It's not you, it's me.... but really it's you. Breaking up is never easy, but breaking up with your current IT provider should be.
In any situation, if any relationship no longer benefits you, it's time to rip that band-aid off. And trust me, you'll feel better for it.
In this video, we'll be going over why it might be time to break up with your current IT provider.
Importance of a Secure IT Service Provider Relationship
A managed service provider (MSP) relationship should feel like an extension of your business, supporting its growth, and making sure its secure. Unfortunately, some businesses end up stuck in long-term contracts with a managed service provider that they aren't happy with.
In some cases, an MSP will try and lock-in a 2-5-year contract with a customer in order to establish a steady flow of recurring revenue. These agreements are very common and not always a cause for concern.
Most MSPs pride themselves on consistently providing excellent service and support. However, some businesses learn they chose the wrong MSP after they sign that dotted line.
Long-term agreements can make you feel trapped, and some MSPs, with more questionable practices, might threaten you with legal action if you try to terminate. But we'll save tackling legal loopholes in another video.
For now, let's go over how to know when it's time to break up with your MSP.
When Should You Part Ways With Your Managed Service Provider?
Effective MSPs are flexible and designed to scale with their clients.
If you're in a partnership that doesn't work for your current business model, it's time to switch.
Here's some other indications that it's time to end your relationship with your current managed service provider: ---
Bottom line, if the service your MSP provides is no longer satisfactory to your business, it's time to change.
You have your MSP's Service Level Agreement to look back on. It is a bad sign if the help you're receiving no longer complies by the established agreement.
Even worse of a sign if your business experiences a major outage that your MSP was unaware of or should have prevented.
The Service Level Agreement or SLA should be very clear about the expected uptime as well as the ramifications of any contract violations.
Reread your contract to understand deliverables if you believe there has been a breach in service. This might sound like an obvious sign, but it is often overlooked.
You shouldn't wait until serious harm is done to your business before you think to switch.
Here are a few "less obvious" signs:
Lack of Communication
Communication is key. This is true for any relationship, business or personal.
A quality MSP will establish numerous channels for communication and show that your needs are always a priority.
- It can be reaching out to the Help Desk to create a ticket,
- your Account Manager wants to talk about increasing or decreasing your footprint,
- or your Client Manager wants to learn more about alternative ways of streamlining business processes.
It's important that they are all accessible.
Regular meetings with your MSP should be in your calendar so you can go over service delivery and reporting. The best MSPs will even set up a system that allows you to provide feedback.
You should feel good about your experience and happy with your services.
Inadequate Cybersecurity and Backup Plans
In the current business landscape, data backup and system security are primary concerns for all companies.
An MSP with a true desire to see your business flourish will have a strategy in place for protecting your data and making sure backups are in place.
Security breaches are getting more common as attackers become more sophisticated. In fact, 67% of SMBs reported having a cyberattack.
Think of it this way. Best-case scenario for a breach, it's expensive to fix. Worst-case, the breach forces you out of business.
Top managed service providers even offer end-user training on cybersecurity to help your staff identify potential risks, because they understand how important a thorough security plan is to a successful organization.
The complexity of security threats is increasing, and your MSP should take the lead in defending your business.
It's time to look for a different MSP if they haven't explained their internal security plan and security practices.
Lastly, to put it simply,
You've Outgrown Them
It happens, your MSP might not always be prepared to grow with your business. If your company is growing and changing and your MSP lacks the capacity to manage the change, your company will ultimately be the one to suffer.
Some IT providers deliver excellent service to businesses at a particular size range or industry.
Unfortunately, they might not be able to scale up or give the level of expertise that a growing business needs.
The greatest MSPs help you make decisions that support and further this growth while also scaling with it and acting as an extension of your business.
Understanding the Warning Signs is your First Step.
When your company experiences a major outage or breach, it can be easier to move on. But if you pay attention, you can often spot the warning signs before the major damage occurs.
Additionally, opening a direct line of communication with your MSP may reveal the real reasons you question the quality of your service.
Many times, ineffective communication between management and other staff is the reason some owners are unaware whether the contract is being met.
Ask your staff or system admins for an accurate picture of the problem, even though it is the MSP's responsibility to include the owners and decision makers in on those talks.
Lastly, I want to remind you to carefully research and vet your next managed service provider before you cancel your current contract.
If you're not careful, moving vendors can be time-consuming and disrupt your operations, which could end up costing you more than the remaining balance of the contract.
Breaking up with you current IT provider shouldn't be scary. If it's time, it's time. Onwards and Upwards.
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