Given their reliance on modern technology, today’s small businesses put a great deal of trust in their IT service providers to manage a variety of critical operations. If you’re suffering regular service outages or other issues, it’s time to reevaluate your options before the failing partnership leads to a devastating loss. If your current managed services provider (MSP) exhibits any of the following signs, you’ll need to start looking for alternatives fast:
#1. Unrecoverable data after an incident
Successful and consistent backup and restore processes are critical for business continuity, so in case of a disaster, your MSP should be able to recover your data without fail. If they are unable to deliver, you’ll have to consider whether you want to keep doing business with them. Unless the incident occurred due to mismanagement of access rights or processes on your end, this is one situation where you can’t afford to be giving second chances. Moreover, data loss may result in incompliance failure, for which your business can be penalized.
#2. Lack of strategic guidance
A partnership with an MSP is supposed to be exactly that — a partnership. They’re not vendors in the traditional sense, so if every interaction with your provider sounds like a sales call, then they probably don’t have your best interests at heart. Instead of trying to sell off-the-shelf solutions, a dependable service provider should offer strategic guidance tailored to the specific needs of your business. Excessive cross-selling or upselling is a telltale sign of an opportunistic MSP who has no interest in long-term thinking.
#3. Unplanned service outages
Your service level agreements (SLAs) should clearly specify the minimum level of availability for the services you use, as well as the maximum response times for any support requests. If your MSP can’t stick to these commitments, or regularly comes very close to breaking their contractual promises, then it’s best to get out before things can get worse, particularly if you notice it becoming a common trend.
#4. Overreliance on break/fix support contracts
The break/fix support model, whereby customers pay a fee whenever repairs and upgrades are required, is rapidly falling out of favor as proactive support contracts provide better resolution times and lower costs. Common issues are also resolved before they’re even noticeable. Break/fix support is still unavoidable in some cases, but if your current provider relies on it too much, it’s only a matter of time before the invoices will start piling up and productivity takes a hit due to unscheduled downtime.
#5. Inability to scale with new demands
Sometimes, businesses just outgrow their MSPs. They might have gotten used to enjoying years of excellent customer service and strategic guidance, but if MSPs can’t scale with growing demand, then it’s probably time to let them go. MSPs often tailor their services to the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses. Once those businesses reach a certain size, they might decide it makes more sense to have their own IT department or work directly with a major IT company like Amazon or Google. Reliable MSPs understand this, and they should even be prepared to help you make the transition.
Midwest Data Center provides scalable managed services that meet the needs of today’s businesses. Call us today to schedule your first consultation.