8 Challenges With Using Managed IT Services
Many days come with challenges for business owners. You drive to work thinking that the biggest problem today will be whether your old coffee maker will finally fizzle out. Then you get to work and find your IT staff frustrated over a server problem they can’t resolve. Next, you learn that two employees quit over the weekend and now you’re short-staffed. Will the day get worse? Yes, when you go to sit down in your office, you notice a water stain on the ceiling. Somewhere a pipe has burst and there’s a water leak. Somebody call a plumber!
These are just a few of the real-life issues that most business owners put up with. They worry that the competition has better computers and servers. Their network is faster than yours. They can get orders out quicker than you. How can you ever come up to their level of service?
For many, the answer is managed IT services. At least with this, you can make sure that your technology is just as good as the competition. You can free up time for your in-house IT team to work on special projects. Finding the right managed service provider is another story. What if your business philosophy doesn’t align with theirs? What if you sign a contract then find out that they really don’t work very hard to help you with your technology issues?
Below, we go over 8 challenges that business owners have with managed IT services and offer a few suggestions for how to deal with them.
Challenge #1: Contract snags can be stressful. Your Service Level Agreement outlines all the services you will receive from your managed service provider. Make sure you understand everything before signing. Ask whether there are acceptable reasons to end the contract early.
Challenge #2: The Knowledge Gap can cause problems in almost any job or industry. You may have a good group of in-house IT people you rely on. However, a managed service provider employs engineers and technicians with a much wider range of training and experience. This can cause some professional jealousy.
Challenge #3: Managed services should be provided at an affordable monthly fee. Ask if there are upfront costs, such as network assessment charges or infrastructure purchases. Always ask about hidden charges right up front.
Challenge #4: Fully outsourcing all your IT needs may be a great idea, but will the cost fit into your budget? Sometimes it’s better to ease into managed services until you’re comfortable with the monthly costs. You can always add services later.
Challenge #5: There are lots of good choices these days when it comes to managed IT providers. Deciding on the right IT partner that will best benefit your organization can be stressful. Make sure they have good feedback and user reviews.
Challenge #6: Some companies know they need help with their IT needs, while others still believe their in-house staff can handle everything. If you’re indecisive and not quite ready to make the move, do more research. Take the time you need to make sure you’re doing the right thing for your business.
Challenge #7: Sometimes when businesses try to hire outside IT help, they get pushback from their in-house IT staff. No one wants to think that their job is in jeopardy. Make it clear that managed IT services are just there to enhance the ability of the in-house staff. They’re not going to replace your in-house people.
Challenge #8: Support is a big deal for most companies. If you run several shifts, you might need the IT help desk at midnight. Does the service provider charge extra for nights and weekends?
Why Should You Switch?
If you really want to grow, technology is important. But so is cyber security. Hackers work 24 hours a day trying to steal data from businesses like yours. A great managed service provider should be able to set up and configure a layered security plan that will keep hackers out of your systems. Learn what types of security protocols the managed provider will recommend. Do they offer security training for your employees? Your employees need regular training to stay on top of the latest phishing scams.
Anything Else to Consider?
There’s a lot more to managed IT services than meets the eye. For instance, compliance and regulatory requirements are very important to some organizations. Will your MSP be able to help your business achieve and maintain compliance?
Technology is evolving each day and it can help you achieve all your business goals—if you know how to take advantage of its power.
Optimizing your technology doesn’t happen by accident and it shouldn’t challenge you. But it does require time, knowledge, and a proven strategy tailored to your needs to create a genuinely efficient IT environment. And a great managed IT provider can help you do that.