Five Questions To Ask Your Potential Managed Service Provider (MSP).

CompTIA’s 4th Annual Trends in Managed Services for the U.S. IT industry found a majority of firms thought their managed IT services could be better. Gartner has identified negotiating support and maintenance contracts as a key challenge for IT teams. SDI’s managed services programs are tailored to the unique requirements of each clients’ critical operations – delivering predictable costs while providing flexible staffing options including around-the-clock SLA-driven support from our team of certified professionals.

Here are five questions you should ask when evaluating a MSP:

    1. How does the managed service provider fix our IT infrastructure problems and optimize our environment rather than just hiding the mess?
      Break/fix or just maintaining the existing environment is not be enough to increase reliability and move your organization forward. Managed Service users must have the mandate to improve and leverage their MSP’s skills and experience to upgrade and re-architect and improve operations with an eye toward new technologies as demands on the business change.
    2. How does the managed service help us adopt new technologies more rapidly?
      Keeping a standards-based, current and well documented IT environment helps pave the way to the next IT innovation. With comprehensive trending and reporting, a quality MSP can help the customer decide when to replace, migrate, upgrade or wait. What level of ongoing training does the MSP offer its resources?
    3. How does the managed service encourage partnerships rather than just a business transaction?
      Executive involvement from both the MSP and the customer in program governance are important aspects of developing a true partnership.
    4. What role do expert engineers play in this service?
      There is no substitute for having certified, expert engineers imbedded in your environment, rather than shared on-call resources. When complex issues arrive, are they escalated to whomever is available or to an engineer with knowledge and experience in your environment?
    5. What is the service provider’s level of Cybersecurity and how can they help us with compliance and security?
      The MSP must demonstrate good Cybersecurity practices in their own offices before securing your environment. Do they have an organized Cybersecurity program including: scheduled scanning, comprehensive patching and anti-malware and ongoing education? MSPs should practice what they preach when maintaining your network, especially by remote connection.

For over 20 years, SDI has delivered value-driven managed services programs that optimize our clients’ technology environments. Contact SDI to learn more about how our managed services programs can drive your existing and future IT investments for maximum value, performance and competitive advantage.


Tim Portokalis has over 25 years of experience in Infrastructure solutions, including designing and managing large-scale network implementations, network management, and cloud-based solutions.