call for friendly IT help, any hour of any day, your staff won’t waste their time fighting those pointless IT battles nearly everyone fights every day. 

Can you streamline my IT support or security process?

Good managed services providers use efficient ticketing systems and automation to make sure they are alerted of your problem and fix it in a reasonable timeframe. Great MSPs in Seattle (ahem!) not only use ticketing systems and automation to keep your IT support organized, they also streamline your IT support and security by providing:

  • ‘Round-the-clock, local IT support from the team you know
  • After-hours patching and updating
  • Strategic IT consulting with your on-demand CIO
  • “All-in” pricing that includes all the service you need at a No-Surprises flat rate
  • Hands-on service for those “ya had to be there” problems
Can you scale your services to keep up with my growing business?

Make sure your managed IT provider has enough experts on their staff to handle their growing business, as well as your growing business. Tiny IT support companies won’t have enough bandwidth to handle multiple issues at your company at once – but sometimes massive IT companies are so big that they let tasks fall through the cracks, especially when your company is in a transitional state. 

Find the right balance between size and service, and you’ll have found the right IT support provider for your growing organization. 

How do you manage your own infrastructure and IT security?

MSPs talk a lot about IT security (it’s our business, after all), but not all MSPs practice what they preach. In fact, in July 2019, a Portland-based managed IT provider found themselves in hot water after they were hit with a ransomware attack – because they hadn’t updated their own systems or performed adequate backups. Unfortunately, that means their clients lost critical business data forever

Don’t be shy about asking detailed questions, often, about how your IT support provider handles their own IT security. And quick tip: If they seem shy in their answers, you may want to consider a different provider. 

Get Answers to Your Questions – Ask One of Seattle’s Only True MSPs!

As one of Seattle’s longest-standing MSPs, one of the city’s only true MSPs, and a globally recognized, award-winning MSP, you can trust that Interplay is the managed IT provider to call when you’re looking for help with your organization’s IT tools and security. 

If you choose to contact us, please ask us the questions above – and feel free to ask us anything you’d like more information on, from any article in the Seattle Business Owners’ Guide to IT Security. We’re happy to help you find the right IT help, the right IT answers, and the right IT service for your exact needs. 

Not ready to get in touch yet? Learn how much fun it can be to work with some of Seattle’s top IT experts.

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