What is your approach to outside IT support? Do you take the “we’ll do what we can ourselves, and bring in outside help only when we can’t handle something?” Does management view external IT support services as a kind of “on-off” service? Too often, business executives view Managed Service Providers (MSPs) as purveyors of specific, one-off services who are brought in “as-needed.” Kind of the way a plumber is hired.
Clear a drain, replace old pipes, or add a bathroom. Get the job done and leave. Same with a MSP. A business decides it needs a new server or wants a slow network evaluated and “fixed,” but that is as far as it goes.
Instead of this “fix-and-go-home” approach, we’d like to suggest a different take on the role of the MSP. This approach views the MSP as an ongoing partner that can bring strategic value to your business and allow technology to not be an afterthought, but an integral part of both the organization's present success and its planning for the future.
Also, MSPs offer service contracts, wherein you commit to using them for a defined period of time. This provides you with a few distinct advantages. First, this usually means lower charges for specific repairs and fixes; emergency calls that aren't under a service contract usually result in premium charges that can really inflate your IT costs. Second, service level agreements often provide certain guarantees and benefits.
For example, SLAs may guarantee a set maximum downtime. Consider taking a more holistic view of how a MSP can fit into the growth and success of your organization.