Is Your MSP Operationally Mature?
Managing today’s increasingly complex technology ecosystems requires specialized expertise that few organizations have on staff. As a result, more companies are turning to managed services providers (MSPs) to fill talent gaps and control costs while driving improvements in security, innovation and efficiency.
Choosing the right provider for your business can be tricky, however. There are tens of thousands of MSPs in the U.S. alone, and they can differ significantly in terms of expertise, industry focus, customer support levels and the services they offer. It takes a fair amount of research and evaluation to find one that can address your current requirements and has the flexibility to grow with your business.
A good place to start is by evaluating a provider’s operational maturity — a measure of an MSP’s ability to consistently deliver reliable, efficient and high-quality services. Operationally mature MSPs are characterized by well-documented and optimized processes, advanced technology integration, proactive problem-solving and a commitment to continuous improvement.
Considerations for Evaluating MSP Operational Maturity
Evaluating an MSP’s operational maturity requires a close examination of several factors to determine if a provider aligns with your organization’s needs and standards. Begin by evaluating the clarity and consistency of their approach. Inquire about the technologies they employ, emphasizing automation, analytics tools and other advanced technologies.
You should also examine service level agreements, paying special attention to metrics such as response times, resolution times and service availability. It’s also important to understand the provider’s scalability and ability to adapt to changing requirements.
Operational maturity refers to an organization's level of readiness, efficiency, and effectiveness in consistently delivering high-quality services or products.
Industry experience can be a critical factor. A provider with experience in your industry is more likely to meet the unique needs of your business. Client references also provide valuable insights. Speak with existing clients to understand their experiences and how the MSP responded to challenges and complex situations.
Security and compliance measures are critical considerations. Is the MSP committed to industry standards, data protection and risk management? Assess their incident response capabilities, including communication protocols during critical situations.
Operational Maturity Framework
To ensure you’re making apples-to-apples comparisons between multiple providers, it’s a good idea to use a structured and formal assessment process. Most operational maturity assessments use a five-level framework to represent a provider’s stage of development and sophistication. Here are some of the defining characteristics of MSPs at each level:
- Level 1 — At the lowest level of maturity, MSPs often react to immediate issues in an ad-hoc manner with little documentation or standardization.
- Level 2 — Providers have begun to standardize their processes, but there may still be inconsistencies in how tasks are executed.
- Level 3 — Providers have well-documented and standardized processes with well-defined workflows for service delivery, incident management and other critical functions.
- Level 4 — These are operationally mature providers with well-defined processes and advanced technology integration that incorporates automation to enhance efficiency.
- Level 5 — MSPs at the highest level of operational maturity continually refine and optimize their processes for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. There is a strong focus on innovation, with extensive use of automation and advanced analytics.
Choose GDS: An MSP with Operational Maturity
Evaluating an MSP’s operational maturity is a critical step in making informed decisions about potential technology partners. Operationally mature providers demonstrate a commitment to efficiency, innovation and the highest standards of service. Collaboration with such partners not only delivers streamlined service delivery and efficient problem resolution but also offers guidance for long-term goals and sustained success.
GDS has been delivering managed services for more than 35 years. We are committed to excellence and providing exceptional value to our customers. We invite you to evaluate our people, processes and technologies and bring us your toughest IT challenges.
Benefits of Managed IT Services from Global Data Systems
- Strategic Managed IT: We help you solve your technology related business problems.
- Connectivity: We get you reliable, secure connectivity anywhere in the western hemisphere in 48 hours.
- Support: When you need help simply call our 24x7x365 support number.
- Billing: Instead of managing hundreds of vendors - get one, easy to read bill from GDS.