A lot of MSPs (managed service providers) begin as a break-fix support teams that have expanded their company into an IT management and hosting service. It is true that these MSPs can save you some money up front with lower service rates and some cheaper infrastructure components. But, short term gains usually lead to long term pains. What you need is a MSP that will offer you more than just a low price.
Infrastructure Service Provider
You need an infrastructure service provider who will look beyond technology itself. You need a trusted partner the will understand your business and how the people who support are important. When you put all of your operations into the hands of a MSP, you want to feel safe.
The MSP you currently have, do they really have enough business sense to be able to help you plan for any long term growth and stability? If these MSPs are only a break-fix team, then who will take care of IT management and hosting? For the typical MSPs, technology usually comes first and business strategy concerns come second.
So, ask yourself a few questions:
What is the intensification path for any system issues?
Your MSP needs to have enough knowledge to be able to improve and maintain today’s intricate application deliver and storage infrastructure. So, what will happen if their front line support team runs into any trouble? Chances are that if you end up with at least one major issue on your site or at the data center, your MSP will rapidly move to the OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) support team. Your really need a MSP that has internal expertise to be able to handle almost any problem.
Where is the ROI?
The MSP will operate on a limited and repetitive business model. They will install components, troubleshoot issues, monitor systems and replace things when needed. But, where is the ROI (return on investment)? Are they able to show you actual TCO (total cost of ownership) for your IT system?
Can the MSP give you the advice you may need to be able to plan for the future and to set your IT budget? Without an IT strategy, costs for any regular service visits and system support will add up quickly with little to no return. Do not let your IT become a recurring cost.
Where is the value-add Service?
Do you know what your MSP is doing to gain your business? There is a lot of experienced and low cost break-fixer turned into MSPs that can keep your IT running on an even keel. But, do they stand out from other MSPs? Can they offer any full redundancy/fault tolerance for your system?
Will they provide you with working options for any disaster recovery? How often and how comprehensive is their system reporting? Do they have any post-incident analysis that can spot any troublesome trends? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you need to shop around for a better MSP. You need an infrastructure service provider that will support and protect all of your business, not just your network components and servers.
To learn more about a Managed Service Provider, visit Managed Service Provider.
To read more about infrastructure and a managed service provider, visit Infrastructure and Cloud Computing.