Your MSP is a part of your business despite being a separate business itself, whose deliverables are key to your revenue generation process. Any business must adapt to rapid changes in how organizations and individuals are working in this post-COVID aftermath that is already well established as the future normal.
From the new WFH normal to scalable outsourcing solutions – your managed IT services provider should be able to morph their services and deliverables to best reflect the prevalent business environment. If not, you need to look for more viable options to remain competitive.
Lack of Cloud Integration
Nearly 95% of SMEs have adapted to or are considering full-scale integration of Cloud-based organizational frameworks. This is an obvious transformation that can help optimally utilize internet and IT resources already available in the market.
Your managed IT services provider ought to play the fulcrum for migrating your business comprehensively to the Cloud. If you are concerned about their Cloud capabilities, you are already falling behind.
No IT Protection
According to Symantec, SMEs accounted for nearly 45% of cyber-attacks. There is no denying that the scalability offered internet-based services and tools like the Cloud have increased security and privacy risks. Data stored, managed, or processed via internet resources are vulnerable to unauthorized access but only if there are loopholes in the services provided.
The onus is on your service provider to deliver IT protection as an SLA guarantee. With the number of internet tools and SaaS/PaaS readily available today, this should not be a concern at all.
A basic prerequisite expected from any service provider is on-time communication. A 24/7 IT support provider may be easy to find on paper although the truth is that only a handful of IT MSPs provide or even have the necessary resources to deliver.
Modern businesses generate revenue 24/7/365 and demand IT support as well as monitoring. Any less and you may be missing out on margins and opportunities. Your MSP should provide quick, round-the-clock support and ensure accountability for it in the SLA.
Lack of Transparency
It is common for IT consulting services to come with an SLA for deliverables and determinants attached with each service pointer delivered as per contract. Transparency is when you know what you expect from the consulting services and they are offered accordingly.
Instead, if you face constant friction in your organizational framework mostly coming down to varied interpretations of the SLA, there’s an obvious lack of transparency in the business relationship. Adverse effects on your organizational framework are not the only negatives you should be worried about.
Hybrid Co-Managed Solutions
Small businesses outsource their IT requirements to partially avoid on-premise IT requirements while maintaining prospective scalability. But a CompTIA survey suggests that only 6% of SMEs depend solely on a managed IT services provider without any in-house IT presence.
To have a single resource available as the PoC or an in-house team to work in collaboration with the MSP can be more fruitful. Instead of relying on remote work scenarios, your in-house team/personnel can better mediate all IT requirements and requisites forwarded by the MSP at an organizational level.
Also termed as hybrid co-managed solutions, this model offers far more scalability and flexibility than a fully outsourced setup. 46% of businesses hailed outsourcing only because it allowed them to access better skillsets. This is even more vital in scenarios where the business already has an IT department and is looking to update its IT setup with an MSP.
To sum it up, if your MSP is inefficient at working in a hybrid co-managed setup, look elsewhere!
Below-par Compliance and Regulatory Expertise
Compliances and regulations are essential steppingstones for your business. Updating your organizational framework to keep pace with rapidly progressing IT compliances and regulatory requirements is often a legal prerequisite.
Your MSP should be completely on top of all such requirements and proactively create your IT framework to automatically meet the respective compliances in concern. The onus is on them although the risk is on you so make sure your MSP is up for the task.
Haphazard IT Strategy
IT and all related functions derived from it are always subject to updates and changes. You will be compelled to change your business’s IT framework every 6 months only to keep pace with set standards and revised benchmarks.
This makes your business IT strategy a big deal and your MSP is always going to be solely responsible for it. Pre-emptive solutions that solve current problems should be the motto to devise any IT strategy for an SME, and it all starts from your managed IT services provider.
High Employee Downtime
All business transactions are human interactions. The established work relationship between your MSP and your business is also built on human rapport. Whether it’s a co-managed setup or a full-scaled outsourced IT scenario, having the same individuals involved with a fruitful history of collaboration is the way to go.
A high employee downtime within your MSP is not welcome for your business. You can easily gauge this with new individuals constantly engaged in the process now and then.
IT management does involve a lot of ‘picking up from where it was left off’ as well as following a pre-emptive strategy. Every new individual involved in the process does bring something new to the table and this rarely will translate into deliverables as decided before. If your MSP keeps introducing new faces every few months, you should start thinking of a change.
Up-selling at its subtle best can be a powerful revenue generation tool. This does not stand true when you are looking for a stable and predictable SLA-based partnership with your MSP.
Despite 44% of SMEs open to increasing their IT budget in 2020, a specific budget dedicated for IT is a given for any business. Unpredictable and hidden charges are surely not welcome from your MSP. This can be labeled as up-selling – when you try to resolve the discrepancies and instead hit a brick wall. Consider this as a major sign that you need to change your MSP.
A Gulf in Business Culture
Business culture can be termed as the comprehensive thinking behind almost every decision made about the business. Your IT infrastructure is a vital part of the business operations and how it is managed should reflect the business model you strive to follow.
Transparency, communication, pre-emptive strategies, value-added decisions – your MSP is a part of your business only outsourced by you. The SLA should ideally form the basis of the relationship. Deliverables should be based on the SLA, not as a benchmark, but as a threshold. In case of scenarios requiring services beyond the agreement, expect amicable resolutions without requiring adjustments from both parties – just as you would for your client!
Any less, and you are not partnered with a suitable managed IT services provider for your business and should typically look for a change!