Want to know if you’re getting the most out of your IT infrastructure? There are a few things you can do to find out, but the best way to do it is by carrying out a managed services provider (MSP) evaluation. In this blog, we’re going to discuss what an MSP evaluation is, the benefits that come with it, and how to prepare for one.
What Is an MSP Evaluation?
The reason that your infrastructure becomes less efficient over time is simply because technology isn’t perfect. Hardware and software become outdated, certain programs conflict with other programs, and other inefficiencies can drag down your IT environment. If you aren’t aware of these issues, your technology could end up being more of a hindrance than an asset. By performing an MSP evaluation, you can preserve the performance of your IT environment.
Whether you call it an MSP evaluation, IT audit, or network assessment, the end goal is the same: to optimize your infrastructure. Specifically, an MSP evaluation is where an auditor who’s provided by your MSP analyzes your entire IT environment. The purpose of the assessment is to provide a higher level of visibility into your technology that helps you understand the capabilities of your IT environment.
This process is also used to identify where your technology could use improvements. For example, maybe there are gaps in your cybersecurity, or maybe there are redundant systems eating up your resources. With these discoveries, you can find opportunities to boost efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
What Are the Benefits of an MSP Evaluation?
There are plenty of reasons to schedule regular network assessments. Conducting an analysis can be one of the best ways to improve the overall performance of your business. In addition to boosting operational performance, a thorough IT audit is a surefire way to ensure your cybersecurity processes are keeping you, your team, and your data protected.
A few other benefits of an MSP evaluation include:
Establishing a Baseline
It would be very difficult to tell if your infrastructure has improved without the right information. One of the objectives of an IT audit is to establish a baseline of performance that you can use as a standard. If the alterations you made to your network after the assessment keeps your IT operating at a level above the baseline you set, then you know those improvements worked.
Understanding Your IT
The more you understand the makeup of your infrastructure, the easier it is to improve it. With the help of managed IT service solutions, you can get more clarity about your network, which allows for better management. Even small changes to your infrastructure can lead to higher performance and reduced costs.
Developing Records of Due Diligence
If your business is hit with a cyberattack, having proof that you did your due diligence to protect your company’s and your customers’ data would be invaluable. An assessment provides documentation you can share with insurance companies, government regulators, and business partners that proves you did your job. As a result, this information could protect you from certain lawsuits.
How To Prepare for an MSP Evaluation
While you can go into an IT assessment blind, preparation ensures that the audit is conducted thoroughly and accurately. If you’re unsure of what to do, here is a network assessment checklist you can use to get prepared:
Collect Technical Data About Your Infrastructure
Before you start your MSP evaluation, you need to gather information about your hardware inventory, configuration, usage, capacity, and more. You should also collect information on your software, including operating systems, databases, applications, licenses, etc. This can help you determine if there are functionality requirements that aren’t being met.
Collect Data on Your IT Department
Focus on how much time your internal IT staff is using on various support duties. How are they dividing their time between daily operations and project work? Find out if there are patterns in terms of the type of support requested by non-IT employees.
Collect Data on the Services You Use
Do you rely on third-party vendors for any of your technology needs? If so, you need to collect copies of service descriptions, service level agreements (SLAs), and service level reports. It would also help to survey internal customers for feedback on how well those third parties are meeting expectations.
Collect Financial Data on IT Operations
How much are you spending on your technology and IT processes? You should gather financial data associated with your IT operations. This data should include operating costs, budgets, and asset lists with depreciation and book values. Having this information on hand can help you determine what is cost effective and what isn’t.
Talk to Your Provider
One last thing you should do before your MSP evaluation is talk to your MSP. Tell them about your work culture, current and future goals, and your business and technology strategies. This can give them a better idea of what you’re trying to accomplish with your infrastructure. With that information, they can offer more relevant recommendations on how you can improve your infrastructure.
Let an Expert Handle Your IT Assessment
For industry-leading managed print and IT support in St. Louis, reach out to Americom Imaging Systems. Our seasoned technicians have years of experience conducting IT assessments for clients in a wide variety of industries. With our audit, we make sure you’re bringing out the full potential of your infrastructure.
Contact us today to learn more about this topic and our other managed services.