Are you switching to managed IT services?
It is really a great decision if you have handful of staff and limited budget. A managed IT services provider will take care of your IT infrastructure, eliminating the needs of hiring, space and expenses.
Wait a minute.
Have you ever thought about the service agreement?
Make sure you have read the service agreement before signing the dotting line. Like in other services, a managed service agreement provides a common understanding of the services to be provided by the vendor to you with all terms and conditions. It includes the timeframe of the service, availability, serviceability, liability, and guarantees.
This is why you can’t afford to skip the fine print. It will give you an idea of their services and commitment.
Here we will help you understand the managed IT service agreement. Besides, you will learn what to look for in an agreement and how to deal with anything complicated.
What Does a Managed IT Services Agreement Cover?
Here are the things a typical IT managed Services contract includes:
Definition of Services:
It is an overview of the services which are further broken down in detail across the documents.
This section documents the timeframe of the service and termination clauses.
This section mentions the fee for services, as well as payment schedule.
This part contains service provider’s hours of coverage as mentioned by the contract.
This part mentions the services that are not the part of the agreement.
This part contains limitation of the vendor in providing the services and their responds to the service requests.
This part documents that the vendor’s liability will be limited in case of damages and breaches.
This part explains the coverage of the vendor which will be given to the system or users.
What to Look for in Your Managed Service Agreement?
After getting familiar with the terms of the agreement, you should discuss the agreement with the vendor in order to get the best.
Ask your MSP the services included in your package? Is it just cloud or office 365? Will they provide network security?
Security is the topmost concern in today’s digital landscape. Therefore, make sure your managed IT service provider have a strategy in place to deal with the threats. Check if the agreement documents intrusion detection and prevention, firewall settings and encryption in the service contract.
Make sure your service agreement covers basics like server maintenance, network administration, storage maintenance and typical network issues.
On Site or Remote Helpdesk Support:
Will your MSP provide onsite support? Or will they be providing remote support? Generally, a cloud based vendor will provide you only remote support. Many contracts cover helpdesk style support. Whatever support you choose, make sure it goes well with the type and size of your business.
Your plan should include data backup services and related processes. See how your data will be backed up. If your MSP back everything to the cloud, there are many things you like to ask. For example, you want to know if cloud servers are secure for data backup. Is the backup hosted on a public or private cloud server?
If you have sensitive information, you are less likely to go for public cloud where resources are shared among a group. Don’t hesitate to change the provider in such case.
Disaster Recovery Plan:
From data security breaches, natural disasters and breakdowns, there are several risks that can cost your important data. Therefore, your plan should include a robust disaster recovery plan so that you can recover your lost data quickly and resume your services as soon as possible.
In nutshell, you should carefully read your managed IT service agreement to avoid troubles and inconvenience down the road. It may be time consuming or hectic to read and discuss MSP agreement, but it will be beneficial in the long run.