Exploring tech partner deal breakers: 5 Things that you shouldn’t compromise with your MSP

Exploring tech partner deal breakers: 5 Things that you shouldn’t compromise with your MSP


Selecting the right managed IT services provider (MSP) is a critical decision for your business, as it directly impacts your operations, security, and growth potential. But with the many providers now saturating the market, finding the perfect fit can be tough.

To help you narrow down your options, here are five things that you shouldn’t compromise on when selecting an MSP. If one can’t deliver on all of these points, then it’s best to move on to the next potential partner.


The reputation and references of an MSP are valuable indicators of their reliability, professionalism, and customer satisfaction. Before you even make contact, research the MSP's reputation by reading online reviews (Google, Yelp, etc.), testimonials, and case studies from existing clients. The MSP should be able to provide references you can contact and ask about their experiences, satisfaction with the services, and challenges or concerns working with the MSP.

While evaluating an MSP, consider these trust indicators:

  • Positive reviews and testimonials
  • Awards or professional associations
  • Satisfied customer references
  • Successful project examples or case studies

A lack of these might suggest that the MSP has not been around very long or is not very good at what they do. In either case, it’s better to steer clear and find a more reliable partner.

Expertise and specialization

The expertise and specialization of an MSP are crucial factors to consider when evaluating potential providers for your company. Look for an MSP with extensive experience and a proven track record in serving businesses similar to yours, whether they’re in the same industry or of a comparable size. Check if the MSP employs specialists in specific areas relevant to your business needs, such as eCommerce, cloud APIs, data security compliance, or other specific technologies.

An MSP with specialized expertise can provide tailored solutions and insights to address your unique challenges and objectives, maximizing the value of their services for your business. There are enough MSPs on the market that you don’t have to settle for one who can’t meet your unique needs.

Cybersecurity capabilities

When you sign up with an MSP, you are putting your data privacy and security in their hands, so it’s crucial to ensure that they have the necessary expertise and tools. Look for MSPs that offer comprehensive cybersecurity solutions, including threat detection and prevention, data encryption, access controls, and compliance auditing. Verify whether the MSP has relevant certifications and accreditations, such as SOC 2, HIPAA, or PCI compliance.

Service level agreements (SLAs) and response times

SLAs outline the terms and conditions of an MSP’s services, including response times, uptime guarantees, and support availability. Basically, it’s what they promise to do for you and the standards they need to maintain while you are paying them. When evaluating MSPs, thoroughly review their SLAs and ensure they align with your business requirements and expectations.

Look for MSPs that offer fast response times and proactive monitoring to minimize downtime and ensure timely resolution of IT issues. If you require it, check whether the MSP provides 24/7 support and emergency response to address critical issues outside of regular business hours, and if this service costs more. Your SLA is locked in when you sign on the dotted line, so don’t go all in until you are satisfied with the terms.


If you project high growth, require different levels of support depending on the season, or operate in an industry that demands agility, ensure your MSP can keep up. Evaluate whether the MSP's services and solutions are scalable to accommodate your business's evolving needs, whether it's expanding your workforce, launching new products or services, or entering new markets. If the MSP can’t explain how they will adapt to your changing needs, that’s a red flag.

Partner with one of Toronto’s most reliable MSPs

If you’re looking for an MSP that will never compromise on these five essential factors, look no further than XBASE. Our 30+ years of experience speak to the reliability and effectiveness of our EXponentially Better™ solutions, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the ideal IT partner. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your business grow with technology.