4 Things to consider before choosing an MSP

Incorporating technology into business operations can be challenging because it’s always evolving. Many companies simply can’t keep up — this is why many of them turn to managed IT services providers (MSPs) for their tech needs. Read on to learn more about them.

MSPs defined

MSPs are companies composed of specialists from various IT fields. They deliver various IT services (e.g., cloud computing, cybersecurity, backup and disaster recovery) and proactively manage their clients’ IT systems under a subscription model.

Selecting the best MSP

While there are numerous MSPs out there, not all of them are equipped to meet your company’s unique needs. You can only achieve optimum IT results by selecting the right MSP.

Here are some criteria to keep in mind:

  • Depth of skills and experience – An MSP should have the skills and experience that go beyond basic software installation, maintenance, and upgrades. They should also have strong expertise in advanced IT functions, such as database management, cloud technology, security, and cross-platform integration, so they can keep pace with your company’s growing IT requirements.
  • Financial stability – With IT being the backbone of your business operations, you need an IT partner who will be there for the long haul. Assess their stability by looking into their annual reports and financial statements. Check how many clients they have and their customer retention numbers. Also, read customer reviews and testimonials online customer reviews and testimonials.
  • Competitive service level agreement (SLA) – An SLA is a contract that dictates the standards that your MSP must meet. It should be able to answer these questions: Do they offer 24/7 support? Can they conduct remote and on-site support? What are their guaranteed response and resolution times? If they fail to meet their committed service levels, do they offer rebates or money-back guarantees?
  • Third-party vendor partnerships – Pick an MSP with an ongoing relationship with the technology vendors (e.g., Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce) whose products you already use in your IT environment. Verify the partnership the MSP has with those vendors. The higher the partnership level, the more vendor certifications the provider has, which means they can provide plenty of expertise to your business.

Choosing the right provider is a crucial decision that will impact your business’s performance and success. If you want to learn more about how MSPs can support your business, contact us today.

This post was originally published on this site

Small- and mid-sized businesses need cybersecurity

If your company has recently suffered from a data breach or a ransomware attack, then you know how costly it can be. You lose not just hundreds of dollars but also the reputation you’ve built through the years. That’s why you need cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions to protect your business from ever-growing cybersecurity threats. The good news? Even small- and mid-sized businesses can partner with managed IT services providers (MSPs) who can provide robust solutions and security expertise to protect businesses from huge losses.

The numbers

According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2019 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) survey, cyberattacks have increased dramatically. Here in the United States, 76% of companies were attacked in 2019, a significant leap from 55% in 2016. Sixty-nine percent of US businesses reported data breaches in 2019, up from 50% in 2016.

The financial consequences have also increased considerably. The average cost spent by companies because of damage to or theft of IT assets and infrastructure increased from $1.03 million in 2017 to $1.2 million in 2019. Costs due to disruption to normal operations increased from an average of $1.21 million in 2017 to an average of $1.9 million in 2019.

The attacks

Globally, the most common forms of attack on SMBs are those that rely on deception: phishing (57%), stolen or compromised devices (33%), and credential theft (30%). Worse, cybercriminals are targeting SMBs more, with reported attacks having increased from 60% in 2017 to 69% in 2019.

Why managed services?

Partnering with MSPs is the most effective way to prevent attacks and protect your business from malicious threats. MSPs offer a full range of proactive IT support that focuses on advanced security, such as around-the-clock monitoring, data encryption and backup, real-time threat prevention and elimination, network and firewall protection, security awareness training, and more.

And because managed services are designed to identify and fix weak spots in your IT infrastructure, you’ll optimize the digital backbone of your business processes. You’ll have faster network performance, a solid business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, and minimal downtime. One of the best things about managed services is that you get a dedicated team of IT professionals ready to assist you for any technology problems you may encounter. This is much more effective and budget-friendly than having in-house personnel handling all your IT issues.

Being proactive when it comes to cybersecurity is the only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build. If you’d like to know more about how managed services can benefit your business, just give us a call — we’re sure to help.

This post was originally published on this site