One of the biggest challenges facing businesses in a post-pandemic environment, besides trying to find a reliable Managed Service Provider to look after their IT needs, is their lack of expertise. IT services are the core of every business as it fuels operation and drives business efficiency. However, not many business leaders understand the options available and with constant technological developments on the market, existing knowledge quickly becomes obsolete. Business owners are now placing a great deal of trust in outsourced services. According to the UK’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, 61% of SMEs used a Managed Service Provider to protect their assets in 2021. Finding a reliable vendor can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. This article highlights vital signs for business owners to look out for to prove that it’s time to find a new IT solutions provider.
1. They provide IT support in a high-tech language
With IT being a deeply technical field, it’s relatively easy for those working within the industry to use technical jargon in their explanations. But it can be overly frustrating when you are already stressed about issues stopping you from doing your work that you don’t even understand what is being said to you.
An ideal IT partner, however, takes the time to ensure you clearly understand the reasoning behind the IT decisions they make and that you are fully aware of the steps you have to take. Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) is here to guide you through the entire process and make you feel at ease about resolving an issue and confident about your decisions, not more confused and lost.
2. They say they provide managed IT solutions, but most of the time, they hand over responsibility to others
Your chosen IT solutions provider should be your fiercest advocate when it comes to ensuring your requirements are always met. If you notice them constantly handing over responsibilities to other providers and those organisations bouncing it back to them, you have a reason to be concerned.
It can happen in some cases that your issue is just simply out of your IT solutions provider’s scope of responsibility. For instance, if your Internet connection is down, that’s related to an Internet provider and there is not much your MSP can do other than chase the issue and communicate developments of the case to you. However, when you start your partnership, it’s advised to have a clear view of the scope of the services they provide to notice if they miss out on delivering certain services that are outlined in your contract.
3. You’ve been repeatedly facing the same IT problems
One sure sign that your current IT solutions provider is not the right fit is if you have to deal with the same IT issues repeatedly. Suppose you notify your Managed Service Provider about a problem and they claim to have solved it, but the issue remains. This could indicate their quality of services and lack of expertise.
A reliable MSP takes pride in their problem-solving ability. Instead of providing a quick fix, they deliver a permanent solution to enhance your long-term business growth. If your IT solutions provider keeps patching your problems without solving the underlying issue, it might be time to reconsider your reasons for sticking with them and whether they deserve your trust.
4. Your monthly IT costs are never the same
The main benefit of outsourcing your IT infrastructure to a third-party provider is the certainty in terms of the monthly costs for overseeing your IT. Although providers work with different price ranges, they generally stick to the agreed rate. When signing your contract and laying the foundations, your chosen IT solutions provider should give you a consistent and affordable monthly fee for support services, a price that should be a fraction of hiring an in-house IT department.
If you experience any sudden, ad hoc surprises on your monthly bills, even with considering factors like increases in staff salaries, costs for specialist support, training, etc., it should make you question the benefits this partnership actually delivers and whether you could find a more suitable option to your business.
5. They aren’t invested in your long-term business goals
Savvy business owners have long recognised the importance of a long-term business relationship when it comes to establishing and maintaining a company’s critical IT infrastructure. A responsible Managed Service Provider will take the time to learn about your current situation and long-term business goals and find the most cost-efficient way to get you there. For instance, if you are trying to expand your remote workforce, they advise and help you set up a cloud network, or if you’re working in an industry that requires you to adhere to specific procedures, they assist you in meeting compliance standards.
When your MSP is not investing time in getting to know your business and how to meet your requirements, it’s either because they’ve put you in a one size fits all model- which could be profitable for them, or they simply don’t consider your partnership as long-lasting, which could, either way, be a red flag.
6. They say they deliver 24/7/365 IT support, but when in crisis, you haven’t been able to reach out to them
One of the main requirements for businesses when settling down on an IT solutions provider is round-the-clock support, including out-of-hours and bank holiday support. The cyber landscape evolves with new threats emerging continuously and businesses cannot afford to be offline. It’s crucial your Managed Service Provider (MSP) stays ahead of the curve and offers suitable IT solutions to combat these threats and minimise their future occurrence.
As MSPs generally include 24/7/365 infrastructure support in their portfolio, it’s only natural that whenever an issue arises, you contact them immediately. However, despite their claims of being constantly available, whenever a crisis hits and you cannot reach them, it can be considered a breach of contract, especially if one of their main selling points is the guaranteed 24/7 IT infrastructure support.
The right IT Solutions provider in London is just around the corner and it’s called TWC IT Solutions
The Covid-19 pandemic has sped up digital transformation and technologies by years, leaving business owners in a tight spot with managing their IT and prompting them to seek help. But the process of finding a reliable IT partner can be time-consuming. We, therefore, encourage you to conduct research and consult a Managed Service Provider. Since 2011, TWC IT Solutions has offered managed IT support, cybersecurity, disaster recovery, contact centre and business connectivity services to more than 300+ clients, in 400 cities, across 24 countries globally. Book a free consultation to discover how TWC could help take your business to the next level.
Paolo is the CEO of TWC IT Solutions, one of London’s leading IT and cybersecurity companies. He and his service team have delivered technology solutions, including Data Centre, Co-location, VDC (SaaS and IaaS), LAN and WAN (VPLS and MPLS) and Unified Communications to more than 300+ companies, in 400 cities, across 23 countries since 2011. With over 30 years of customer-facing commercial experience, Paolo is still very much hands-on with clients, ensuring that the right services for their requirements are consistently being delivered.