Ensure the long-term success of your business

Checklist for choosing the right managed services provider

  • Article
  • 4 minute read
  • 18 Jun 2024

When choosing a managed services provider (MSP) for your business, it’s critical to ensure that the provider you select meets your company’s specific needs and goals. There are several factors to consider when making your selection, so we’ve put together a checklist to help you find the best MSP for your organisation.

The most important in 30 seconds

  • Choosing the right managed services provider (MSP) can help your business achieve long-term success.
  • A qualified MSP should be selected based on seven criteria. In particular, it’s important that your MSP offers flexibility, sophisticated technology and a holistic view of processes, alongside the necessary expertise.

Making the right choice: your checklist for a successful partnership

Flexibility and reliability

When choosing an MSP, the first things you should look for are flexibility and reliability. The PwC Managed Services Study 2023 found that outstanding MSPs can adapt their services to the specific needs of their customers. This includes continually developing the services offered to meet the ever-changing needs of customer organisations.

Speed of delivery

Another criterion is speed of delivery. This was confirmed by 91% of respondents to the PwC survey. A plug-and-play approach from the MSP is important when it comes to quickly and efficiently transferring processes to them as needed. If your MSP is on-call, you can also respond quickly to peaks in demand or new regulations.


The MSP’s technical expertise plays a key role. Managed Services go beyond just handing over standardised tasks: they also involve managing complex processes, which requires in-depth technical expertise in the relevant areas. Your MSP should have specialised knowledge that complements your business, outside of your core skills. In addition, industry specialisation – or at least a good understanding of your industry – is essential for many Managed Services if the MSP is to have true process ownership.

Level of technological sophistication

Another criterion to consider is how technologically sophisticated the MSP is. This was an important characteristic for 87% of companies surveyed. Managed Services involve comprehensive digital transformation, not simply handing over tasks, so MSPs must have the latest technology and expertise to deliver scalable services. In other words, they must offer a step change in efficiency compared to internal service delivery, especially for technically demanding tasks.

Your MSP should be able to integrate seamlessly with your existing systems and tailor its offer to your organisation’s technological maturity. To do this, the MSP must be able to help you both with selecting technological solutions and with implementing and providing ongoing service – across multiple systems if necessary. As multiple vendors add complexity to the process, you should choose a single MSP that can handle all the necessary steps.

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IT security

With the growing threat posed by cyberattacks, keeping your data and systems secure is critical. At the same time, integrating third parties into business processes increases the risk posed by interfaces. This is why it’s important to ensure high security standards with an MSP.

Top-tier providers are characterised by stringent security measures and strict adherence to standards. Make sure that the MSP you choose has the appropriate certifications and experience in IT security to protect your data. 

There are also MSPs that specialise in cybersecurity or have it as part of their portfolio, offering additional expertise and protection. This can significantly reduce your company’s cyber risk.

Holistic process view

To leverage process synergies, avoid redundancies and increase efficiency, your MSP should take a holistic approach. Even if you are only looking to hand over minor processes, it is critical that the MSP can integrate them seamlessly into your existing processes. They should also understand the overall process well enough to identify potential efficiency savings and provide the flexibility mentioned above.

Communication and partnership

Open and ongoing communication between you and your MSP is the backbone of a successful partnership. Clear communication about the status of services, potential challenges and upcoming changes is essential to ensure a transparent and trusting relationship. Make sure your chosen provider has a culture of transparency, with regular meetings and reporting.

Infographics: Checklist for choosing the right managed services provider - PwC


Choosing the right managed services provider requires careful evaluation and prioritisation of several criteria. This will help you ensure that the partnership you choose will meet your company’s needs and requirements. When evaluating and prioritising criteria, we recommend good planning and initial consultation. This will allow you to make an informed decision.

Keep in mind that selecting an MSP is typically a long-term commitment, as your MSP will be closely involved in your business processes. You should choose your MSP carefully, as a successful relationship can have a significant impact on the long-term success of your business.

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Klaus Schmidt

Klaus Schmidt, Partner, Global Tax and Legal Managed Services / Alliances Leader, PwC Germany

, Director, Managed services for the tax, legal and people function, PwC Germany

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