An increasing number of companies struggle when they outsource their IT to a managed service provider (MSP).
The increasingly crowded MSP market has various companies whose business model prioritizes delivering amazing customer service offerings and support. However, there are also several MSPs that are smaller and struggle with capacity and staffing issues.
When you outsource your IT, too often the result can be subpar customer support or a lack of strategic technology direction from your provider. Unfortunately, changing IT service providers can be a lot of work, so many leaders simply procrastinate and kick the can down the road.
In this blog, we identify five different managed service providers challenges. If your company is experiencing any of these issues, it’s time for a tough conversation with your managed IT service provider. If you are suffering from several of these issues, it may be time to find someone new altogether.
5 Common Challenges For Managed Services Providers
1. Subpar Customer Service and Support
High quality customer service and support should be a table stake in an MSP relationship. Organizations choose to outsource IT because they are looking for outside experts to deliver high quality services and technical support.
However, one thing that is challenging for MSPs is that many of them struggle with staffing and capacity issues. Technical talent is hard to come by and IT wages continue to rise rapidly.
Many MSPs find it hard to retain and properly compensate their staff. Additionally, some MSPs simply struggle to meet the ongoing day-to-day service needs of their clients.
Your employees deserve high-quality technical service and support. If your MSP’s help desk is overwhelmed, problems will take too long to get resolved, while your employee productivity plummets as a result.
Even more frustrating, sometimes the staff at the MSP is too green or inexperienced. In these cases, open IT support tickets can take days or weeks to get resolved. If you and your staff aren’t getting the service and support you need, it is time to look for alternatives.
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2. Immature Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is one of the most significant managed services providers challenges. In today’s threat ecosystem, cyber criminals target small and large companies alike.
While larger enterprises are financially attractive with their deep pockets, these organizations are harder to exploit, since they have bigger budgets for cybersecurity tools, remote monitoring, and advanced defenses.
Smaller organizations on the other hand are often lacking in cybersecurity technologies and defenses. What’s more, security issues can just as easily torpedo the fortunes of smaller enterprises as a large one.
Therefore, MSPs need to make cybersecurity a top priority for their clients. Unfortunately, many MSPs do not stay up to date on and fail to implement the latest cybersecurity solutions for their clients. Improving cybersecurity requires constant focus and attention.
It should be a serious red flag if your business continues to rely on an MSP that is failing to bring new cybersecurity solutions to the table nearly every quarter.
3. Lack of Strategic Advice
A key part of an MSP relationship is regular, strategic technology advice. While day-to-day technical support is important, many organizations struggle with making medium-term, technology investments and upgrades to stay ahead of the curve. This leads to IT managed services challenges.
In a high-quality MSP relationship, the client and the MSP should meet on a quarterly basis to review the long term IT budget and discuss upcoming strategic initiatives. Your MSP should have vCIOs on staff, who meet regularly with your senior leadership.
Companies of all sizes are digitally transforming their operations and leveraging technology to thrive in a highly competitive, digital landscape.
The companies that are winning are those that are leveraging technology for competitive advantage. Your MSP should be your guide in helping you leverage technology for business success and growth.
4. Inadequate Standards and Procedures
Another of the IT managed services provider challenges is if your MSP is failing to discuss technology standards with you on a regular basis.
Technology standards help your MSP partner better configure, monitor, manage, and maintain your technology infrastructure.
With strict technology standards, you and your team will benefit from better cybersecurity, higher uptime and resiliency, faster application integration, and ultimately better employee productivity.
There should be clear documented procedures on how things are done. Without these people are winging IT. Predictable results come from standards and procedures.
Clearly communicated standards are a sign of operational maturity from your provider. For example, at NENS, we standardize Cisco Meraki for all client network infrastructure.
Cisco is a premium solution, but by deploying it everywhere we can deliver our clients superior remote monitoring, network management, and cybersecurity services. With Cisco Meraki, we have a global network view, which enables us to deliver resilient and high quality networking to our clients.
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5. People are an Afterthought
Beware if your MSP treats your employees and their technical knowledge as an afterthought. This is one of the more serious IT managed services challenges.
Success with technology requires not only the best vendors and world-class support, but also consistent training for your employees so they can make the most of your technology investments.
MSPs have a big role to play in helping your employees get better every day with technology. Especially in the area of cybersecurity awareness, MSPs can make a huge difference in your culture of security.
Your MSP should provide your organization with regular, cybersecurity awareness programming as a part of your overall managed services relationship. If they don’t, it is a real red flag.
Avoid Managed Services Challenges With a Proven Partner
Every day at NENS, we onboard new clients that are seeking world-class IT support and service offerings, expert technology advice, and cutting-edge, high-quality services.
Our mission is to help organizations leverage technology for business success, while minimizing business risks, key challenges, and operational expenses associated with IT managed services provider challenges.