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Choosing the right Managed Service Provider – an approach that focuses on you.

Friday 18 October 2019 Application Managed Services

James Maw's picture
By James Maw

Forget about finding the 'best' managed service provider (MSP). What you should really look for depends on the challenges you face.

The one size fits all managed service provider does not exist.

This may be an odd thing for an organisation like ours to say, but it’s true. And anyone who tells you otherwise probably isn’t thinking very clearly about the challenge that prompted you to look for an MSP in the first place. Every organisation has its own specific challenges to address – and therefore has very different needs. So it only makes sense that your criteria for choosing an MSP shouldn’t start with an industry checklist. It should start with you.

Our new ebook, NOT just another guide to choosing the best managed service provider, goes into more detail. But to illustrate, here’s a quick overview of four common challenges that lead people to look for an MSP, and how they might affect your priorities.

1. An unstable or inflexible IT team

It might be you have difficulties with retention and hiring, insufficient 24/7/365 cover, or skills that are concentrated into a single point of failure.

Any good MSP will be able to help you address these issues. But in this case, it’s also critical that they can provide flexible resources across multiple technologies – avoiding inflexible silos and maintaining predictable coverage and performance. 

What’s more, it’s important to look for a vendor that complements your organisation’s culture and has strengths in the particular areas where you’d like to improve.

2. Difficulties providing heritage application support

Sun-setting older applications can be tough. Many heritage applications are mission-critical. If they’re not managed correctly, they have the ability to bring entire swathes of your organisation to a halt.

But your best and brightest will generally want to be working on your latest applications – not phasing out your old ones. And this can create a knowledge-vacuum.

What’s more, running and maintenance costs for heritage applications can be significant.

To ensure these applications continue to perform – regardless of how quickly they’re being phased-out – challenge an MSP on how they retain heritage application skills and motivation in a shrinking team.

3.  Providing IT performance that benefits your entire organisation

When IT teams start to face support challenges and costs begin to escalate, many organisations will naturally look to offshore their IT function.

And while it may initially appear to be an attractive option, external teams with high turnover, poor skills retention, a wide geographic spread and limited knowledge transfer capabilities can sometimes make things worse.

So, if you’re choosing an MSP with a focus on performance, pay particular attention to governance, reporting and escalation processes.

In addition, realistic SLAs/KPIs, ITIL best practice, preventative maintenance and documentation will help improve performance issues.

4. Diverting focus to innovation

To help stay ahead of the competition and make the most of technology investments, most organisations want to innovate. But many simply don’t have the time or resources to focus on new technology.

If you’re aiming for innovation, it’s wise to prioritise an MSP’s flexibility – so they can support your programme as it evolves.

Simply, this means being able to handle everything - problem-solving and working on your terms, considering the needs and challenges of your business users, providing on-going support and having the skills to help drive innovation.

These capabilities will not only help boost your digital agenda, but your people will also be free to focus on ambitious projects to accelerate innovation.

Do any of these challenges ring true?

Great – that’s what we love to hear, because it shows you’re well on the way to finding an MSP that’s specific to your needs.

Now it’s important you get the complete picture to make an informed decision.

To explore these challenges in more detail and map out your way forward, read our eBook – NOT just another guide to choosing the best managed service provider.

Of, if you’d rather talk with a human being, get in touch with our managed service experts here or call us on +44 (0)20 3892 2365, and we’ll take you through your options. 

 

Our new ebook, NOT just another guide to choosing the best managed service provider illustrates four common challenges that lead people to look for an MSP, and how they might affect your priorities.

Choosing the right Managed Service Provider – an approach that focuses on you.