As you shop for a managed service provider (MSP), you’ve likely come across statements and promises that seem too good to be true. That’s because they are! Much like fad diets and most blockbuster movie sequels, some things in life fail to deliver on their promise — and managed services are one of them.
Managed services should make it easier to leverage technology to propel your business forward — but the experience is more like being stuck on an IT treadmill. Read through to learn the common lies that MSPs tell.
One of the most common lies you will hear is that the MSP services are “all-inclusive.”
Have you ever been on vacation and stayed in a resort that wasn’t what you thought it would be? Maybe you tried to ask for the good gin, but all of a sudden, it isn’t included – and now you’re stuck with all these extra charges?
The same thing can happen with managed service providers. In fact, most MSPs rely on doubling your monthly contract spend with projects and product purchases to be profitable. When something is truly all-inclusive, it means that you can have everything that you want without having to take additional cash out of your wallet.
At F12, we don’t think it’s fair to show you a price and tell you everything’s included only to have a long list of upgrades that you will need to add that require additional fees. When you partner with us, what you see is what you get – so you don’t have to worry about the “all-inclusive” lie anymore.
When an MSP offers you free onboarding, do they explain exactly what it consists of and everything it includes? The answer is not likely. In most cases, it only involves onboarding their tools, but what you need is onboarding new technology and training all your staff to ensure they can maximize the use of the platform in which you have invested.
So, what happens when you need new to onboard new technology or add additional staff? You guessed it – it’s going to cost you more project fees!
Another frustrating lie that managed service providers tell you is that they are monitoring your systems 24/7. More often than not, this means an alert is going off at 2 AM, but no one is around to fix it until the next day.
As a business owner, you may operate around the clock. It doesn’t help if you are trying to get some work done in the middle of the night before an important meeting and, all of a sudden, you can’t reach someone at the MSP firm even though you’re supposed to have continuous monitoring.
Ask what the MSP monitors 24X7 and how the alerts are escalated and handled after hours.
If you have been browsing the websites of managed service providers, you’ve probably seen a slogan along the lines of “worry-free IT.” While this sounds like a great option, your IT provider should be giving you information about what you NEED to worry about!
It’s a major red flag if you’re MSP never tells you, for example, that you should be worried about downtime because you have ageing equipment or not to be worried about cyber threats because you have solid backups. The worst thing that could happen is that you hand off your IT needs to an MSP that never “worries” you with anything, and then you have a catastrophic failure or breach that they could easily prevent had they let you in on the problem early on.
The truth is that you need to make informed decisions to protect your business. Your MSP should be consulting with you about threats to your IT. When you work with F12, we will always tell you what we should be worrying about and how we will prevent it.
When an MSP advertises that they are a one-stop-shop, run the other way! Your IT provider is not an expert on everything, and it is damaging to pretend to be. Think about it this way – you don’t see your primary care physician for help with a cavity, right? a doctor and dentist need to have two separate skill sets, and neither can be an expert at both.
The same goes for your managed service provider. Although they should manage a large portion of your IT networking needs, they must also tell you when you need to bring in an additional expert to ensure your business’s success.
Perhaps the most comical lie that managed service providers tell you is that they can guarantee no downtime. No IT provider has God-like powers over the Internet, electricity, cloud services, software bugs, or hardware failures. Sure, they should recommend investments that will allow you to mitigate some of these risks, but the MSP itself cannot guarantee that your systems will never be down.
If you want to weed out this lie at the source, ask them to explain to you how they plan on ensuring your systems never go down. Specifically, inquire about hardware, electricity, and other tools that must work seamlessly for your system to be up and running – they’re either going to pivot to talk of “minimizing downtime,” or they are not giving you a straight answer!
Including enterprise security in your package is another common lie. Large organizations invest a lot of money into security and use tools and teams out of reach for SMBs.
So, promising that you’re getting enterprise security features is a stretch. What you should be seeking is best-in-class.
Be sure to inquire about the tools and policies the MSP has in place within their organization.
A new tactic of hackers is to exploit the MSP to gain access to their customer’s networks. The ROI for the hacker is huge. Ask the MSP what protections they have in place and, most importantly, how it is validated. Your best bet is to work with MSPs that are externally audited and certified under CyberSecure Canada and SOC2 Type II standards.
The best solution to these inflated MSP claims is F12 Infinite. This program is the first full-service IT platform that delivers on its promises.
We take a holistic, subscription-based approach to IT that finally frees you from the endless cycle of planning, buying, and stressing about your technology!