Businesses that utilize Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to fill their IT needs do so with the hope that their provider is an expert in the information technology field. After all, the core focus of the IT MSP is computer technology, and whatever company is hiring them—presumably—is doing so in order to focus on their core business.
An excellent MSP will function as the backbone of a business, enabling the company to accomplish its goals efficiently and complete its day-to-day tasks without any interruptions. If your business is utilizing an IT MSP, and you have some concerns about the value they’re adding to your company, take a look at these four signs it may be time for a changing of the guard:
1. You are contacting your MSP too often
While constant communication may show that you are receiving IT support when needed, taking a closer look at the number of help desk tickets submitted may reveal an underlying issue. Granted, responsiveness is certainly something you want in your IT MSP, but you want to make sure that instead of just reacting to problems after they happen, a technology expert should also be recommending solutions for the future. Is the high number of help desk tickets related to the same recurring issue? Is there some kind of bigger picture solution that the customer can implement in order to avoid delays in their business while waiting for resolutions to the tickets? These are the types of questions your provider should be asking. They should be looking for patterns and come up with ways solve issues long-term.
2. Your MSP does not offer any proactive monitoring
You want your IT MSP to be more proactive than reactive. Instead of just providing IT support on an “as-needed basis,” a comprehensive IT support plan will usually include proactive monitoring. This will typically include items such as updates and monitoring of backups and hardware. Having a properly functioning backup is essential, as an error that could result in a loss of data should be quickly resolved with a proper backup. Maintaining a complete backup is not always as simple as some people think, and the backup should be constantly monitored so that it is ready to go when needed.
Proactive monitoring services can also help a business plan for the future. With proactive monitoring, your provider should be able to give you recommendations about what upgrades need to be made well in advance. That way, a company has time to budget and plan for a new IT cost. Which would you rather here from your MSP: “It looks like your server has two years of lifetime left, so we should begin to determine the cost of a replacement” or “Your server is no longer working. You need to replace one ASAP to keep your business running?”
3. Your MSP is difficult to get ahold of
Information technology is a 24/7/365 operation, and issues or emergencies can arise at any time. While a customer cannot expect its IT problems to be solved at the drop of a hat any time of day or night, IT MSPs should empower customers to be able to help themselves. Users should be able to enter help desk tickets at any time on a customer portal, and submit other requests as necessary. There should also be an emergency services line or portal request option that may cost extra for the customer, but is there if it is truly needed. In the IT business, responsiveness is key, and if your provider isn’t holding up its end of the bargain, it may be time for a change.
When evaluating your IT services provider, it is important to keep one key question in mind: Are they enabling you to grow your business? Not only should technology not hinder your business through interruptions and downtime, it should also enhance and empower your company by creating a more efficient and productive workplace.