Choosing a managed IT services provider is a big decision. After all, this company will be responsible for keeping your business’s network up and running. You must be sure that you choose a reputable and reliable provider who can meet your needs.
Unfortunately, many businesses make some common mistakes when choosing a managed IT services provider. By being aware of these mistakes, you can avoid them and ensure that you select the best possible provider for your business.
Without further adieu, here are the five biggest mistakes to avoid when choosing a managed IT services provider:
1. Not Doing Your Research
The first and perhaps most crucial mistake is failing to do your research.
When looking for a managed IT services provider, you need to take the time to read reviews and learn more about each company you’re considering.
Ask Other Businesses
You should also ask for referrals from other businesses in your industry. Chances are, they’ve worked with a managed IT services provider before and can give you some insight into their experiences.
Ask the Right Questions
When you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few potential providers, it’s time to start asking questions. However, many businesses make the mistake of not asking the right questions.
Ask about pricing, service levels, and the company’s experience. You should also inquire about their disaster recovery plans and determine what would happen if their systems went down.
2. Choosing the Wrong Provider
Another mistake businesses make is choosing the wrong provider. Often, this is because they fail to vet their options properly or choose the cheapest provider without considering other factors.
When choosing a managed IT services provider, you need to be sure that you’re choosing a company that can meet your specific needs.
Your manages IT services provider should:
Be able to scale their services to meet your growing needs
As your business grows, your needs will change. Your managed IT services company should be able to scale its services to meet your business needs as they grow.
Offer a comprehensive suite of services.
Your managed IT services provider should offer a comprehensive suite of services, including data backup and recovery, disaster recovery, cloud computing, and more.
Be proactive about preventing problems.
The best managed IT service providers are proactive about preventing problems before they occur. They should have systems and processes in place to identify potential issues and address them before they cause any disruptions.
3. Not Having a Backup Plan
Although you may have the best managed IT services provider in the world, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. That’s why it’s so important to have a backup plan in place.
Their Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan
Be sure to ask your provider about their backup and disaster recovery plans. Find out what would happen if their systems went down and how long it would take for them to get your business back up and running.
Have Your Own Plan In Place
You should also have your own backup plan in place. Be sure to invest in a reliable backup solution and test it regularly to ensure it’s working correctly.
Your business needs to have a contingency plan in place in case your managed IT services provider cannot meet your needs or if their systems go down.
By having a backup plan, you can avoid costly downtime and ensure that your business can continue to run smoothly, even if there are problems with your IT systems.
4. Not having a strategy for hiring IT help.
Another common mistake that most business owners make is thinking that their MSP will be able to handle every little IT problem they have. This is not always the case, as some MSPs are only responsible for managing specific aspects of your company’s IT infrastructure.
It is crucial to develop a clear plan of what your MSP can and cannot do before signing any contracts. This will help you avoid any potential misunderstandings down the road.
Internal IT Help
Just because you have an MSP does not mean you should eliminate your internal IT staff. In fact, most MSPs will tell you that it is vital to have a dedicated in-house IT team. This team can provide quick and easy support for any technical issues that may arise.
Create “power users.”
One way to reduce your reliance on MSPs is to create “power users” within your company. These employees are not afraid to get their hands dirty with a little bit of IT work. They can be trained to handle simple tasks, such as setting up new user accounts or troubleshooting printer problems.
By having a few power users on staff, you can take care of many of the minor IT issues that come up without having to rely on your MSP.
Use the help desk
Another way to reduce your reliance on MSPs is to use the help desk feature included with most managed services contracts. This service allows you to submit tickets to your MSP whenever you have a problem.
The help desk can be an excellent resource for simple problems that do not require the attention of a technician. The help desk can escalate the ticket to the appropriate level for more complex issues.
One of the best ways to avoid problems is to be proactive about your IT infrastructure. This means keeping an eye on things and fixing problems before they become significant issues. But the only way that you can do that is by having your own internal IT staff.
Your internal IT team can monitor your systems and identify potential problems before they cause any disruptions to your company’s day-to-day operations. They can also keep an eye on trends and adjust your infrastructure accordingly.
Not Reading the Fine Print
Paperwork, it’s what no one ever really wants to deal with. But when it comes to your business, it’s essential to take the time to read through any contracts or agreements before you sign them.
Here are some common mistakes people make when it comes to their MSP documents:
Not Understanding Your SLA
When you sign an agreement with an MSP, you will be asked to sign a service-level agreement (SLA).
This document outlines the expectations of both parties and what will happen if those expectations are not met. You must take the time to understand your SLA before signing it.
Be sure to ask questions about anything that you do not understand.
What Happens if the Service Level Agreement is Not Met
If the MSP does not meet the expectations outlined in the SLA, they may be required to provide compensation to the client. The amount of payment will be specified in the SLA.
It’s important to note that not all SLAs are created equal. Some MSPs will have stringent SLAs that require them to meet specific standards or face hefty penalties.
Others will have more relaxed SLAs with no financial penalties associated with them.
Make sure you understand the terms of your SLA before signing it. This will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
Your Disclosure Agreement
The disclosure agreement is another important document you will sign when working with an MSP.
This agreement outlines what information you will share with the MSP and what they can do with that information. It is important to read and understand this agreement before signing it.
You should only share information that you are comfortable sharing with the MSP. Be sure to ask questions about anything that you do not understand.
Not Reviewing Your Contract Regularly
Once you have signed a contract with an MSP, it is easy to forget about it and leave it untouched for years. But it is vital to review your agreement regularly.
As your business grows and changes, your IT needs will also change. You may need to add or remove services from your contract.
You should also review your contract if you are not happy with your service. This will give you a chance to renegotiate the terms of your agreement.
Not Asking for What You Need
When you start working with an MSP, it is vital to be clear about what you need from them.
Some business owners make the mistake of assuming that their MSP will automatically know what they need and provide it without being asked. But this is not always the case.
You should sit down with your MSP and explain precisely what you need from them. Be sure to ask questions if there is anything you do not understand.
Not Keeping Up With Technology
Technology is constantly changing, and it can be hard to keep up with new advancements. But if you want to make the most of your MSP, you need to stay up-to-date on new technology.
Your MSP will likely offer training on new products and services as they become available. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities to stay ahead of the curve.
Now that we’ve gotten all the legal stuff out of the way let’s look at some of the other mistakes people make when working with MSPs.
6. Not Knowing What You’re Paying For
One of the biggest complaints business owners have about MSPs is that they do not know what they are paying for. This is usually because the MSP has a highly complex pricing structure.
Before signing up for any managed services, ask the MSP to explain their pricing in detail.
Ensure you understand what you are paying for and what services are included in your contract.
7. Failing to Communicate With Your MSP
As with any business relationship, communication is vital.
If you have any concerns about your IT infrastructure, be sure to reach out to your MSP. They will be more than happy to help you troubleshoot the problem or make any necessary changes.
But if you fail to communicate with your MSP, they will not be able to help you as effectively. MSPs are not mind readers, so you must keep them in the loop about any changes or problems within your company.
By following these tips, you can avoid many common mistakes businesses make when working with MSPs. By doing so, you can create a beneficial partnership for both parties.
Do you have any other tips to add? Feel free to share them in the comments below.
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