Many businesses struggle to manage their entire IT infrastructure in-house. That’s why many choose to outsource their entire, or parts of their IT, to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Taking on the services of an MSP offers businesses many advantages. It can help them optimise core business processes to increase efficiency and free up time and resources that can be invested in other valuable business projects. However, finding the right IT provider can be a challenge itself, and before partnering with one, you should ensure they meet your business’ expectations and offer the right services and products.


To help you assess the qualities and services of an IT provider, you should ask these 7 questions before partnering with them.

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#1 What does your business culture look like? 

To better understand the culture and services of an IT provider, it’s best practise to ask them to provide you with a quick overview of their processes and operations. Here are some generic questions that can help you understand a bit more about their business culture: 

  • What does your service portfolio cover?   
  • Do you have any partners and who are they?  
  • What does your business roadmap look like?  
  • Where do your areas of expertise lie?  
  • What does the relationship with your clients look like?  


It’s also important to find out more about their services, strategies and client approach. These questions might help you find out more about the quality of their services: 

  • Can you help develop a business strategy that supports my business success?  
  • Are there any services you outsource, or do you provide all services in-house?  
  • Which services are included in the price?  

#2 What are your business hours?

Unfortunately, IT issues don’t just occur nine-to-five, they can happen anytime. Not all providers offer 24/7 IT support, so you need to ensure that you partner with an IT provider that can offer emergency support at any time, even outside office hours.  

#3 What other businesses have you helped to optimise their IT?  

A decent IT provider will be able to provide you with a range of clients they’ve served. It’s always good practice to ask for testimonials or speak to clients personally to get an idea of what their partnership looked like and how the MSP helped them optimise their IT. They will be able to tell you how their experience was and if the MSP helped them meet their goals. Was the response time swift and were the implemented solutions efficient enough? Asking them about their biggest client-facing issue and how they dealt with it will give you a better understanding too.  

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#4 How long is your response time and what does your ticketing process look like?  

Should there ever be an IT emergency, you’ll want your IT provider to act quickly, without the hint of a delay. So, you might want to find out how they process their tickets, if there is a specific process and a priority queue in place. 

An effective IT provider should also offer SLAs. It’s important to find out how flexible the SLAs are and if there’s potential room for change in the future. Your business needs and objectives might change, so you should make sure that the SLA can be adapted to your future requirements and that you’ve not signed up to a contract that will no longer serve you at some point.  

#5 What does your relationship with your vendors look like?

It’s always good to know what the relationship between an MSP and their vendors looks like. As MSPs source many of their technologies and products from various partners, distributors and vendors, knowing that the services you buy come from reliable sources will give you peace of mind. 

#6 How do you maintain your clients’ infrastructures?  

As the digital space is ever-evolving, it’s important to keep up with digital transformation. Learn more about your MSP’s maintenance strategy and if they’re always up to date with the latest trends and solutions. Do they invest in regular training for their staff, will they upgrade your infrastructure, when necessary, what technologies do they use to detect new vulnerabilities and security gaps in your systems and what does their business continuity strategy look like?   

Ensuring that your IT provider takes a proactive rather than a reactive approach is key to ensure your IT keeps running smoothly in the future.  

#7 How will your services drive my business growth?

Only by partnering with an effective IT provider can you be assured that they’ll help you grow your business by proactively enhancing your IT. 

It’s important that a potential IT provider knows your business inside out, understands your short- and long-term business goals and helps you meet them by implementing a roadmap that can measure your business growth. 


To learn more about what capabilities you should look for in an optimal IT provider, download our free expert guide by filling out the form beside.  

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