IT MSP Best Practices – Volume 1 – Are You Ready to Manage your MSP?

IT MSP Best Practices

Choosing a qualified, reputable, and reliable IT MSP (Managed Service Provider) is only the start of your journey to entrusting another company to help support your critical IT needs. Being able to navigate the onboarding process, and ongoing maintenance will be an important step to help you, as an IT executive, feel in control. 

The right IT MSP will not only fulfill your company’s needs for services, hardware, software, monitoring, and maintenance, but it will also be a proactive partner and recommend solutions that will be most impactful to your business. Using your MSP to help with change management and adoption is another great way to allow you and your team to work your organizational challenges, and free up time to focus on new projects. With the right MSP, important internal resources will be available to help resolve user issues. It’s estimated that 38.4% of organizations take 30 minutes or more to resolve IT issues. Your MSP should help you manage this time by offering proper setup, guidance, and management of all systems and tools. 

While your MSP should be providing very thorough oversight of services, it’s important to keep track of what is being done, and offer your team checklists to help them review work. Here are a few of the checklists we recommend creating, but there should be many others created based on your infrastructure and solutions:

  1. Creating a Remote Access Security Checklist

Your MSP should work with you to create a Remote Security Checklist. In these days of remote work and 24-access to your company’s sensitive data and information, using a verified and sound list will help you onboard new employees, update other executives to your important policies, and rollout changes to protocols.

This checklist should, at a minimum, include:

  • Who is accessing your systems offsite – full list of names, with user information
  • What IP addresses of users, if not using a VPN
  • Daily process for monitoring any software being accessed remotely to check for vulnerabilities, risks
  1. Network Switch and Router Maintenance Maintenance Tips

Your IT MSP will help you manage regular maintenance and support for your network switches and routers, but the below items are some highlights that can help you oversee that work and ensure that all systems are running well:

  • Run performance monitor
  • Check event logs
  • Check backup logs
  • Check antivirus
  • Updates run, new versions of software installed properly
  • Update backup software
  • Check all hardware, check connections on router/switch
  • Is hardware and system rooms clean?
  • Are network diagrams up-to-date?
  • Update IT inventory
  • Check all firmware
  • Connectivity speed checked at least weekly?
  • Are unneeded systems deactivated/diabled?
  1. Resource and Data Recovery Policy Creation

Your company’s sensitive data is one of your most important assets. Your MSP will work with you to discover all data sets, sources, locations, usages, access points, and any existing policies. Once this discovery is done and all data management is in more order, using a list of regular service and monitoring items will help your team not let anything fall through the cracks. Every company will have a specific set of data monitoring needs, but using the below will help you define some of the most important items to oversee regularly:

  • What are the processes to standardize the management and use of the data?
  • What business actions support the entry and validation of data?
  • What at the data entity and attribute access rules? What protects the data from unauthorized distribution and access?
  • Check all data protection mechanisms to protect data from external access
  • What data protection is in place to control access when external sources have temporary access within the enterprise?
  • Review the access requirements for all different data sets, ensure that only the right levels of access are enabled per user type, location, source
  • Are Database Management Systems functioning, running up-to-date software, all hardware in place, do updates need to be performed?

4. Hardware policies, management prep work 

  • Hardware purchasing guidelines
  • Operating systems requirements for hardware purchased
  • BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies
  • Desktop vs. Portable hardware requirements
  • Server purchasing checks, policies
  • Server install guidelines, maintenance schedules 
  • Hardware storage checklists, location maps
  • Request for work forms created, and when received logged properly 
  • Hardware failure policies

Managing your company’s IT services is a critical component to success in today’s digital landscape. The digital transformations taking place move rapidly within organizations and your team will need to be agile, responsive, and focused. Your IT MSP should be a great resource to your company, offering transparency in all that they do. At HTML Global we become a partner, rather than just a provider, and want to do everything we can to make your day-to-day management easier. Our MSP Complete Care offering is a unique set of solutions designed to offer everything needed for IT services, with fair pricing and flexibility. We will help you create checklists like the above, but our teams also will manage your services using the most up-to-date practices to help your internal teams get visibility to all work being completed. Contact us today to discuss your current services, and learn more about how we can truly keep your business moving forward.