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Six Reasons to Switch Managed IT Service Providers

Nick Cavalancia

Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs) help small and midsize organizations compete, stay secure and avoid downtime.  They help organizations provide outstanding service to their customers, navigate emerging technologies, and mitigate cyber security risks.  They help ensure businesses are “always on”, avoid disruptions and prevent disasters.  Mission-critical stuff.  A recent industry study found that 93% of small and midsized business consider IT to be business-critical.

So, choosing the right MSP is important.  On the surface, it can look like every MSP offers and delivers similar services in a similar fashion. But not every MSP is the same. Some are proactive while others are reactive. Some have deep technical benches, while other have limited resources with a narrow focus. Some leverage automation to perform tasks, while others do everything manually.

In the same manner, your business is unique as well. So, the right MSP partnership requires establishing and maintaining a relationship that works for both entities. As your business grows and the landscape changes, your IT needs change.  What worked in the past may no longer work.  You may have outgrown your existing MSP and it may be time for a change. It’s not unusual to find yourself needing to look for another MSP.

If you work for an organization serviced by an MSP and the title of this article captured your attention, it’s likely you’re thinking about changing out your IT Service Provider. You may simply not be happy with the services being provided or have lost trust in your MSP.   You may have outgrown their capabilities, or you may have experienced a performance issue that significantly disrupted your business operations.  Or maybe you are seeking more strategic guidance on how to leverage IT to transform your business, or how to best migrate to the cloud.

No matter the basis for you starting to consider the possibilities, we’d like to spend some time exploring the signs that it may be time to switch Managed IT Service Providers.  We will cover both how to identify the warning signals, and what to look for in your next MSP. 

In this multi-part blog series, we’ll focus in on six specific reasons why you should consider switching to a new MSP. In our 20 years of providing outsourced managed IT services, we’ve seen and heard just about every reason why an organization chose to leave their last MSP. So, the following six reasons represent the most common issues customers have come to us with, asking if there is a better way.  In the coming weeks, we’ll offer up articles covering the following six reasons to switch:

  1. Poor responsiveness and execution – You rely on your MSP to address issues swiftly and correctly.  But sometimes MSPs fail to deliver fast enough or fix problems the first time..
  2. Service offerings aren’t tailored to your needs – MSPs often focus on offering services the way that works for them and not necessarily in a way that works for you.
  3. They lack the required depth and breadth of skills – Some MSPs are good at specific core competencies, putting the onus on you to find additional vendors to meet your outsourced IT needs. Many businesses need a partner that’s a “one stop shop”, or has deep expertise across core technologies.
  4. You don’t trust your MSP to deliver and always do the right thing – Inconsistency in service delivery, poor communication, no sense of a partnership, mistakes and a lack of investment in your success may be straining the relationship.
  5. There’s a lack of vision and strategy – Your business is growing and evolving, requiring new technologies and changing strategies. Your MSP should proactively help you navigate the technology minefield and provide guidance based on your unique business needs. 
  6. You’re not getting enough value from your investment – It’s reasonable to expect a positive ROI from the relationship. There should be transparency in what you are paying for and what you’re actually receiving.

In many ways, these reasons are presented in a “most to least obvious” order, although some of you may already be experiencing or sensing some of the latter reasons already. This order is used so that you may gain a full understanding of where your current MSP may be lacking – and not just the obvious things like “showing up late”, but also including those less evident issues that are actually keeping your business from truly flourishing.

So, what should you do if you are considering switching MSPs?

In the coming articles in this series, we’ll discuss each of the reasons above, offering up detail on why an MSP may be missing these critical aspects of delivering quality services.  We’ll also provide guidance around how to tell if your specific MSP is missing the mark, as well as what questions to ask prospective MSPs you’re considering as your next choice.

Rather than just make a rash decision that you want to part with your MSP; first understand everything they’re doing wrong – from tactical to strategic – so that you have a full spectrum understanding of what it is you want from your next MSP. We encourage you to read through this entire series to shed light on exactly where your MSP isn’t helping your business, and use the guidance provided to empower you with insight into what your business needs from an MSP when it comes time to make a switch.