When customers are considering managed IT services, there are usually a few things that make them hesitate (and research) before they’re ready to commit to a contract.
Maybe another managed IT services customer shared their negative experience, or you have come across common problems through your own research. Either way, you likely have some misconceptions — or at least unanswered questions — about managed IT services.
We’ve also noticed there are some overarching misconceptions around managed IT services, and we want to take time to dispel these five myths.
- Managed IT services will nickel and dime you.
- You’ll wait a long time for your problems to be resolved.
- Managed IT services quality is inferior to in-house IT.
- On-site support is gone once you agree to managed services.
- It’s hard for MSPs to maintain consistency of service.
We’ll explain why each fallacy exists, but we’ll also help you have a clearer understanding of what actually happens with a managed IT services contract.
Myth #1: Managed IT services will nickel and dime you.
Cost is a big concern for any service, and managed IT services are no exception.
When you do sign up for a contract, your provider should again go over the terms of the contract, including the price.
However, the contract is only one component, while the largest, of your IT budget.
Some MSPs exclude after-hours service from their initial contract price. You should also budget for replacing or upgrading equipment.
It is no surprise being nickel and dimed is a misconception, but it is in fact just that.
Truth: Managed IT Services are budget-friendly.
The price of managed IT services is fairly predictable, even with factors outside of your contract.
Whether your provider charges per user or device, you’ll know every month how much your bill will be. You should also have an idea of how much your bill will increase or decrease for changes to your IT stack or user count.
For example, at The KR Group, we advise our managed service customers to budget 10% per year of their annual contract’s cost for equipment purchases.
If your contract doesn’t include after-hours support, 5% per year of your annual contract price should cover that need.
Myth #2: You’ll wait a long time for your problems to be resolved.
The whole point of managed services is to pay for a knowledgeable resource to promptly solve your IT problems.
With an in-house IT department, the team is dedicated to only solving your problems, but an MSP’s team handles requests from multiple businesses.
Your MSP should have adequate staff to handle the number of requests they receive, but still, service isn’t identical to in-house IT.
That means not all of your IT problems will be solved immediately, but it does not mean it will take a long time for your issues to get resolved.
Truth: MSPs triage requests to handle the most important ones first.
If you call your MSP with a request that prevents multiple employees from doing their jobs, the provider will assign the request a high priority since it is impacting your business’s productivity.
If you are having an issue with Google Chrome, but Mozilla Firefox is an adequate workaround, the request will be considered a low priority. This means your MSP will take longer to get to it than if you had a server crash since those high priority requests take precedence.
That being said, you should receive confirmation of your support ticket the same business day, and you shouldn’t go weeks without a resolution for even the smallest problem.
Myth #3: Managed IT services quality is inferior to in-house IT.
Many customers, especially if they’re transitioning from in-house IT, worry about the quality of services their MSP will provide.
There are typically two veins of thought to this misconception.
First, customers worry if the frequency of on-site support will affect the ability of their MSP to solve their issues.
Second, they worry about the actual knowledge of the engineers employed by their new MSP.
Ultimately, this misconception stems from customers wanting to ensure they’ll receive adequate support for their problems.
Truth: MSPs hire engineers who can solve problems remotely and on-site.
When it comes to the on-site side of this misconception, rest-assured your managed services engineer won’t always be behind a screen. (We’ll talk more about this later.)
However, the majority of IT requests can be solved remotely, and your engineer will take advantage of this to resolve your issues faster. It’s also unlikely an in-house engineer would solve all problems on-site.
As far as the knowledge component, since MSPs are serving multiple customers, they have the resources to hire engineers who would be hard for a small business to recruit or afford. For most customers, their MSP engineer is more knowledgeable than an in-house alternative.
Myth #4: On-site support is gone once you agree to managed services.
Speaking of on-site support, many prospective customers worry about what happens to it when they outsource IT management.
On-site support is required for some problems (generally, those that involve hardware replacements), but it is also important to get to know who is working on your IT environment.
Without being an employee of your organization, how often can you expect an MSP engineer to come on-site?
Truth: Engineers will come on-site for urgent and non-urgent requests.
MSPs see the value in on-site time, too.
Oftentimes, it can become easy to forget about who is maintaining your IT when the problems are no longer on the shoulders of your organization.
MSPs also enjoy building a rapport with their customers and getting hands-on time with the IT equipment you have on-site.
On-site support will always be necessary for your MSP to help you during outages or equipment failure, but the best MSPs will schedule times to come on-site even when you don’t have an emergency.
Keep in mind, that as businesses working with restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus, on-site support might look different than it has traditionally. At this time, individual customers are in control of when non-emergency on-site support can resume at their office.
Myth #5: It’s hard for MSPs to maintain consistency of service.
As we’ve already mentioned, MSPs have multiple customers to support, and this workload creates some nervousness in customers.
To address the workload, providers hire multiple engineers to scale with how many requests they receive. But then, customers wonder how service varies among different engineers, even if they’re from the same company.
Consistently great service is key when it comes to customer satisfaction, so it’s understandable where this worry comes from.
Truth: Consistency is important to MSPs, too.
Good MSPs not only solve your IT problems, but they focus on your satisfaction as well.
One way some providers, including The KR Group, do this is by assigning engineers to customers.
This spreads out the workload, so engineers have time to address each customer’s unique needs.
It also helps with the consistency component, since over time, that engineer will become an expert in your IT environment.
For those times your assigned engineer isn’t available because they’re either handling another customer issue or simply have the day off, MSPs still strive for consistency by tracking information about your IT network so other engineers have access to it.
Are managed IT services right for you?
While there are misconceptions out there about managed IT services, the truth is they are nothing more than myths.
Good MSPs will provide services that prevent you from feeling nickel and dimed, address your problems in a timely fashion, include frequent on-site support, and maintain consistent service.