By: Brian DeVault

Making your Managed Service Provider (MSP) an integral part of your strategic goals and objectives involves aligning their services with your overall business strategy. Here are steps you can take to achieve this integration:

  1. Define Clear Business Objectives:
    – Clearly define your organization’s short-term and long-term business objectives. These could include growth targets, cost savings, improved efficiency, or entering new markets.
  2. Align IT Goals with Business Objectives:
    – Work closely with your MSP to ensure that their services and solutions align with your business objectives. The IT strategy should support and enhance overall business goals.
  3. Involve MSP in Strategic Planning:
    – Include your MSP in strategic planning sessions to ensure they have a deep understanding of your business goals, challenges, and upcoming initiatives.
  4. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):
    – Define key performance indicators that reflect the success of both your business and the services provided by the MSP. This could include metrics related to system uptime, response times, and security measures.
  5. Regular Communication and Reporting:
    – Establish regular communication channels with your MSP. Request regular reports that provide insights into the performance of IT systems and services.
    – Use these reports to assess the alignment of IT activities with strategic objectives.
  6. Risk Management and Compliance:
    – Ensure that your MSP is actively involved in managing IT-related risks and compliance requirements.
    – Regularly assess the MSP’s processes and controls to confirm they meet regulatory standards and industry best practices.
  7. Strategic IT Roadmap:
    – Develop a strategic IT roadmap in collaboration with your MSP. This should outline the technology initiatives needed to support your business goals.
    – Regularly review and update the roadmap based on changing business needs.
  8. Innovation and Technology Adoption:
    – Encourage your MSP to bring innovative solutions and technologies to the table that can drive business value.
    – Collaborate on exploring and adopting emerging technologies that align with your strategic goals.
  9. Cost-Benefit Analysis:
    – Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of MSP services against the benefits they bring to the organization.
    – Regularly conduct cost-benefit analyses to ensure the ongoing alignment of IT spending with strategic objectives.
  10. Collaborative Problem Solving:
    – Work closely with the MSP in identifying and solving business challenges through technology.
    – Collaborate on finding IT solutions that contribute to overcoming obstacles and achieving strategic goals.
  11. Contractual Agreements:
    – Ensure that contractual agreements with the MSP reflect the alignment of their services with your strategic objectives.
    – Include performance metrics, Service Level Agreements (SLAs), and provisions for adapting to changing business needs.
  12. Continuous Improvement:
    – Establish a culture of continuous improvement, where both your organization and the MSP actively seek ways to enhance processes, technologies, and outcomes.
    – Regularly review and update strategies based on lessons learned and changing business landscapes.

By actively involving your MSP in your strategic planning processes and fostering a collaborative relationship, you can ensure that IT initiatives contribute directly to the achievement of your business goals. Regular communication, measurement, and adaptation are key to maintaining alignment between your MSP’s services and your strategic objectives.