A managed service provider (MSP) can be incredibly helpful for a company of any size. There’s a good reason why an increasing number of business owners are adding an MSP to their IT team. Their strategic advice can help businesses save up to 65% on IT costs. Yet, like any business partner, you need to watch out for common managed services challenges.
A challenging partner can do more harm than good. Confusing messaging, little transparency, and surprise hidden costs can put a damper on your perception of MSPs. The good news is that many common challenges are easy to avoid when you know what to look out for.
We want you to have a positive experience with your MSP partner. So, we’ve put together this list of 6 managed service provider challenges that business owners commonly face. We’ll discuss what the problems are and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Lack of Expertise
The managed services market was valued at $267.3 billion in 2022. This means you have a lot of options, but it also means that vendors will vary in expertise. Lack of internal resources is one of the top reasons why business owners outsource – so choosing a partner without the expertise to fill the gap defeats the purpose.
Before you start shopping, consider what you want your potential partner to do. Do you need cloud-based services? Cybersecurity? Help with IT support? MSPs can perform any of these functions, but not all are equally equipped.
Once you’ve narrowed it down, seek providers that emphasize their expertise with your needs.
2. Surprising Added Costs
Budget is always part of the conversation when it comes to outsourcing, especially for small-to-medium-sized businesses. MSPs can help you save costs with predictable recurring fees. However, some may surprise you with additional unexpected costs.
Avoid these surprise charges by thoroughly evaluating contract terms. Be wary of MSPs who hide their pricing models. Cost can vary based on your needs, but potential partners should be open about how they charge. If they don’t list it online, make sure you ask early in discovery.
3. Lack of Internal Security Measures
Many MSPs offer managed security. This is a great added benefit, but you should be just as concerned about how they manage security internally.
Hackers know that MSPs hold data from a lot of clients, making them a big target. In fact, IT companies are the second highest targeted industry after healthcare.
To keep your data safe, ask your MSP about how they prevent security issues internally as much as they will for you. You need assurance that you can trust your partner with your information.
4. Poor Communication
Most managed service providers (MSPs) offer their services through remote work. That means that regular communication is vital. You don’t see them in the office every day, so you need regular check-ins to make sure everything is in line.
Good MSPs provide a regular meeting schedule. They’re proactive in their communication and transparent about their activity. Many will also offer recurring satisfaction reviews to ensure their service continues to meet your standards.
Ask your potential partner how they keep up with clients. If they can’t provide a clear answer, that’s a bad sign.
5. No Long-Term Strategies
Unlike professional services, MSPs offer ongoing support. Their focus should be on how they can help over time instead of on one single project. Getting extra assistance for specific projects can be helpful, but an MSP should do more than that.
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Discuss long-term strategies in discovery. It may not be your first priority after launch, but it is a good way to vet whether your candidates are planning for the long haul. You can also consult their case studies, success stories, etc. as references on how they’ve helped others.
A common sales and marketing tactic used by MSPs is that they take over your tech. This can help you save time, but too much reliance can cause problems if you ever part ways with your MSP.
It’s better for you to understand their service offerings so you can either train staff in-house or have an educated conversation with future candidates.
Prevent overdependence by choosing a partner that prioritizes your education. Of course, too much jargon won’t help either. Seek an MSP that explains what they do and how they do it in plain English. This will empower you and your team to enhance your capabilities down the line.
Mitigate IT Managed Service Provider Challenges by Choosing the Right Partner the First Time
Knowing the MSP red flags is a good first step in helping you find the right partner on your first try. However, you also need to know where to look for the best vendors on the MSP market. There are plenty of online and offline resources to help.
Since you’re already here, why not start by looking into Attentus Technologies?
Our goal is to provide tailored services that make IT simple. We have nothing to hide and will always be open about the “why” of everything we do. We also offer a breadth of services like cloud consulting, remote monitoring, and a managed helpdesk.
Plus, our engineering and IT procurement services come at no additional cost. So, we won’t add surprise charges for extra services.
Book a free consultation to see if Attentus is the right fit.