In recent years, cloud computing technologies have revolutionized the modern workplace. But with innovation comes no small amount of confusion, and many SMBs have difficulty setting up and maintaining a suitable IT environment. Maintaining in-house systems can be expensive and complicated, particularly when you need a dedicated team to maintain them.
Fortunately, managed services providers (MSPs) allow you to outsource your IT needs, which allows smaller businesses with limited budgets to take advantage of cutting-edge technology similar to those used by Fortune 500 companies. The managed IT services industry has exploded in popularity in recent years, but not all providers are created equal. Here are some red flags to look out for when evaluating your options:
#1. Their Systems Are Not Tailored to Your Needs
When you’re looking for an MSP, you shouldn’t be looking only for a vendor. You should also be looking for a business partner. An MSP should be prepared to get to know your business and its unique needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach that applies across all industries and businesses, and providers need to be able to understand your business and the challenges it faces.
Office IT is inherently complicated, and employees need systems they feel comfortable working with. After all, many companies encounter plenty of issues when it comes to moving to new systems. A great MSP is one that understands such migration pains and can help make your transition to the cloud much smoother.
#2. Their Pricing Model Includes Hidden Costs
One of the most attractive opportunities of migrating to the cloud includes greatly reduced costs over maintaining in-house IT systems. By outsourcing your IT, you’ll be able to keep control over your budget, since all you should have to pay is a monthly subscription fee for the service package you choose. This fee should include all upgrades, maintenance, and any customer support necessary.
Some MSPs include hidden costs that are easy to overlook. You need to make sure that your vendor has a pricing model that aligns with your business’s requirements. There shouldn't be any unforeseen fees for maintenance, extra bandwidth or cancellations. Fortunately, most MSPs simply charge fixed monthly fees and do not demand a long-term commitment. After all, an MSP is supposed to save you money.
#3. Their Technology Is Dated or Unsupported
Aside from helping get your business’s IT budget under control, migrating to the cloud is also supposed to give you access to the latest technology. MSPs should be responsible for all hardware and software upgrades and maintenance, since they’ll be taking care of your computing workloads. However, if they’re using dated or unreliable technology, it will be your business being held back.
An MSP should be able to demonstrate strategic technology partnerships and expertise on the biggest platforms in the industry, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. They should also be able to show that they’re active and informed in their industries by hosting and attending important events, such as trade shows and conferences.
#4. Their Response Times Are Poor
Your employees might not be working round the clock to keep your business running, but your IT systems certainly need to be functioning 24/7. After all, even just an hour of downtime can cost a lot, particularly given how today’s consumers are used to getting what they want quicker than ever before. Any MSP should offer an extremely high uptime and prompt customer support.
MSPs should also provide a service level agreement (SLA) that aligns with your business’s goals. The SLA should provide a detailed list of services provided and the minimum standards to which these services will be delivered. SLAs should set solid expectations, including maximum response times. Their services should never be slow in your business’s time of need.
Spectrumwise is more than just a cloud vendor. We believe in building long-term relationships with our clients by offering a reliable and affordable service with proactive care and prompt support. Call us today for the best IT support in town.