If one of your suppliers wasn’t meeting your expectations and requirements, you’d take your business elsewhere.
So, why treat your IT service provider any differently? Many businesses get comfortable with their existing managed IT service provider (MSP) and just accept that it is what it is.
But this shouldn’t be the case; your IT should be an accelerator of your growth, not a handbrake.
It can be difficult knowing when it’s time to change MSPs, especially if you’ve stuck with the same provider for a long time. However, it’s an important decision to make, as switching can save you time, money and resources, dramatically improving business efficiency and helping you to grow better.
As a result, we’ve put together the top 9 indicators that it’s time to switch MSPs to help you understand exactly when (and why) you should move on.
When should you switch managed IT service providers?
Here’s 9 things to look out for – if your MSP is exhibiting any of these, then it’s time to change.
1. Drop in service quality
As with many things in life, over time, things change.
Unfortunately, many suppliers grow overly comfortable with long-term clients and often allow the service quality to drop substantially. This could also be down to:
- A recent change in management
- An acquisition or merger
- High staff turnover
Keep an eye out for:
- Slower response times
- Low-quality remedial action (not getting the job done!)
- A lack of urgency
This usually happens over a long period of time, so regularly assess the service your MSP is providing you and compare that to when you first started working with them. If the service is significantly worse, point it out and give them the opportunity to rectify the issues. If nothing changes, then it’s time to move.
2. Costs spiking
There’s no worse feeling than going to renew a contract only to find that costs have suddenly spiked without your knowledge.
If you find that a project is far more expensive than you’re comfortable with, or ongoing support costs are more than you are happy paying for, then there’s no harm in asking around to assess the market.
Even if you’re not considering changing, we highly recommend getting a feel for how much your MSPs competitors are charging. Lots of unscrupulous MSPs understand that their clients don’t really know anything about the industry, using this as an opportunity to charge way over what they should for less work.
If you feel like you’re getting less bang for your buck, then talk to some other MSPs and see what they say. You may be surprised with the results!
3. Poor project delivery
Following a project completion, you should reasonably see a boost in productivity, efficiency and more (depending on what the project was, of course).
If you find that a project wasn’t handled properly, and you find errors in the delivery, then your existing MSP may not have the requisite expertise to manage your account.
In these situations, we highly recommend talking to an MSP who has wide-ranging experience across many different sectors.
Need advice? Don’t hesitate to give our team at Nebula IT a shout. We’re available and ready to provide impartial advice on how you should proceed regarding your MSP.
4. Struggling to keep up with agreed deliverables
Your MSP should regularly adjust deliverables. After all, your business & IT requirements are constantly changing; your MSP should adjust to suit.
When you began your relationship with your MSP, you’ll have established an SLA (service level agreement). This creates accountability for your provider and is designed to ensure they meet expectations and deliver at all times.
Make sure you know your SLA inside and out. This will make it much easier for you to determine whether your current MSP is meeting requirements. If they’re underperforming, you know what to do!
5. Surprise fees/invoices
If there’s one thing worse than spiking costs, it’s surprise invoices.
Make sure that your MSP is working with you on a fixed-fee model, and if there are any extra costs involved in the management of your IT system, that you know of (and agree to) them well in advance.
Finding yourself with an unexpected invoice may well mean that your MSP is no longer aligned with your business.
6. Poor communication/response times
Ever get in touch with your MSP only to not hear back for a long time?Your MSP should be many things, but perhaps the most important is responsiveness. You’re paying them to be there when you need it; if they aren’t able to react and respond to any potential issues in a good time, or are struggling to communicate with you in general, then it’s probably time for a change.
7. No alignment with your unique needs
Every industry has its own unique IT requirements – does your existing MSP a) understand them and b) adjust their service to suit?
Whether this means the efficient management of your cloud environment, improved communication technology, rapid ticket response or much, much more, your IT support should be fully tailored to your needs, not the needs of the supplier.
8. Bad reaction to your concerns
You need to be able to trust your MSP completely. If you have concerns about your IT that they’re not addressing, that’s a big red flag.
Just because ‘they’re the experts’ doesn’t mean that your concerns aren’t valid. Unfortunately, we’ve talked to lots of business owners who have been dismissed by their existing MSP, this should never be the case.
Any competent MSP will listen to you and advise you clearly, helping to either rectify the issue or allay your fears without being condescending.
9. Unable to keep up with your growth
As your business grows, your current MSP might struggle to keep up with your demands.
While you may have a great relationship with your provider, it’s often the best thing for your business to switch, as poorly managed IT (through no fault of your provider) can and will stifle your organisational growth.
Benefits of switching managed IT service providers
There’s a lot of good things you can say about the benefits of switching MSPs (but of course we’re going to say that!). Here’s an objective list of what you should expect from your new MSP:
- A fresh perspective – A fresh pair of eyes is always useful, especially if you’ve been sticking to the status quo for a long time.
- Free audits – A comprehensive audit of your IT systems is often exactly what the doctor ordered, identifying flaws and inefficiencies that can be tidied up by your new MSP.
- Better prices – Now when we say better, we don’t always mean cheaper, we mean getting more for your money and making your budget go further. A properly budgeted IT strategy should deliver an ROI for your business.
- Better service – This is perhaps obvious, but your new MSP should show you how it’s done when it comes to IT support. Don’t settle for anything less than exceptional.
Switch to Nebula and secure your long-term growth
Now that you know what you should expect from your MSP, you’ll have a better idea of whether you should stay or look elsewhere.
At the end of the day, you need to make the right decision for your business – that’s the only thing that matters.
That’s why our team at Nebula offer free, no-obligation business IT audits and honest, fully impartial advice. We’re here to advise on whether switching is the best option, or if you’re better off staying where you are.
When you’re ready to chat, click here to get in touch.