Managed services providers (MSPs) that claim to be all things to all companies are a dime a dozen. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify a shady operator either. Nonetheless, it’s also common for businesses to outgrow their existing MSPs, even if they’ve been great until now. Given how organizations across every industry are becoming more reliant on technology, it’s never been more important to work with the right IT experts. If any of the following signs seem familiar, then it’s probably time to think about switching:
#1. Unrecoverable data after an incident
When they first started appearing in the early 2000s, managed services were off to something of a rocky start. Business leaders were highly skeptical about putting their data in someone else’s hands and, to this day, any case of data loss or theft at the hands of a third party usually spells the death of the contract. Dependable MSPs build their entire reputations on trust when it comes to data integrity and security, not least because their clients still hold a high degree of legal liability. Unless they have a rock-solid explanation, or the incident was your own doing, you should switch providers as soon as possible.
#2. Lack of strategic guidance
Working with an MSP is supposed to be an ongoing and mutually beneficial arrangement in which your technology partner becomes a critical driver of business growth. There’s a lot more on offer than just network monitoring and remote IT support. The most valuable partnerships are the ones where MSPs provide ongoing strategic guidance. This means your MSP should be familiar with your industry and have a keen understanding of the unique challenges of your company and the goals you want to achieve through the partnership.
#3. Unplanned service outages
One of the most common reasons to partner with an MSP is to outsource IT maintenance and management. Although strategic guidance is usually a key part of the investment, your MSP will ultimately be responsible for ensuring a minimum degree of availability of the services you outsource to them. These should be clearly stipulated in their service level agreement (SLA) in the first place. If your current MSP is either unable to stick to those obligations or regularly comes close to falling short of them, it’s definitely time to switch. Unplanned outages and downtime can quickly get expensive, so service availability must be a top priority.
#4. Inability to scale with demand
Technology can just as easily end up holding your business back. If your MSP is trying to get by using outdated hardware or overloading its data center with too many clients’ workloads, it will soon show through increased latency, lack of responsiveness, and decreased reliability.
If the services they provide don’t seem to perform as they once did, it may be that your current MSP is running out of capacity. This is likely if your business is growing fast, opening new branches and constantly expanding its employee count and customer base. If your MSP can’t keep up with your growth, you should change right away to avoid missing out on lucrative new opportunities.
#5. Too much upselling
Decent MSPs are more business partners than they are vendors. Their success depends on the ongoing success of their clients, which is why the relationship should revolve around an ongoing exchange of value. If every communication is starting to sound like a sales call, that’s a big red flag to be wary of.
While it is an MSP’s job to suggest products and services based on your unique requirements, they should always be prepared to sit down and talk with you to learn how their offer can align with your business needs. If cross-selling and upselling start to dominate every interaction, it’s time to look for a provider who will take your needs seriously.
ZENOPS is your strategic technology partner with a focus on workflow efficiency and network security. Call us today to talk about your business IT needs.