Many non-tech small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) such as yours now rely more heavily on IT resources than before. SMBs that try to handle IT on their own quickly find out how deep that rabbit hole goes, which is why you made the executive decision to partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP). That MSP purports to reside in IT wonderland and has promised to take care of everything tech for your business. However, how would you know if you’re getting your money’s worth or not? Here are the signs that say you need to ditch your current MSP for a much better one.
The MSP provides you with an IT strategy, but leaves you to implement it
IT consultations and strategy planning are highly valuable, but true MSPs don’t stop at just providing these services. They offer the services and IT solutions for implementing the strategy they propose. If your MSP leaves you to your own devices, then you have to wonder if their strategy can be pulled off. That is, if it was practical and feasible, why wouldn’t the MSP implement it themselves?
Additionally, there is no such thing as a foolproof strategy. Its implementation is not something you can set and forget, but rather something that needs to be monitored and adjusted based on the results your company is getting from it. If your MSP is not results-oriented, ditch them.
Last but not least, any business strategy will have to change if external conditions start shifting. For example, let us say that a newly enacted data privacy law sets a standard for encryption and requires businesses to use encryption tools that meet that standard when storing and using customer data. A proactive MSP will be the one to bring this new legal requirement to your attention and help you shift your IT strategy before the law takes effect. However, if you don’t hear from your MSP and get wind of such important developments on your own, ditch them.
Your business keeps on encountering IT problems
One of the biggest reasons for signing up for managed IT services in the first place is to have that MSP take care of your IT problems for you. The best MSPs resolve most IT issues immediately so that their clients never feel there were issues in the first place. And the clients would remain oblivious, were it not because these MSPs disclose their actions out of transparency.
Such MSPs make incidents such as downtime and data breaches rare, and they provide 24/7/365 IT support so that any and all tech concerns are addressed as soon as possible. They resolve the majority of cases using remote tools as simple as the phone, though they send technicians on-site if needed.
However, if your business is always suffering downtime, then ditch your MSP. If your provider starts blaming you for your IT woes, makes you feel like you complain too much, or doesn’t seem at all bothered that your business is suffering because of problematic IT, then ditch them. Take the same course of action if your staff is spending a considerable amount of time calling your MSP and waiting on the line instead of doing actual work, or if there’s a long waiting list for that MSP’s on-site technicians. Why keep a service provider on retainer if you can’t rely on them?
You experience bill shock because of surprise charges
Partnering up with an MSP entails subscribing to particular services such as cybersecurity protection, cloud management, and the like. Subscriptions are subject to service level agreements (SLAs) — terms that specify the tasks the MSP will do for you, the standards they will apply while performing these tasks, and the monthly fees you have to pay. Therefore, even if you occasionally avail of one-off services, you can predict how much you’ll have to pay come billing time.
However, if you find extraneous charges, you’ll need to talk with your MSP and have them clearly explain why they charged you more than you were expecting. Discuss your SLAs thoroughly to ensure that no misunderstanding will occur moving forward. However, if your MSP fails to be completely transparent with you or appears to have misled you from the get-go, then ditch that dodgy provider immediately.
Countless SMBs in Kansas City trust and rely upon Complete Technology as their IT partner. To discover how we can help you leverage tech for your business’s growth, leave us a message or call 816-326-1143 today.