When to change your MSP

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As businesses strive to keep up with the latest industry demands, they increasingly rely on technology to help streamline their operations, enhance productivity, and drive further growth. This is where managed services providers (MSPs) can help, providing companies with the expertise and resources required to effectively manage their IT infrastructure without having to hire an in-house IT team. Such services can range from 24/7 help desk support to advanced technological tools and security.

However, not all MSP partnerships are meant to last, and you may eventually find yourself in need of a new provider. In this article, we explore the signs that it’s time to change your MSP and the steps you should take to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Key signs to change your MSP

There are certain standout indicators that it’s time to look for a new MSP:

Your MSP provides inadequate support

Inadequate support can manifest in various ways, such as a lack of expertise in resolving complex issues or a reactive approach to IT management rather than a preemptive one. When your MSP consistently fails to address recurring issues promptly and effectively, it signals a lack of commitment to maintaining your IT infrastructure.

Effective MSP support should be proactive in nature, anticipating, identifying, and addressing potential problems before they escalate into major disruptions. This not only minimizes downtime but also demonstrates a deeper understanding of your organization’s unique IT needs. When shopping around for a new MSP, prioritize those who actively work to optimize your systems and security to improve overall efficiency.

Your MSP does not communicate effectively

When delayed response times become a persistent challenge with your current MSP, then it may be time to explore alternative options. The failure to promptly address critical IT issues (e.g., network outages, software failures, security breaches, etc.) can often result in a significant loss of productivity and profits. A reliable and responsive MSP must prioritize timely solutions to ensure business continuity and maintain smooth operations.

Additionally, you must note how your MSP communicates: are they clear and transparent about their activities? Do they proactively discuss any problems or potential concerns that arise? Quality MSPs will typically keep you informed about the status of ongoing IT issues, help you understand the actions being taken to resolve them, and provide you with timely updates on any developments. Poor communication from your MSP or messaging that is unclear can lead to misunderstandings, which result in reduced confidence in their ability to effectively support your IT needs. 

Your MSP has unpredictable billing

If your MSP is frequently charging you additional fees, you can experience financial uncertainty, and it can also strain your partnership. Be sure to watch out for unexpected invoices that vary significantly from your expectations. These could include surprise charges, unclear breakdowns of services rendered, or inconsistent billing practices that can cause confusion and frustration. Reliable MSPs should (and would) provide clear, transparent invoices that align with the agreed-upon pricing structure and accurately reflect the services delivered.

Additionally, be sure to openly discuss and clarify your MSP’s service level agreements, contract terms, and any changes or additions to the services provided. This ensures you’re both on the same page and establishes a relationship built on trust and confidence in your MSP’s abilities.

Your MSP’s security is insufficient

Finally, if your MSP fails to provide robust security measures and falls short of regulatory compliance, they could pose significant risks to your business operations, data integrity, and overall cybersecurity posture. This could manifest as outdated security protocols or a lack of proactive cybersecurity strategies. In either case, they leave your infrastructure vulnerable to cyberattacks, data breaches, and malicious activities from both internal and external actors. A reliable MSP should prioritize your IT security by implementing the latest technologies and conducting regular risk assessments. These ensure your policies and protocols are comprehensive and up to date.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure your MSP maintains compliance with industry regulations and standards, particularly if you’re operating in a highly regulated sector such as healthcare, finance, or legal services. Failure to do so can result in legal liabilities, financial penalties, and ultimately, reputational damage.

Making the change: How do you start?

Transitioning to a new MSP will involve plenty of strategic planning and careful consideration of your specific IT needs. Follow these key steps for a successful transition:

  • Conduct thorough research when selecting a new MSP, evaluating them based on their expertise, service offerings, industry experience, customer references, and alignment with your organization’s needs and objectives.
  • Engage in pre-planning meetings with the new MSP to discuss transition timelines and expectations.
  • Communicate openly with stakeholders about the transition plan and potential impacts on productivity.
  • Actively participate in the onboarding process with the new MSP for seamless integration.
  • Schedule ongoing touchpoints to review progress and address post-transition issues.
  • Remain patient and flexible throughout the transition, focusing on the benefits of the new MSP partnership.

By following these steps and maintaining effective communication, you can ensure a smooth and successful transition to a new MSP while maximizing the value of your IT support services.

Keep your IT systems in optimal shape through Refresh Technologies’ managed network services. We’ve got the tools, expertise, and tailored solutions you need to ensure peak IT performance and improve workforce productivity. Get in touch with our team today, and grant yourself peace of mind.