Is It Time to Switch Your Managed IT Service Provider?
Managed IT service providers are valuable to businesses on many fronts. The associated core advantages of having an IT partner for your organization are: cost reduction, enhanced efficiency, risk minimization, comprehensive systems monitoring, better customer support, greater resilience and security, access to professional and experienced teams, and the ability to focus on your business’s strong areas.
However, not all IT-related MSPs are competent. In this guide, we explore six issues that may prompt you to change your managed IT service provider and the best practices you should expect.
What Is a Managed Information Technology (IT) Service Provider?
A managed service provider (MSP) is an organization that offers other companies specific services like infrastructure, security, applications, and networks. These services are provided through continuous support and active administration within the subject company’s premises, third-party data center, or the service provider’s data center.
Managed services allow your business to outsource your infrastructure, security, applications, or network-related tasks to an MSP. The two companies can either work on a contractual or subscription basis. The chief benefit is minimizing your in-house IT workload, saving time, and reducing costs. You also enhance IT efficiency and augment your business’s regulatory management capabilities.
Generally, there are 5 types of managed services that you can get from an MSP, as shown below:
Your company benefits from specialized information technology services from the MSP. The main activities involve IT support to solve specific problems that may occur on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, a managed information technology service provider is an MSP that offers specialized managed IT services to businesses.
Managed Network Services
The primary facilities offered here are network access, transport services, WAN optimization, unified messaging, network administration, managed security firewalls, and virtual private networks (VPNs).
Managed Cloud Services
Here, an MSP would typically manage and control your cloud platforms. The four main cloud services offered are infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and function as a service (FaaS).
Managed IT Security Services
The services offered by MSPs in this category relate to online safety and security. Examples are managed firewalls, vulnerability and compliance management, security intelligence, and antivirus.
Managed Communication Services
The services offered here are associated with email, unified communications, and Voice over IP (VoIP). Such a strategy would make your business more competitive within your industry and expand communication capabilities within the organization.
Issues That May Lead You to Change Your Managed IT Service Provider
Modern businesses should strive toward installing effective IT systems and services that enable them to remain competitive. This target can be realized when companies contract managed information technology service providers to oversee their day-to-day IT operations.
As has been stated, a managed information technology service provider is an MSP that offers specialized managed IT services to businesses. These companies extend support at the staff level and can help improve knowledge and expertise and enhance productivity.
Finding a consistent managed IT service provider is critical to business success. However, performance issues may sometimes emerge, meaning you continuously search for an alternative service provider.
The following issues may trigger you to change your managed IT service provider. We have also integrated the best practices associated with each challenge to show you what you might have been missing.
1. Excessive Downtime
Although periodic downtimes are essential for maintenance, changes, and upgrades, unplanned outages can become detrimental to business success in the long run. In addition, unplanned downtimes during workdays are even more annoying.
So, how do you know that you have been experiencing excessive downtimes? One, if you have been encountering constant network outages, then this can be termed as excessive. Bad updates during business hours and avoidable downtimes also fall into this category. The leading causes of excessive downgrades are the mismanagement of upgrades, issues with network quality, and software package problems.
IT downtimes can significantly affect your organization’s performance. On average, businesses lose $5,600 a minute during IT-related downtimes. Moreover, these costs can become higher depending on how long it takes your employees to refocus on their work.
A reliable managed IT service provider should be adept at responding to unplanned outages. Even in cases where it is not the IT provider’s fault, their nature of responsiveness should tell you whether it is time to switch partners.
2. Security Breaches
The other scenario is when the MSP does not take IT security professionally. How can this happen? There are different scenarios. For example, an internal investigation may reveal the lack of basic cyber security protection for your data and systems. Such negligence exposes your business to all types of cyber security breaches that can have adverse operational, legal, and financial implications.
A reliable managed IT service provider should:
- Currently manages cyber security for dozens of companies.
- Have the initiative to implement essential cyber security controls and processes.
- Prioritize the enforcement of multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- Be proactive in finding, recognizing, and managing cyber security risks to your business.
- Undertake regular security audits to assess performance.
- Be updated with the latest cyber security news and trends to remain proactive in managing cyber-attacks.
These are just the basics. As time passes, you should expect your managed IT service provider to do more to enhance your data and information security.
If they are reluctant to improve, you should start searching for alternative providers.
3. Loss of Data
Another reason why you should probably switch MSPs is if you are constantly losing your data. The MSP that you are working with might not have installed proper data recovery procedures when server failures and other events take place.
Your MSP should be adept at backing up your data. Your partner has to back up all computers, mobile devices, emails, file servers, critical business applications, and cloud files in case of human error, cyber-attacks, or hardware failures. A top MSP will ensure that backup systems are in place and monitored 24/7 to avoid failure or errors.
Data loss or failure mostly happens when unintended data deletion or corruption occurs. For example, an employee can accidentally introduce a virus that corrupts the data, or a fire might physically damage IT infrastructure. Such events can derail your business’s ability to be financially sustainable in the long run.
If your service provider fails to provide adequate data safety and security measures through firewall installation, vulnerability and compliance management, security intelligence, antivirus installation, cloud-based data backup, backup diversification, or data encryption, it might be time to move on.
4. Follow-Through and Communication Problems
It is frustrating to raise technical or procedural issues with your managed IT service provider and receive inadequate responses. Poor communications or unexceptional follow-through procedures are critical causes for concern for your company since they can increase stress levels and demotivate your employees.
An MSP should take your problems seriously, no matter the magnitude. MSPs should understand how your business operates to ensure your productivity remains at optimum. If your managed IT service provider is not doing the following, then you should change partners:
- Acknowledge issues on time.
- Meet timelines and deadlines. Effective communication should be made in case these cannot be met.
- Set clear goals and meet them.
- Regularly update your company regarding procedures being undertaken.
- Share in your achievements.
5. Lack of Accountability
Mistakes are inevitable in business. However, accountability is essential.
Responsible managed IT service providers know that resources are scarce and that unproductive behavior cannot be tolerated. On the one hand, clients invest heavily in infrastructure and up-to-date systems. On the other, the IT partner employs best business practices. This relationship means that responsibilities should be shared to create a progressive working environment.
Hence, an MSP should be honest and transparent enough to assume responsibility when something goes wrong on their side. Incidents should never be easily written off. After all, even the most minor mishaps can translate into countless losses for your business.
6. Resource Constraints and Pricing Growth
Lastly, it would help if you moved on from your current MSP if they are always complaining about limited resources or constantly altering the cost structure. For instance, your current MSP can be too expensive or charge for everything. So, how can you identify if your MSP charges too much?
It is vital to identify whether you are being charged too much. More often than not, excess charges are a sign of resource problems. You can use two main techniques to know whether you are getting a raw deal. The first is identifying whether the MSP can meet your needs once your business starts scaling. As a company grows, better IT solutions become necessary due to the increased activity scale.
The Benefits of Working With a Reliable Managed IT Service Provider
Now that we have covered possible scenarios that would make you change your IT partner, let us consider the long-term ROI of working with a managed IT service provider who understands what is needed of them.
The first and most important benefit is cost savings for your business. With a reliable MSP on your side, you do not have to hire and onboard employees in your IT department. An MSP comes with a professional team that performs tasks cost-effectively.
When you contract services to an external IT service provider, you can change the costs you would have used for IT staff into variable costs. Therefore, your business escapes the need to hire a bloated IT team, leaving you to invest in other areas.
Increased efficiency for your business can occur because your company becomes competitive. Managing your own IT operations increases the cost structure, which can translate to inadequate service delivery. However, a reliable MSP improves overall efficiency and productivity for your organization.
MSPs also minimize the overall IT risk for your organization. In an era when competition, regulatory requirements, technology, markets, and economic conditions can change anytime, outsourcing IT needs to qualified personnel can make your business more competitive.
Reliable MSPs must be qualified to identify risks such as hardware and software failure, natural disasters, human error, viruses, malicious attacks, and spam. Proper risk assessment and reporting ensure that you have enough capacity to recover.
Comprehensive Systems Monitoring
Overseeing internal progress, performance, and customer outreach can be time-consuming, especially without the necessary IT infrastructure and proficiency. However, an MSP can improve service delivery and quality control since such companies come with highly qualified IT personnel.
Improved Customer Support
You also get to combine multiple communication networks, giving clients more options for reaching you. Improved customer support benefits organizations with small employee numbers in their customer support departments. When you don’t have enough people to reply to emails or pick calls, for example, it might be time to contact a managed IT service provider.
Other benefits of working with a dependable managed IT service provider are enhanced resilience and security, access to professional and experienced teams, and the ability to focus on your business’s strong areas.
With Frontline, you will work with a top Managed IT Services and IT Support company in the Los Angeles area. We have worked with dozens of companies by managing and monitoring their IT infrastructure and providing rapid response IT from our help desk team. We are a locally based company with over ten years experience, with all the technicians and helpdesk team members based in Los Angeles and NYC.”
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Choose the Right Fit for a Managed IT Service Provider?
When choosing a managed IT service provider, it is best if you are on the lookout for professionalism, a verifiable track record, the ability to provide round-the-clock services, cost-effectiveness, specialized providers, consistency, reliability, accountability, and openness.
What Does Frontline Offer With Its Managed IT Services?
When you select Frontline‘s managed IT services, you can access a wide range of specialists in many IT specialties. Depending on your demands, you can choose a team to collaborate with, from hardware experts to software engineers.
Why Does a Business Need Managed IT Services?
Managed IT service providers are tasked with offering IT support to solve specific problems that may occur on a day-to-day basis. As a result, there are many benefits associated with these companies: cost reduction, enhanced efficiency, risk minimization, comprehensive systems monitoring, better customer support, greater resilience and security, access to professional and experienced teams, and the ability to focus on your business’s strong areas.