The term “Managed Services” has become somewhat ubiquitous when describing an IT partner’s services. Some believe it means having a Service Desk to report issues too; others think it means subscribing to Microsoft 365. Managed services are actually about having a provider that assumes responsibility for providing a defined set of services to its clients. Unfortunately, that is just one of many misconceptions I have seen in the IT industry.
Many managers outside of IT perceive Managed Services as a luxury rather than a need. However, when considering the ever-increasing complexity of IT environments. IT services are no longer just nice to have. Instead, it’s a necessity for organisations large and small.
Simply put, these myths are keeping small businesses from the benefits of increased agility and the strategic value of managed IT services. By debunking some of these myths, your business should benefit by realising IT’s untapped potential.
Myth #1: Keeping IT in-house is better
IT leaders should view MSPs as an extension of the IT team, not as a replacement. By limiting yourself to just one full-time IT professional you are limiting your breadth of knowledge. A good MSP will have a structured team with varying areas of interest and specialised skills, offering broader experience and understanding.
A good Managed Service Provider will carefully build a strategy to reduce downtime and security risks. A managed IT Service Provider that tracks and targets the right KPIs and reduces risk is a win-win for both parties.
Myth #2: They want to sell us technology we don’t need for profit
I suspect many of us have felt pressure to buy something we don’t actually need. So, without technical knowledge, how can you be sure that you won’t fall into the same trap?
A good MSP will look at the fundamental business requirements, affordability, and suitability before making recommendations. They’ll also be able to explain the reason for their suggestions.
Myth #3: An MSP wouldn’t treat us like a unique business
Sometimes dealing with a third party can feel impersonal, like they’re just going through the motions. The difference between an ‘IT support contract’ and a fully managed IT service, is strategic advice and guidance. This makes your experience with an MSP personal to your business.
A reactive IT support contract may resolve issues as they are raised, but it doesn’t tackle a longer-term strategy.
Fully Managed suppliers should regularly audit your IT usage and provide strategic advice as part of the service.
Myth #4: Managed services are expensive
Another common misconception when dismissing managed services is that they are too expensive. It can be hard to gain buy-in from those at the top when you can’t determine the value for money. So, first things first are to look at the cost of getting it wrong.
Like it or not, most businesses are dependent on technology in one form or another; if your IT goes down, it can significantly impact your business. Be that through failing technology, incorrect configuration, cyber-attack, or a million other reasons.
Your MSP should reduce risk by implementing the right technology solutions, including Cyber Security and Disaster Recovery to maximise uptime and availability. Thus, reducing overall costs and maximising return on IT investment.
Secondly, MSPs can also uncover cost savings through simple tasks such as licencing and subscription reviews, ensuring your business is not paying for products you don’t need.
Myth #5. Our data and security are at risk with an outsourced partner
Sadly, this one can be true!
The Cyber Security status of your supplier is paramount and must be a key requisite when going to market. Look for assurance through cyber liability insurance, Cyber Essentials PLUS and further certification to ensure your business is served by a supplier that takes cyber security seriously.
Your supplier should have safeguards in place to ensure they do not present an additional risk to your business. Careful access controls, credential storage and access logging should all be part of that picture.
Myth #6. All managed service partners are all the same
Every managed service provider is unique. With different partners, vendors, hosting methods, security options and cost models. Those considering a managed service provider as an approach to IT strategy must have the ability to deliver and monitor the applications necessary to the organisation.
It should work; it should increase effectiveness, and efficiency and give you back your business. SMBs have the power to completely configure an IT setup to gain the most out of their services.