What Are The Primary Challenges With Managed IT Services?
It’s 2020, and almost every business is moving towards, if not already, working with managed services providers for all their IT needs. For those that are still within the first few months of the partnership or those that are yet to start, it’s always good to know what you are getting yourselves into before diving straight in.
While managed IT services are getting better year after year. It’s far from perfect.
Ask any seasoned IT manager, and they will tell you how the IT world is different day after day. There are new challenges, new issues, new enemies out there.
But what are the top challenges MSPs and clients face when they work together? What prevents them from maximizing their partnership, and how can these challenges be solved? Let’s talk about managed IT services and the most common issues they face when working with clients?
What Are Managed IT Services
In a nutshell, managed IT services is the term that refers to the partnership between an organization and a managed services provider (MSP). What happens is that the organization pays the MSP to serve as their “IT Department.” Everything IT related is forwarded to the MSP, including network monitoring and maintenance, device repair, and even set up an IT help desk.
Most MSPs operate outside of the organization’s business place, which helps organizations save money and office space. On a normal day, MSPs can do what the regular in-premise IT team can do and even more. Due to the setup (where the organization relies on the MSPs equipment), organizations can have better monitoring and security protocols.
But while the idea of managed IT services can look very promising, there are still challenges. The good news is that these challenges can easily be overcome with a competent MSP and a willing organization.
But let’s talk about the challenges organizations and MSPs can face in 2021.
Primary Challenges MSPs and Organizations May Face in 2021
Everybody is going to the cloud nowadays. It’s not surprising because if you are a business that wants solutions that’s efficient and secure, then going to the cloud is the only choice.
Sadly, picking the best cloud solution is not as easy as picking what coffee to order from a coffee shop. Just because one option is considered the best for some does not mean it will work for you. There are countless cases of businesses and organizations getting the “best” option out there but soon realizing it’s not what they need price and features-wise
Organizations need to ensure that the solution they get is exactly what they need and can truly use. They need to create a list of their expectations so the MSP can create a shortlist of available options to fulfill their needs. MSPs can also arrange them by their pricing as some organizations are quite specific with their budget.
For the MSPs, they need to understand that their responsibility does not just lie in solving problems but also in making sure there are fewer issues if possible. That’s why it’s always the MSPs’ responsibility to do due diligence in researching the shortlist of options and see Known Product Issues or KPIs that will more or less come up.
MSPs should also put the needs of the organization first. If it means suggesting a custom solution that may require training the MSP staff, then the service provider should adjust.
Fortunately for MSPs and organizations, cloud solutions are starting to become better because once proprietary features are now present in multiple products. The majority of the available cloud solutions are within the same price bracket or offer a tiered pricing scheme.
Adapting to rising client expectations
Depending on who you talk to, the experience with managed services providers ranges from “I’m never letting them touch my stuff ever again” to “Their team is a godsent as they consistently shower us with IT miracles each day.”
Nowadays, customers are getting more demanding. This can be attributed to a lot of things, from the age of the CEO to their level of knowledge regarding managed IT services.
Some clients might have worked with other MSPs before and got burned, so they wanted to learn a little more about IT. Maybe their expectations are a bit too high because of what they have heard.
Either way, MSPs must learn to meet these expectations by providing quality service or educating their clients. MSPs might be good at what they do, but they aren’t miracle workers, so expectations should be managed at all times.
Support for Remote Work
There seems to be no real end in sight for this pandemic, and businesses adjust to the new normal. One such adjustment is allowing their team members to work remotely. Surprisingly, organizations see the many benefits of remote work and are planning on adapting this kind of work setup in the future.
MSPs must find a way to help businesses transition into the remote setup. This will include several different things, including setting up communications channels, effective data sharing strategies, and robust security protocols. This will ensure that workers can work at the comfort of their own home without jeopardizing the business and the data they process.
Every day, there’s a new security threat in town. In a report on the state of ransomware in 2020, BlackFog revealed that damage from ransomware cyberattacks would sit at around $20 billion in the year 2021. It’s so big that they believe a business gets attacked every 11 seconds.
MSPs need to face this challenge head-on with a combination of proactive defense and consistent monitoring. The study also saw that many of these attacks started from phishing emails, so employee education is also important. With the shift to remote work, MSPs must safeguard work devices used at home by employees to eliminate possible security issues.
Pricing and Commoditization
MSPs are a dime a dozen nowadays, and the service is turning into a commodity. The problem is that because a lot of MSPs offer the same kind of service at the same kind and price, it’s hard to distinguish yourself from the competition. It’s hard for clients to pick which one to choose because they all offer the same service, with the same features, at the same price range.
Pricing methodologies can also become an issue for MSPs as they need to find a way to price their services fairly while still leaving enough room for the client to grow. Also, the pricing needs to consider the possible growth (or shrinkage) of an organization in its pricing model. The popular options of per-device and per-user pricing are on the right track as is fair for both parties while leaving each other room to adjust when one party requires more from the other.
Challenges come and go, but good IT partners can always weather the storm. If you are looking for a managed IT service company in Atlanta, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, or New Jersey, Atlantic-IT is your best bet. They are a trusted name in providing IT solutions for large to emerging companies who need the right team to help them operate efficiently. Contact us today, and let’s talk about how we can help you with your IT needs.