Getting the Most Out of Managed Service Providers

Getting the Most Out of Managed Service Providers

When a relationship with a managed service provider (MSP) is going well, all parties benefit. The provider is doing its job, and the business is saving time and money. IT issues are resolved quickly, and safeguards are installed to prevent them from happening in the first place. It’s a win/win situation.

Unfortunately, even good relationships can change over time. Businesses evolve, and a good MSP needs to change with it, both handling current needs and anticipating future ones. But when that doesn’t happen, it’s important to reconsider the relationship and find a managed service provider that works for you.

MSP Warning Signs

Here are a few common indications that your MSP isn’t a good fit for the current state of your business.

* Not saving you time and money. A contract with your MSP is more than an exchange of money for services. It provides peace of mind, knowing that your network is in good hands with a capable support team and a plan in place to minimize (or eliminate) downtime.

Even if the level of service is good in the beginning, things might change as the relationship continues. Response times that used to be immediate might be measured in hours or even days. Downtime becomes more frequent, turnover at the MSP might mean you’re dealing with different contacts who don’t know your business, and the current plan doesn’t feel tailored to your company as it exists today. If you don’t seem to be a priority anymore, you’ll end up spending valuable time dealing with issues that should have been resolved quickly.

And if it costs the business time, it also costs money. It might not show up on the bottom line at first, but when you aren’t getting the service you expect from your MSP, you’re spending unnecessary energy and resources on problems that impede your ability to do business. And when the cost of the provider becomes impossible to justify, it will become obvious on the balance sheet as well.

* Not being proactive. Fixing problems is one thing; preventing them from occurring in another. If your managed service provider is simply dealing with crises as they happen, it’s doing your company a disservice.

Your MSP is supposed to do more than simply put out IT fires. Even actual firefighters do a lot more than throw water on a fire. They spend time educating the public about preventing fires and how to protect yourself in case a fire occurs. Is your managed service provider doing that for you? Are they looking for ways to prevent system failures and educating you on best practices to protect hardware and data in case you encounter a problem? Are they evaluating their own procedures to keep everything running smoothly, and adjusting to how your business grows? Or are they just waiting for the next fire to occur?

* Not using current tools and technology. At the beginning of the business relationship, your managed service provider might be using the best technology that takes advantage of your resources. And that plan works as long as nothing changes. But over time, companies evolve, needs grow and business demands might require different programs, IT requirements or cloud resources. As workflow changes, the managed service provider should change with it.

But if the MSP is using the same old approach to handle your current needs, you’re not getting the most out of your IT investments. Your MSP should analyze how you use your network and be on the lookout for ways to maximize efficiency. They should take inventory of your assets and capabilities and adjust their management strategy to accommodate any changes. And they should never try to shoehorn old technologies and methods into modern ways of doing business. What worked just a few years ago might be supplanted by something better and faster, and if your MSP isn’t alerting you to new opportunities with regard to software, security, and the cloud, they’re simply not doing their job.

The Right Managed Service Provider Relationship

A good managed service provider realizes that communication is a two-way street. They don’t simply wait for problems to occur, and they don’t make guesses as to what you might need. The right MSP asks detailed questions as to where you are now and where you see the business headed in the future so their plan can accommodate changes as you make them. They work to limit downtime, improve methods of communication and collaboration, and educate your employees on best practices both when the network is running perfectly and when they encounter issues.

And they don’t rest on their laurels or take relationships for granted. If a certain approach is working today, that success doesn’t mean it will work a couple of years from now. Threats change and needs change. Your MSP should be ready to grow with you, adjust to a changing business environment and be ready to respond when you really need them. A strong relationship takes work, and your managed service provider needs to be as committed to hard work as you are.

Managed IT Services

Solutions to Your Problems

Where can you find a provider that understands these needs and can make a smooth transition to managing your IT assets? You already have: Imperium Data Services provides innovative solutions for businesses of any size and network complexity. And those solutions are tailored to your specific needs, both today and in the future, to ensure a productive long-term relationship. Use our contact page and find

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