A managed IT services provider (MSP) is a third-party company that takes care of all your IT needs, from system administration and network monitoring to cybersecurity and data backup. However, MSPs are not created equal. Some may only be proficient at a few IT tasks, while others could be experts in IT support. If you’ve been unhappy with your current MSP’s performance, you might be due for a switch. In this article, we will explore some of the key signs that indicate it is time to look for a new MSP.
The right MSP will take the time to identify your company’s pain points with thorough assessments, so they can find a solution that fits your needs.
What red flags should you look out for?
There are seven signs that you’re working with a subpar MSP:
1. Slow response times
Are you annoyed that your provider is generally unresponsive to your IT queries? If so, it might be time to find a new MSP. The best MSPs will have a dedicated support team that is available 24/7 to promptly respond to your needs. These MSPs understand that IT issues can occur anytime, which is why they have someone on call for remote or on-site support. Providers that lack dedicated support teams are likely to take longer to answer your tickets, which can be costly for your business.
2. Frequent technical issues
Constant technical issues, whether they're of a hardware or software nature, can hinder your productivity. They also indicate that your current provider is not properly managing your systems and is not fixing the root cause of the issues. That’s why you need to find an MSP that proactively maintains your systems to identify and fix potential problems before these disrupt your business. Proactive maintenance also involves network optimizations, hardware refreshes for out-of-warranty devices, and software updates to keep your systems secure.
Related reading: Find out how the right MSP can increase your company’s productivity
3. Unskilled support
If your MSP is amateurish, then it’s time to switch. An incompetent or unprofessional support team can cost you productivity and money while providing little value. Signifiers of poor technical assistance include the lack of knowledge about your industry or platforms, use of overly technical language, upselling unnecessary services, and a general unwillingness to help. You can avoid providers with these traits by reading online reviews and asking for referrals from businesses in your industry.
4. Lack of communication
The hallmark of great communication is listening to the other party, but some MSPs fall short in this department. When you present a problem to a subpar MSP, they may ignore your specific needs and offer all-in-one solutions that fit their profit margins instead. The right MSP will take the time to identify your company’s pain points with thorough assessments, so they can find a solution that fits your needs. A high-quality MSP will also regularly check in on your business to get your feedback and see whether everything is running smoothly.
5. Costly fees for poor service levels
If you are paying an exorbitant amount of money for bog-standard IT services, you need to switch providers. The fees for an MSP should be fixed and predictable, with no hidden costs or long-term contracts. Furthermore, an MSP should give you a breakdown of their services and clearly explain what they will do to optimize your business.
6. Lack of cutting-edge solutions
MSPs that lack innovative solutions or partnerships with leading vendors may not be able to meet your IT needs. As your business grows, you'll need more sophisticated IT solutions like feature-rich cloud software, state-of-the-art phone systems, and cybersecurity solutions. A great MSP will be able to offer you these solutions at affordable rates, so you can easily grow your business.
7. Financial instability
You should be cautious of an MSP that is financially unstable. A provider that is experiencing financial hardships may not have the resources and labor to provide a consistently high level of support. To make sure MSP has a good track record, you should ask them for financial statements and balance sheets if possible.
How can you find a suitable MSP?
Do some research on other IT support providers in your area. See what others are saying about their experiences. It might be helpful to reach out to a few different companies for quotes so you can get a sense of the pricing and services offered. Finally, make a decision based on your specific needs and preferences. Keep in mind that switching providers can be a bit of an adjustment, so make sure to choose someone you trust and who has the experience and resources to support your business going forward.
When it comes to IT support, you need a provider that is responsive, reliable, and affordable. Athens Micro is here to provide the level of service your business deserves. With over 25 years of experience, our team has the knowledge and expertise to keep your business running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to request a quote.