8 REASONS IT’S TIME TO CHANGE YOUR I.T. PROVIDERNeuron Computers2019-11-21T11:14:40-08:00
8 Reasons it’s Time to Change Your I.T. Provider
Information Technology is often considered a necessary evil both small and midsize businesses should have but find inconvenient. These days, getting adequate support for IT has become far more important than it used to be. Hiring the right managed service provider is the best way to get professional IT support for businesses. After all, it’s efficiently handled by a team of dedicated IT experts rather than a single worker who can quit, fall sick, take vacations, or lack necessary skill sets for a wide range of issues.
1. Recurring Issues
Managed Service Providers (MSPs) use comprehensive monitoring systems in conjunction with a sophisticated incident database to detect and resolve (most) problems before they disrupt your business. If an issue does occur, a good MSP should have the documentation and systems in place to prevent it from happening again, or at the bare minimum, an efficient process for resolving the issue the next time it occurs.
2. Slow Response Times
Has your MSP grown so large that you feel like a number? Have you noticed longer and longer waiting periods between the time you submit an issue and the time you hear back? Are you finding that you are the one notifying your MSP of high-priority issues such as an internet outage or a server crash? Do you find yourself needing to check-in on the status of issues because you haven’t heard from your MSP in days or weeks?
There are a number of reasons this could be happening. Perhaps they haven’t invested in the right technology in order to properly monitor and track your systems, or they may be short-staffed. Regardless, Your MSP should be communicating with you as much as possible. If you email in a support request, you should receive a confirmation that it was received, as well as a response within an hour or two (depending on the issue) from a technician. If they are unable to resolve it right away, they should give you some indication on when you can expect a resolution. As the MSP has grown, they should have remembered the clients that brought them there.
3. Constant Up-Selling
If your MSP constantly trying to sell you new services or products that they (conveniently) offer, without putting much thought into what your firm actually needs, it may be time to switch. Any recommendations should justify the costs through increase efficiency, protection, security, or long-term savings
A good MSP consults with clients on how technology can make their organization more efficient or how technology can deliver innovative solutions and service to their clients. Be wary of companies selling services that are unnecessary. Any recommendations should justify the costs through increase efficiency, security, or long-term savings. They should also be able to support their recommendations through data and reporting. For example, if your MSP recommends a new backup server, they should be able to prove that your current server is insufficient by providing analytics that show failed jobs or rate of storage consumption. If they’re unable to justify the purchase, they may not have your best interests in mind.
Keep in mind, consulting and recommending additional products or services is not necessarily a bad thing. Many businesses don’t realize how much a simple firewall or vulnerability scan can do to prevent a major catastrophe. By keeping services within the same provider, you benefit from increased efficiency in the delivery of those services since they are already familiar with the intricacies and history of your business.
4. Prepaying for Product and Services
Does your current MSP ask for 100 percent of a project upfront for products, software and labor? Do they charge for onboarding? They either need cash flow or they want to reduce their risk. Would you pay half-a-years’ salary for an employee before they started to work? Do they not trust that you will pay the invoice? That is not a great way to enter into a project or service agreement. Trust is a 2-way street. Build upon that.
5. Lack of Transparency
Your MSP should be completely transparent in terms of how much time you’re accruing and what your open issues are at any given point in time. The sophistication of ticketing systems these days makes it easy to track the status of every issue going on at your firm. If your MSP isn’t being completely transparent with the services they’re providing, or if you find that they are not explaining lengthy time charges in enough detail – then move on, you deserve better.
If the hardware invoices you are quoted do not properly describe exactly what you are going to receive, this is a clear lack of transparency. If the computers or servers being quoted have very little description – that is a significant grey area as you do not fully know everything that is inside the equipment. And be wary of simple quote descriptions like HP DL380 Server or Lenovo Laptop with no further description.
6. Blaming & Finger-Pointing
One of the main benefits of working with a MSP is knowing that all of your IT resources are being monitored and managed by a single company. Grant it, you’ll still need an Internet Service provider and a support plan for some types of software with whom you’ll work with from time-to-time. But if you find that your MSP is constantly blaming other providers for issues, it may be time to go shopping. A good MSP will have a pulse on the other IT services connected to your account, and they should be there lending a helping hand, even if it’s not their fault or in their direct line of support. Say, for example, your business doesn’t have the appropriate internet bandwidth, your MSP should alert you of this BEFORE something goes wrong. They should be an advocate on your behalf, not just another provider you need to “deal with.”
7. Lack of Flexibility
Chances are if you use a Managed Service Provider, you’re not a huge multinational corporation. Smaller businesses need service providers that are more flexible and able to adapt to their changing needs. If your MSP is unable to work with you in terms of services provided, pricing, or contract terms, you may need to look elsewhere.
8. Locked In?
Why do Managed Service Providers lock you in for 3 years and then force you to pay 90 days (3 months) worth of the contract to get out even though they are the ones providing horrible IT Support? Nobody likes long support service contracts or the feeling of being tied down into a contract they want to get out of. Its insult-to-injury when the MSP says: “Sorry you do not like our service, here is a bill for 3 months!” That is just not fair.
Yes, change is hard… but ignoring reality can be costly!
If you have identified yourself in some of the above situations, always engage your MSP with a healthy conversation and explain your concerns. If your partner is capable of delivering the requested improvements in a timely manner (30-45 days top), great! You saved yourself a lot of time and pain.
If not, it most likely will mean that the changes in processes required to fulfill your legitimate demands are too complicated for your MSP to adapt to and you are better off evaluating your next partner!