Thinking of leveraging a “managed service provider” in 2019? You’re not alone! IDC’s 2017 research found that 30% of executives outsource at least some of their IT infrastructure and application portfolio to a managed service provider. This is expected to rise to 41% over the next five years.
As you head into the new year, here are six tips for creating a great relationship with a new vendor – or improving the one you already have.
#1 Know your skill sets (especially the gaps). Working with a managed service provider shouldn’t mean giving up control of your IT. Honestly assessing your in-house skills will allow you to craft an agreement that strengthens your IT strategy and gives you the peace of mind you need to focus on building your business knowing that you have your bases covered.
#2 Choose your provider wisely. You need to choose a provider who understands your unique requirements. Common examples include: specific industry or business requirements, e.g., HIPAA/HITECH regulations; platform needs, e.g., IBM Power Systems; environment issues such as the need to coordinate on-premises and cloud applications in a hybrid cloud environment.
#3 Define responsibilities clearly. This is an especially important step as even among managed service providers there is a difference of opinion in exactly what a “managed service” is. Making sure you understand who is responsible for what will help you get what you think you’re paying for.
#4 Treat your MSP as part of the team. Even if you rely heavily on a managed service provider to oversee your IT environment, they still “report” to you. You should expect them to keep you informed just as you would members of your internal IT-staff. Conversely, don’t keep your managed service provider in the dark about things that may affect your systems now or in the future. Giving them a heads up with plenty of time to spare will help them help you prepare.
Don’t let your managed service provider keep you in the dark! Learn how we provide visibility into our customers’ cloud environments with the TRiA Multi-Cloud Management Platform.
#5 Review your relationship regularly. You have annual or semi-annual reviews with your employees, don’t you? You should meet with your managed service provider’s account manager just as often to review the relationship, what’s working and what’s not, and what your needs will be for the coming year.
#6 Don’t put up with poor treatment. Your managed service provider can be the most knowledgeable, most competent provider in the market; they can still create weaknesses in your IT strategy if the person you have to work with most frequently is a jerk. Eventually, you and your team will avoid interacting with your provider, and the relationship can eventually degrade to the point where things get left undone. Learn more about our No Jerks Allowed philosophy.
Looking for a managed service provider? Contact us. Our advisors would love to discuss your plans for 2019 and how we can help you create a responsive agile IT strategy.