Red Flags to Watch Out for When Choosing a Managed Services Provider

Red Flags to Watch Out for When Choosing a Managed Services Provider

It takes technology to grow your business; it streamlines processes, enhances collaboration, and boosts productivity. And with a managed service provider (MSP) in Toronto at your side, you can experience these benefits sooner.

However, not all IT MSP services in Toronto are suitable for your company, and because of the myriad of options available, you may end up with a subpar provider that adds no value to your business. If you’re wondering how to choose a managed service provider for your business, here are some things you need to consider when hiring an MSP in Toronto.

Determine if the MSP Is the Right Fit for You

To put it simply, managed IT solutions in Toronto should be equipped to support your business. A three-person IT provider might be unable to manage your 100-user network, whereas an enterprise-level MSP might not provide the personal service you might expect for your small business. What's more, it's important that they have the tools and equipment necessary to meet your needs. After all, you are entrusting them with all of your critical systems and data.

That's why you should ask for a tour of their facilities to make sure they're not operating out of a garage and that they have the infrastructure to support your business. You should also take this opportunity to see how well they maintain their equipment. If it looks like their equipment is on the verge of breaking down, should you trust them to keep your systems healthy?

Look for an MSP in Toronto That Is Available 24/7

When you’re a small- or medium-sized business with little IT experience, you need an MSP who can provide you with answers you understand. If you’re negotiating with a vendor who refuses to drop the geek-speak and avoids giving straight answers to your questions, then you should consider another managed IT service provider.

You also want to avoid managed IT service providers that are unwilling to adapt to your demands and push services you don't need.

High-quality MSPs will tailor their services and approach to the needs of each customer, not the other way around. So, if you need 24/7 support, short response times, assistance for your internal IT team, or even bilingual support, make sure your MSP can offer these services.

Choose a Proactive IT Managed Service Provider

A good MSP tries to automate processes and solve issues before they impact your users. For example, the managed IT service provider should be able to recognize cyberattacks before end-users start complaining about sluggish networks.

And in case an issue does occur, your MSP should be the first one to alert you about its potential impact on business processes. If you’re working with a provider who has the “break/fix” mentality—fixing only surface level issues and charging you per hour—instead of the “continuous improvement” state of mind, then your bottom line could take a huge hit.

To avoid this, take a look at their list of services and make sure they provide proactive management services and have comprehensive uptime guarantees clearly stated on their contracts.

Choose an MSP with the Right Expertise

The depth and breadth of expertise is an important factor many small- and medium-sized businesses overlook. It is also important to understand your technological needs, so that you can evaluate managed IT service providers.

Does your potential MSP have the industry-specific know-how to support your infrastructure? Do you require Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) expertise, 2-factor authentication integration, a cyber security specialist, or an expert on backups and disaster recovery?

A partner that does not have the right technical skills will not add any value to your business.

Choose a Certified Managed IT Service Provider

When you hire a managed IT service provider in Toronto, you expect to get access to a team of technicians who are at your disposal 24/7/365. And because of this, you need to rely on engineers who need to be constantly trained to adapt to new technology. In fact, most vendors— including Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, and Citrix—have partner programs which require the MSP to continually upgrade their skills.

As a business owner, you should take the time to ask each MSP in Toronto about their certifications, whether they participate in these partner programs, and what they do to keep their skills up to date. If your MSP struggles to give you a straightforward answer, then that’s a red flag.

It's also important that your MSP has industry certifications like SSAE-18 and ISO 27001. These certifications show that the MSP's processes are well documented and followed, and that data centers are protected with cutting-edge physical security systems, threat prevention software, and enterprise-grade encryption.

Partnering with a managed IT service provider that does not have these certifications can spell trouble for your business, especially if you have sensitive information and systems you need to protect.

Research the MSP’s Reputation

Since you’d be outsourcing core business functions to your MSP in Toronto, you need to be certain of their reputation. If your potential vendor has trouble keeping its employees and retaining customers, then there might be underlying issues that could hinder their quality of service.

Contact current customers and check customer-review websites like UpCity or CloudTango. The more feedback you have, the better.

Ask about Their Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of people were forced to work from home. Adjusting to the new normal wasn’t without its challenges for many businesses. IT infrastructures had to expand to meet the growing demand for secure and accessible on-premise and cloud-based computing services and support for remote workers.

Furthermore, it’s estimated that between 2021 and 2026, managed IT service providers will help lower IT expenditures for businesses across the U.S. and Canada by about 25% to 45%. Operational efficiency is expected to increase 45% to 65% in the same timeframe.

Why Choose XBASE Technologies as a Preferred Managed IT Service Provider in Toronto?

XBASE Technologies is a leading managed IT service provider in Toronto. We provide comprehensive IT services that protect your small business networks from cyberattacks and phishing while optimizing the performance of your IT infrastructure to make it “Exponentially Better™”.

With over three decades of experience in the industry, we’re confident that regardless of your business needs, our custom-tailored managed IT solutions in Toronto can help you take your business to the next level. Call us at (416) 340-1020 or email us at for more information.