There are signs that it is time to switch to managed services and ways to make the switch as painless as possible
If your business is still using the traditional break-fix model of IT, you may wonder if it is truly worth it to keep putting money into servicing legacy equipment or technology. Managed services outsource some or all of your IT enabling you to enjoy the latest technologies for less.
- You are spending more to fix your old equipment than it is worth
- You have had to re-allocate funds to pay for emergency IT spending
- You have used business credit cards to buy IT hardware
- You cannot put money into other areas because your IT is eating up your funds
- You do not think your business is protected from cyber threats
- You have IT staff, but they spend all day putting out fires with your legacy equipment
- You have an open IT position, but can’t find anyone to fill it
- When you move to managed services you can choose what services you receive
- Since providers charge a flat fee per month you will always know exactly how much your business is spending on IT. No more nasty surprises
- Managed Service Providers (MSPs) have flexible models that scale up or down with your business. If you have a peak season when you bring on extra staff you can pay more in those months for a bigger service plan
If you decide to switch from break-fix to managed services, you may feel excited to get started. Before you surge ahead, take time to outline your current problems, your goals, and your wish list for new technologies. What specific problems do you hope managed services will fix?
MSPs let you select the services you want. If you don't have an IT staff in-house, you can outsource everything to the MSP. If you have a small IT team, you can outsource most functions to managed services, then direct your IT staff to other areas. This can be a great way to finally free up IT staff time so your employees can move forward with programming or app development.
Once you can articulate the role you anticipate the MSP playing, interview several providers. See how the service package offered by a provider matches up with your needs and whether you can afford the costs. Find out what training the service provider offers your staff. Do they host one training when you make the switch, or will they come out whenever you hire new staff? Are they available for support 24/7 or only during business hours?
As you narrow down your list of providers, invite finalists for a site visit. It can be quite informative to have your key stakeholders meet the technology pros. Your team may naturally connect with a particular service provider, making your choice easier. The site visit also helps the MSP understand your business mission and values, so they can provide you with better service.
Your business cannot switch from break-fix to managed services overnight. The planning process is long and rushing will be to the detriment of your business. However, the money and time saved once you do make the switch will help your business move forward with key priorities without being crippled by legacy technology.