Confusing error messages, security updates, and installations are just some of the stuff you have to put up with if you’re managing IT by yourself.

Finding a managed IT services provider (MSP) you trust helps your business deal with these problems. But here’s the bad news: The MSP market is so massive that you’re bound to come across a lot of duds.

You know the type. They’re the companies that feign interest in your IT problems or come off as condescending and impersonal when they respond to your queries. That doesn’t mean there are no good MSPs out there; just make sure you choose wisely.

Many MSPs over-promise and under-deliver

The MSP market is extremely competitive, so much so that a lot of the bad ones go to great lengths just to acquire new clients. They’ll even promise services they don’t have expertise in. When asked, some MSPs that are clueless about office relocations will say, “Um yeah, we can do that.” But what they really mean is, “Just pay us now and we’ll figure it out later.”

"I have absolutely no idea what these are supposed to do."

Instead of asking an MSP whether they can do something, it’s better to ask about specific cases that they've worked on. Review previous case studies and talk to their current clients to figure out whether they’re capable of doing what you’ve asked.

You’ll also want to check the service-level agreements (SLA) they offer. If they’re promising something as bold as keeping your servers secure 24/7, they better be offering proactive monitoring services and routine security checks on their contract. If they don’t, well, that’s one less MSP to worry about.

The tech is outdated

Besides providing maintenance services, you expect MSPs to be on the leading edge of technology. So, if you ever see a company with barely any certifications and partnerships, that’s a huge red flag.

The best MSPs to partner with are the ones that rub shoulders with the biggest names in the industry like Windows, Mac, and Google because they often have access to the latest products and services from these companies. Just make sure the MSP itself isn’t sporting retrotech like Windows 95 or the Macintosh 128K.

They don’t understand you

No one will ever fully understand your company or what it’s been through, but a good MSP will make an effort to know where you’re coming from. Watch out for MSPs that push flashy services -- these companies aren’t after the continued success of your business; they’re after your wallet.

"Switching to a gold-plated Macbook Pro will increase your productivity by 150%. Trust me."

What you want is a partner who provides comprehensive IT assessments to identify your business pain points and recommend solutions that suit your needs and budget.

Industry experience is a huge plus too, especially if you’re in a highly regulated industry like healthcare or financial services. That’s because they’ll already have an idea of what your business needs so you won’t have to spend hours translating industry mumbo jumbo like multidimensional accounting or HIPAA compliance.

Some aren’t even MSPs

The defining trait of MSPs -- and the reason why they’re an attractive option for small businesses -- is their fixed price, all-inclusive IT service model. If they’re charging you every time your computer breaks down and pay attention to your company only whenever there’s an issue, you’re working either with a terrible MSP or a bunch of phonies.

That’s why you must be careful whom you partner with. Make sure the MSP offers round-the-clock maintenance services and prompt response and resolution times in their SLAs. Learn what their current clients are saying before going forward with a particular MSP.

If you’re looking for a leading MSP in New York without any of these glaring problems, Red Key Solutions is the answer. Call us today to see for yourself.

Red Key is a leading Managed IT firm that is bringing AI to companies in New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond.