This is a subject we think about a lot. The relationship that you have with your MSP relies upon trust. You have to trust that they’re always working in your best interests. You have to know that their recommendations are designed to benefit your organization, not theirs. In short, your MSP has a fiduciary obligation to you.
We’ve talked in the past about the “Black Box” of IT. So many decisions, and so many acronyms, and so many new evolving threats, it’s hard even for your MSP to keep a handle on what’s happening day-to-day in the IT universe. If you are not 100% certain that the recommendations and advice that you’re getting from your MSP fits your organization goals, then you’re in a bad relationship.
While there are upstanding MSPs with integrity that will approach any advice from this angle, there are also those who will prey upon their customers. They will leverage the information gap to sell more profitable products and services, to increase their bottom line.
I once took my car in to get the brake pads replaced. At the service desk I was told that the replacement was going to cost approximately $1,600 because they’d have to replace the rotors too. Having previously replaced my brakes myself, I knew that pads typically cost between $100 and $200 and the stuff about the rotors was nonsense.
I obviously chose to do the brakes myself instead of having Audi do the service. I got lucky.
Unfortunately, this is the exact experience that many businesses have when faced with IT decisions. Without the knowledge of what is being done, and what is actually required, it’s impossible to make a good decision.
Is any of this striking a chord?
Some years ago Adaptive transitioned to a monthly service billing model. We look at the size of the organization, the complexity, and the number of users we’re supporting, and then we come up with a price based on averages that we have seen from the past. For this monthly fee we become your entire IT department. We do not bill extra for installations. We do not bill extra for projects. We do not bill extra for emergency support, or onsite visits. We do not bill extra for after-hours. We do not bill extra for consultation, and we do not recommend things that you don’t need.
Our average client has been with us for over five years. We take our obligation seriously and it pays off in the long run. If this isn’t the feeling that you get working with your MSP, it might be time to explore a change.