4 Tips for MSPs Evaluating PSA Software and Cloud Options

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Author: Datto’s Joseph Rourke
Author: Joe Rourke, director of product management, PSA, for Datto's Autotask business.

If you’re doing your research to find out which professional services automation (PSA) tool is best for your business, there is a chance it’s because you’ve realized you’ve needed one for some time now and it’s become an urgent need. A PSA tool is designed for the MSP or ITSP that is growing and wants to stay in growth mode. The automation of a PSA makes it possible for growing businesses to manage their day-to-day tasks, tickets, opportunities, to-dos (and everything else) with ease.

Here are four key tips to think about when evaluating PSA solutions:

1. There is a big difference between cloud PSAs and on-premise PSAs. Uptime is critically important to MSPs and ITSPs. When your PSA is down, your business is down. A cloud-based PSA with a reliable uptime - think 99.99% -- is far more affordable than an on-premise PSA with the same or even less reliable uptime. Pro-tip: Read the fine print! See what uptime is guaranteed in your contract. For reference, 99.5% uptime = more than 40 hours of unplanned downtime each year.

2. Hosting your data in the cloud is safe (and reliable). When you back data up to the cloud, you have two geographic locations where the data is stored. The on-premise is at risk for negative impact, while the cloud data is less-so. Nothing’s completely preventative, and that’s where a business continuity and disaster recovery plan comes into play.

3. When you find a solution you’re interested in, be sure to ask the vendor the tough questions. Security is something every MSP and ITSP should be taking into consideration with ransomware on the rise. Ask what kind of measures would be  taken to ensure your data is secure. The vendor should regularly use a third-party to test their own systems to ensure it holds up in a potential security breach.

4. Then, ask even more questions. Like, how many planned outages do they have each year? What is the schedule of planned outages? What is their track record when it comes to scheduled maintenance? Another pro-tip: Beware of anyone who claims they offer 99.999% uptime; that is 5 minutes of unplanned downtime a year and is virtually impossible.

For more tips, download our PSA Buyer’s Guide.

Joe Rourke is director of product management, PSA, for Datto's Autotask business. Read more Autotask-related blogs here.