What to Expect During a Managed IT Services Audit Leave a Comment / Learning Center, Managed IT Services / By Meghan Gracy Once you decide you’re ready to contract with a managed IT services provider (MSP) for IT support, you’ll have to go through the audit process. This is a crucial piece of the onboarding process because it gives your MSP an idea of what solutions you’re currently using and a chance to look for any existing problems. Additionally, this information lets your MSP customize the price of their services to the needs of your IT environment. The KR Group conducts audits of our potential managed IT services customers after you verbally indicate you want to pursue this solution. As a result, we’ve answered many questions about the audit process. We’ve put together a brief list of what you need to know going into this process: The audit starts with an interview. On-site audits are preferred by most MSPs. You can help your MSP by having documentation ready. During the audit, your MSPs reviews your current IT environment. Some MSPs include a security check during their audits. Check if the cost of an appraisal is covered in the contract or billed separately. By answering these questions, you’ll know what to expect during the audit process and be more prepared to onboard with an MSP. If you’re looking for more information about what a managed IT services contract looks like, read our free guide to signing a contract. Audits Begin with an Interview The first part of the audit will consist of one of the MSP’s team members sitting down to interview the decision-makers in your organization. Your MSP wants to better understand your business’s needs and how you would like technology to support your entire company. For example, your MSP might ask what metrics or performance indicators are important to you or how you’d measure success in IT. The interview is an opportunity to inform your MSP about any nuances with your organization or its IT. In addition, you’ll want to give your new MSP an idea of what you’ve liked or disliked about previous IT support you’ve worked with. On-Site Managed IT Services Audits Your MSP will want to go on-site to audit your IT environment. This allows them to look over your technology physically and develop a rapport with you and your users. If on-site isn’t possible, your MSP can complete the audit remotely; however, this option lacks the benefits mentioned above. In general, the audit will take two or more hours. Of course, if you have multiple locations and depending on the size of your organization, that time can vary. Information Your MSP Needs The best thing you can do to help during the switching and onboarding process is to have any available IT documentation ready for your new MSP to review. It’s best to create a list of anything tied to IT, such as internet service, phone system, Office 365 subscription, security camera services, badging systems, etc. Then, you can hand this information to the engineer performing the audit. They’ll keep this information in mind to provide the appropriate level of service for your IT needs. Additionally, you’ll want to have login credentials available for the MSP performing the audit, so the engineer can check configurations and smoothly transition you from your old provider. Review of Your IT Environment The primary goal of an MSP audit is to learn about your IT environment and better understand your organization’s needs. During the audit, your MSP engineer will look for and document three main things: 1. Hardware When it comes to your hardware, the audit gives your MSP an idea if you comply with their standards. Many MSPs require their clients to use an approved list of physical firewalls and backup devices to enforce security and provide efficiency. This also ensures you don’t have any outdated equipment in your IT environment, which is often ineffective and a security risk. 2. Software When your MSP is looking at your current software, they’re looking to see what antivirus, anti-spam, DNS filter, and other security solutions you’re currently using. Your MSP will have a software suite they offer all of their customers and check to see how your current solutions match what they’ll be asking you to use. This allows them to understand if your business will need new service or transfer a subscription to have the new MSP manage it. Conforming to software standards is slightly more lenient than hardware requirements. However, it’s equally as important. In fact, many MSPs only cover the cost of responding to a security breach if you use their recommended hardware and software. 3. Device or User Count Conducting the audit also allows your MSP to count how many users your company has for subscription licenses. This also allows your MSP to calculate your monthly bill accurately. Not all MSPs charge based on the number of users you have; some use the type and number of devices in your IT environment for pricing. If your MSP charges per device, they’ll tally the amount and type of equipment you have to find your monthly rate. Some MSPs Include a Security Check Many MSPs, including The KR Group, find the audit process to be an excellent time to check your security posture. The MSP engineer conducting the audit can check the controls, processes, solutions, back-ups, protection, etc., that you have in place for security and business continuity. Not only can they inform you of any urgent issues that you should address, but the MSP also understands what potential security risks – if any – exist before they take over. An Audit Highlights Your IT Needs An audit is essential to give your MSP an idea of what your IT environment currently looks like and what hardware and software you might need. It also gives them a chance to collect a user and device count. By actively looking through your technology stack, your MSP will have an idea of the complexity of your environment and can tailor the contract to your organization. So what’s next? Schedule a free consultation with your prospective MSP. The easiest way to take the next step, learn more about their managed services offering, and schedule an audit is to reach out to the MSP you’re looking to contract for their services. If you’re not quite ready for that level of commitment, you can read “How to Switch to a New Managed Service Provider (MSP)” and check out our free onboarding checklist to further prepare for partnering with a new MSP.