As companies continue to familiarize themselves with the benefits associated with outsourcing IT support, many are increasingly turning to Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to handle certain IT functions as part of a collaborative effort to maintain the stability and health of their technology. Traditionally, managed services agreements include a variety of standard offerings such as, remote monitoring & management (RMM), automated patching and updates, proactive maintenance, email hosting, disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), and others. MSPs will usually sell their services as an “all-inclusive” or bundled agreement but in some instances, they may provide a-la-carte or as-needed offerings. Vetting MSPs and their services can become quite cumbersome, but it’s critical for you to truly understand what exactly you’re paying for and validate the services being provided to ensure that you’re investing in “real” security rather than a “sense” of security.
Think about MSPs just as you would think of the security company you pay a monthly or yearly fee for an alarm system. You purchased the equipment they recommended, it’s installed and ready to go. You signed a monthly agreement that includes monitoring, alerting, and support. You feel confident that you made the right decision. You feel safe. A year goes by and the alarm system has never been used, but then… while you’re out of town on a business trip, a burglar breaks in and steals all of your valuables. But wait! You have an alarm system! Yet you return home to complete devastation because it never went off. Now you most likely have insurance to replace the things that were taken and/or to cover any losses or damages, but recovering from such an event is tough. Time off from work, filing claims, completing and submitting paperwork, verification and approvals, distribution of funds, you know, all the things you really need to be going through right after a home invasion. And when it comes down to it, all of the equipment, the services, and the monthly bill were only providing a “sense” of security, instead of “real” security.
In the same way you test an alarm system to ensure it is working shortly after it is installed, you should also periodically test the services of your MSP. Granted it can be an uncomfortable discussion as it’s in our nature as humans to genuinely trust the integrity of an individual or organization but sadly, integrity isn’t guaranteed 100% of the time. CompTIA’s study, Enabling SMBs with Technology, revealed that SMBs are generally satisfied with their technology solution providers, but they do not always view their provider as a “trusted advisor”. That’s because MSPs are no different than any other company you do business with. They too, must be held accountable for the services and support you pay for, especially when your business, and its success depends on it.
If you’re not 100% certain that you’re paying your MSP for “real” security rather than a “sense” of security, and overall health & protection of your business and its technology, contact Advanced Network Solutions today for a complimentary technology assessment at firstname.lastname@example.org. When it’s free and means this much to not only your business but your peace of mind, there’s simply no reason not to.
By: Gina Ryan