Believe it or not, there are challenges when using managed IT services. It might be the client’s in-house IT department resistance to change, bad experience with a service provider or sticker shock from a price that’s more than you expected. However, most often, it comes down to these ten specific challenges which some businesses, facilities, organizations, and government agencies can face with managed services.
Over the years when providing IT Managed Services and working with hundreds of financial firms, legal clients, new start-ups, and multi-location companies, there are specific patterns or events we’ve witnessed. But guaranteed, in many of those instances, it always seems to lead to some challenge with managed services.
So, in no particular order, we’ve listed the ten most common challenges of managed services that we’ve seen over the years. This information should give you some idea of the challenges your company may encounter when moving to managed services.
With this first group of managed service challenges, we’ve seen internet concerns, integration obstacles, hidden fees, contract traps, and providers who didn’t have experience or knowledge of a client’s products or services. Do any of these challenges make your list?
Vast Knowledge Gap
Technical acumen around specific products or services means that MSPs cannot be all things to all people. Be sure to map your environment to the provider’s areas of skill.
If your provider relationship fails without strict terms of disengagement such as a break clause, the contract may have to run its course before ties with your MSP can be severed.
Utility-style billing for managed services may obscure upfront costs–a possible network assessment charge and infrastructure purchases are prospective transactions to consider as Capex investments.
Remote management of on-premise equipment is dependent on internet uptime, reliability, and connectivity which, along with available bandwidth and redundancy, will require special attention.
Few IT systems operate in isolation — Cloud-based services will inevitably require interaction with another cloud, on-premises systems or applications, the integration of which can prove challenging.
With this second group of managed service challenges, we’ve seen issues with flexibility or stringent controls, mandatory compliance and regulations, measuring the provider’s levels of performance, enforcing contract terms, and resistance to security measures. It wouldn’t surprise us if one or more of these managed services challenges struck a technology nerve with you.
While some view managed services as insurance against security woes, others balk at handing over data to third parties. Look for credentials, certification and customer references demonstrating security expertise.
Do you favor stringent controls and flexibility, or a standard set of practices provided by an MSP? Addressing this question will help determine your organization’s readiness for managed services.
Performance depends entirely on the provider — Your requirements, and any threshold on requirements, should be clearly defined and agreed on by a prospective service provider within the Service Level Agreement.
Service Level Agreements
A Service Level Agreement is the core of your managed services contract. Ensure that it covers response time, data security, privacy guarantees and performance targets.
Are you beholden to compliance or regulatory requirements? With laws surrounding privacy, data breach notification and such continually evolving, any MSP must help to achieve and maintain compliance.
As you have read, there will be challenges, concerns, refusal to change, pricing issues, even contracts you can’t terminate. But before it reaches that phase, meet with an IT Managed Service Provider. Talk with their consultant — IT consultants have witnessed many challenges over the years and know what their IT clients face. In most instances, they were able to resolve the problem.
Maybe you have on-premise issues with your hardware or giving up full control of your data feels wrong, or there’s resistance and push back from your in-house IT team who’s concerned that you’ll end their employment by outsourcing your IT department. That’s okay. These are real concerns that we’ve faced and solved. The right managed service solutions can overcome these challenges.
Optimizing your technology doesn’t happen by accident and shouldn’t challenge you. But it does require time, expertise, structure and a proven strategy tailored to your needs to create a genuinely efficient IT environment. If you didn’t see any of your managed service challenges listed above, reach out and let us know what they are and maybe we’ve got a solution that no one has ever shown you.
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Category: Atlanta IT Service Articles, Date: 4th June 2019, Author: Chris Chao