IT Consulting

Questions to ask MSP (managed service provider)

Managed Services can be an asset to any business whether it is big or small. They are a cost-effective solution to IT and add an extra layer of security for your company’s data. A Managed Services Provider can offer your company many digital ranging from server security to communication solutions and so on.

Before finally hiring the new Managed Service Provider for your company, you should sit down with them and ask them a few questions to find out what they will be bringing to the table. This is why we have made a list with the top questions you should ask your potential Managed Services Provider so make sure you read until the end.

1. What happens if my infrastructure goes down?

Unfortunately, in today’s world of technology an IT shutdown is basically inevitable so being prepared for it is always a good idea. When investing in a new Managed Services Provider, it is very important that you find one that is always ready for any kind of disaster. Any MSP should be ready to talk to you about their DRP (disaster recovery plan), including the RPO (recovery point objections) and RTO (recovery time objections). A Managed Services Provider should either have a recovery plan ready or is willing to work with you to create a custom plan for your business. If the MTP does not have an answer to this question, it is time to find another one.

2. What kind of services are covered under my contract?

If you want to protect yourself from any hidden fees in the next couple of months or years, then asking your MSP about your contract early on is a smart plan. Tell your Managed Services Provider exactly what you are looking from a managed service and then have them explain how they are going to charge you for their services. Do not settle on just one lump sum, instead, insist that they break down every single price on the bill. Find out if they have put any limits of their services or a limit on the number of devices in one contract. You do not want to be hit by surprise fees or limits by the end of the month.

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3. How will your services help grow our business?

A large part of any company is its growth. When deciding on hiring a new Managed Services Provider, you will want to choose one that will make your expansions easier. As you and your company evolve, you will naturally assemble more staff. This is where the MSP comes into play. The MSP will ensure that these new workstations and employee accounts are more affordable.

4. How will you become a part of our IT team?

The last thing you want when you have a new member in your company is them working on projects without your team. Make it clear to the MSP that they will need to inform you every step of the way of any assignment. Good Managed Services Provider will want you to be involved with all their procedures and constantly keeping you in the loop.


An introduction to IT Consulting

IT consulting is a group of people made from experienced individuals that provide expert advice for a fee. Hence, a person might work as an independent contractor and in that case, they would be referred to as an independent consultant. An IT consultant might also be an employee of a company that offers such services and they typically charge the customers an hourly rate for the services they provide.

Types of IT consultants

The job of a consultant is to help businesses or individuals make technology purchases or strategic choices when it comes to resolving any technical challenges that they might be facing. The consultants might serve as a short-term virtual CIO who’s job is to provide advice on IT strategies to a business that lacks IT expertise.

IT consultants usually work for value-added resellers, or for short VARs, system integrators and other providers that offer consulting services with a wide range of offerings. A business implementing a new ERP system might hire someone who was recommended by their vendor, rather than train their employees or hire new ones. VARs sometimes partner up with specialists in the sales engineering capacity. The consultant will then examine the client’s business and technology need and they will recommend products, IT solutions, or services that can address the needs they have.

Managed service providers, or for short MSPs usually use experts to work with customers that need to create an IT strategy, technique, or plan to manage their projects. According to an IT company in Pittsburgh, MSPs are often created by engineers or technicians, hence the consulting help them connect their technical services and their customers. If you want to learn more, click here.

Consultants who’re focused on cloud computing will help clients select public cloud services, define their requirements, build private cloud networks, manage the company’s data, and they will also take care of the application migration. They are also able to create cloud strategies that aim to keep the overall cost of the cloud in check, as well as help businesses,  get the most out of the investment they made into the cloud. Keep in mind that some consulting companies specialize in specific cloud platforms, such as Google, Microsoft Azure, or AWS. Additionally, a consulting firm might focus on only one or more SaaD providers such as ServiceNow or Salesforce.

Other areas include IT security, information management, and e-discovery and compliance. An IT consulting company can be hired to evaluate the security risks, recommended strategies for fixing some problems, or to identify vulnerabilities that a company might have in their system.

Related fields

There are other consulting jobs that might intertwine with IT consulting. Strategy and management consultants can provide useful advice for a wide range of business matters and problems. However, management consultants that work with clients to redesign an old office space might need the help of IT consultants to automate their whole process.

The benefits of working with an IT consultant

One of the biggest benefits of working with a consultant is that they will have specialized knowledge of specific things. Hiring a consultant makes sense when it is too expensive or impractical to hire a full-time employee for knowledge that is only needed for a specific period of time. For example, you might need on for major business system upgrades that only happen occasionally.


IT consultants are hired to give advice on specific technological matters, as well as to help troubleshoot problems in the systems that are quite complex. Hence, the next time you are having technical problems at your company, you know whom to call.