What Happens When you Chinese Menu your Managed Services Provider

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Who doesn’t love Chinese food? It has that perfect mix of grease and spice and definitely fills you up. You can order by number, combine whatever you want and make plenty of modifications. But as much as we love to pick and choose from a Chinese menu, when we start doing that with business services, it doesn’t work out in the same way. Why is that? The Managed Services model works so well because of the control your provider has over your network. They are able to monitor every workstation for updates, patches and antivirus. They monitor your network, manage your server backups, fulfill your helpdesk tickets and in general are the go-to resource with regard to technology. Some of them even help you budget and strategize. So, what happens when you attempt to break this model apart? Let’s explore a few different scenarios…

  1. Don’t want support services?
    In-house support may lack quality control or accountability.
    As much as you may want the control of having your support be exclusively in-house, ask yourself if that is truly what you need? Sure, setting up new users and printers may require some onsite assistance, but when it comes to keeping track of the efficiency and resolution of your tickets, how will you manage that? Managed Services companies use expensive tools to manage your tickets and support and surveys to ensure the happiness of your users. Without an tracking system in place there is no accountability to ensure that your tickets are getting resolved on time and your users are happy and productive.
  1. Don’t want network management?
    What happens when your backup fails or your network goes down?
    The break-fix model is old news and the reason for that is that companies pay thousands in time and materials without any proactive management. What does that mean? It means that if you’re not properly managing your network and testing server backups and a crazy virus takes over all your servers and locks up your data, you’re pretty much SOL unless you can get a good data forensics team on your side to help recover and old backup (and even then it’s never guaranteed). In the meantime, you’ll be left crossing your fingers and hoping that you didn’t just lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in data prepared by your employees.
  1. Not strategizing your technology?
    Unforeseen expenses can eat up budget dedicated elsewhere.
    Eventually you have to replace machines. Hopefully you can plan proactively for those types of expenses rather than being reactive and replacing them as they break. The best Managed Services providers are doing what they can to help their clients prepare for the inevitable replacement by ensuring their equipment is always in warranty. If you aren’t doing this, you can almost guarantee that your equipment will break, and at the most inopportune time.
  1. Overlap that falls through the cracks…
    You know what else happens when you divide your IT strategy across a piecemeal approach? A lot of finger pointing. There’s virtually no way for a Managed Services Provider to hold an in-house technician accountable, because ultimately they aren’t the ones that hold the keys to their position. Executives typically aren’t savvy in technology, so they’re left trying to determine whether their allegiance should fall with a vendor or an employee that they see every day – and often the guilt factor means that the IT structures suffer. We’ve lived it more than once.

The perceived immediacy of having an in-house resource can be valuable, but there’s something to be said for having a single source of accountability. Eliminate finger-pointing, lackluster support, failed backups, downtime, outages, inefficient employees, unforeseen expenses… all of it. Are there alternatives? Of course. We have come up with some unique customized strategies for large clients that truly needed in-house resources. But we’ve also seen how bad it can get when there’s not a clearly defined structure or only certain pieces of technology management are adopted. You want to be able to stop worrying about your technology, right? Go all in with an MSP.