How can an enterprise or an SME pick a tech-services vendor or MSP
For SMEs and enterprise companies below are the top considerations when picking a tech vendor. Note that this is not an exhaustive list and some of the key requirements may vary from case to case.
The services should be undoubtedly under the organization's budget. Most managed IT service providers either charge on a Fixed Point Pricing or T&M (Time & Material: Bill hourly along with a separate materials cost). We estimate that a 90% of enterprise services are billed via T&M. In such cases look at the blended hourly rate (in addition to other factors such as qualty of the team)
Track Record in Area of Expertise
Track record in the area of expertise is important. For example, an IT services organization having successful experience just providing managed backup services may not necessarily be the best fit for providing DevOps or Deployment as a Service.
The vendor must be held accountable to team capacity and their target hours and be transparent based on the capacity/time commitment of the contracting individuals who will be working on a project. It helps to have such details in the proposal when a vendor submits proposal on an RFP.
Security and Compliance
A contractual agreement with a vendor should describe the security responsibilities of each party and what measures the service provider will take in order to ensure appropriate security of the buying organization's data, in some cases additional audits and certifications may be required. A SOC2 compliant vendor for example is audited to follow certain security best practices and so SOC2 compliant/certified may be a useful checkbox to have when working with a vendor like. For a vendor providing services to a healthcare company HIPAA compliance is critical. For any vendor who will have access to financial data such as credit card information PCI compliance is critical.
Having an assigned customer support representative or an engineer available on demand is always helpful and should be considered.
Qualifid in terms of Skills
Let's say an organization is looking for specific AWS services, it helps to know whether the organization is a designated AWS partner with enough AWS certified professionals on the team and knowledgeable with the specific AWS services of interest to them. For someone seeking a Datadog APM integration, it helps to know whether the vendor providing the integration is a Datadog partner. So certifications and being a designated partner badge in the area of expertise is a plus point.
Qualified in terms of Customer Satisfaction/Ratings
Is the vendor a Top 10 in your category of interest? Usually you will find online reports on this, such as Gartner reports which suggest whether this is an experienced/qualifeid software vendor.
Prepare RFPs and invite vendors to submit proposals to it, compare and seek out the best vendors.
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