Clearly, technology is shifting the paradigm of how businesses operate across all industries. Operational efficiency and effectiveness have become more integral than ever, as businesses face pressure to improve these factors from regulatory bodies, economic forces, and their consumers. This, along with increased pressure to innovate, has prompted players large and small to begin outsourcing their IT to experts who can better handle this function than a typical in-house team. Managed service providers, or MSPs (like us!), allow businesses to outsource their IT operations to a third-party organization that can resolve technical issues, reduce downtime, and provide strategic consulting to innovate pro-actively.
Sounds great, right? However, like any relationship, the dynamic between your business and your MSP takes work from both sides. Luckily, your relationship with your MSP can be optimized by taking a few simple steps and you can get the most out of your investment. If you’re relying solely on your MSP to run this relationship themselves, you could be sacrificing the quality of service that is being provided or the extent of that service.
Here are our top tips on getting the most out of your IT partnership!
Understand the Service Delivery Process
Making an effort to genuinely understand your MSP’s process for delivering service to your business will immediately improve the quality of service. Generally, this will avoid common miscommunications that can put barriers between your staff and your IT team. Work with your MSP to ensure that all decision-makers and staff have a clear understanding of the roles in your relationship—where to go when you need to file a support ticket, who to escalate concerns to, where to go to give feedback, and more. Most MSPs will provide documentation on this during the on-boarding process and beyond, but if you feel as if you aren’t sure where to turn, ensure that you ask questions and communicate this information across the board.
Talk About the Future
Your business has a clear vision of its future, and you can leverage your MSP’s experts to help you get there. While not all MSPs offer strategic technology consulting, this service is essential for businesses looking for input on what direction to innovate in, or what technology to implement in order to reach more long-term goals. Knowing what hardware, software, or levels of service will help move your business forward isn’t always clear cut. However, taking the initiative to give your MSP a clear idea of what your objectives for the future are will help them get you there. Rather than focusing solely on resolving pressing, current issues, open up the conversation about your future and how this relationship will drive your business forward.
Communicate & Collaborate
Work on building a rapport with your MSP, so that your relationship can extend beyond a surface level partnership. Ideally, your MSP will kick-start this process for you, but your business plays a part in the dynamic as well. Ensure that the single point-of-contact between your business and your MSP is someone that is a great communicator, and someone that will be accountable in sharing important updates and anything else that may come from your MSP. Building this rapport may also open the doors for your business to collaborate with your IT provider, whether that means building a contra-deal, co-hosting an event or launching a business venture together.
If your business wants to learn more about managed services, we can help. Contact us today!