4 Reasons a Long-Term Service Contract Is Beneficial
The benefits of signing a long-term MSP contract are a big topic of conversation in the rapidly expanding MSP market.
SMBs all over the country are seeking to get their IT monitored and maintained by service providers.
In fact, such is the growing popularity of outsourcing IT that 75% of SMBs already do it.
The primary reason for this is the drastic changes that digital technology has made to the business world.
In order to compete, companies more than ever are having to implement solutions to further their digital capabilities.
Related Post: 10 SMB Digital Transformation Trends for 2020
So now that SMBs are investing more heavily in managed services, the next question is what kind of relationship should they want to have?
Most businesses will be familiar with the somewhat outdated break/fix model, which has been predominant for many years.
With networks becoming increasingly complex and the protection of data more important than ever, flaws in the break/fix model are more apparent.
Now however, this method simply isn’t viable for many.
Today, we’re going to be taking a look at the benefits of a long-term MSP contract and how this can suit the goals of a modern digital transformation.
Invest Your Future With a Partner Who’s There Long-Term
This may seem self-explanatory, but a long-term MSP service contract can set you up right for the future.
Business owners who are hesitant about acquiring an MSP partner might consider dipping their toes in with a provider who offers a short-term contract.
However, do you really want a partnership with an MSP that has a continuously changing roster of clients?
Moreover, how invested will the MSP truly be in the digital transformation if the client can cut and run at short notice?
How dedicated will the customer be to the practices of the MSP if they have one eye on the exit?
So instead, consider partnering with a provider for the long-term so both parties are fully invested in the relationship for the first year to the fifth year and beyond.
After all, digital transformation is a long-term and ongoing project which will last many years and requires extensive strategy and guidance.
It’s not a one-and-done solution for all your problems. For these reasons, think about getting a partner for the long-term—think five years, not next year.
A Long-Term MSP Contract Means You Won’t Rush Your DX Plans
Unfortunately, for many SMBs, their digital transformations end in failure in one way or another.
This is typically down to one or more of these reasons:
Implementing too much, too fast
It can be tempting to install every new gadget and toy you set your sights on, but this is actually something that trips up most businesses.
Too much, too fast is a surefire way to upsetting the apple cart in an adverse way—something that should avoided at all costs in a DX strategy.
Of course, by its nature, digital transformation is a disruptive force.
This is why companies should work hard to ensure that there is a step-by-step plan to gently implement solutions into the business, like starting out with some cloud migration.
Sometimes a great ROI can be easily attained by finding low-hanging fruit in your company in need of digitization, like a cloud email server
Take your digital transformation little by little, step by step, don’t go for the Hail Mary right away in a bid to get up to speed.
Digital transformation fatigue
DX fatigue occurs when workers start questioning “why”.
Now, it’s no secret that people are often hesitant to change their working ways, especially if they’ve been doing the same things over a long period of time.
Part of the job of an MSP is to temper and manage expectations for the digital transformation.
This means establishing a change management system that can best prepare workers for current and future implementations.
By engaging with a long-term service contract, you’re giving your partner the opportunity to draw up a successful long-term plan that doesn’t rush your DX strategy.
Long-Term Access to Their Solutions
Different MSPs will offer different solutions, in terms of vendors and quality.
One of the primary considerations an SMB will make when opting for a managed service provider is what solutions they provide and the vendors they’re partnered with.
It’s generally a good rule of thumb to see what technology vendors your MSP partners with.
This will give you a good indication of the quality of vendor your partner opts for.
In 2019, Impact was ranked as the 28th best MSP in the world by Channel Futures, so we hope we can give some insight into what makes a managed service provider successful in the eyes of our clients.
For example, do they have a stack which is carefully curated, with a wide variety of different vendors?
Or are many of their solutions provided by the same vendor?
Take security for example; for every aspect of Impact’s cybersecurity offering, we have a hand-picked partner we feel is best for the job:
- KnowBe4: Security awareness training management
- Cisco Meraki: Network and mobile device management
- Proofpoint: Advanced spam filtering services
- SentinelOne: Next generation antivirus security system
- CloudFlare: Web application firewall
- CodeGuard: Website backup and restore service
- DigiCert: Secure digital certificates
- Duo: Two-factor authentication tool
- JumpCloud: Active directory-as-a-service and identity management provider
- Passportal: Password management portal
These are the kinds of things you should be thinking about with your MSP, whether you’re looking at short-term or long-term MSP contracts.
If you can see that they’ve put the time and effort into what they provide, then that’s a good indication of things to come.
If you’re content with the technology they use and the process they use to build their technology stack, then you have all the more reason to commit to a long-term contract with them.
After all, it would be a pain to switch providers, only for them to use a raft of completely different technologies that require complete upheaval and additional onboarding for you and your staff.
Extensive Knowledge of Your Systems and Processes
When you partner with an MSP, you’re not just getting access to their technology stacks, but their expertise.
While a traditional in-house IT team might have some experienced professionals who know your systems inside out, an MSP has a veritable army of IT experts to add to your team.
At Impact, for example, our team is comprised of over 150 experts in every field of technology.
In addition, a quality MSP will also provide you with a vCIO, who will act as your main point of contact and the person who has the best understanding of your infrastructure and goals.
You should also have a partner that conducts regular reviews with you to ensure everything’s on track on at least a quarterly basis.
Your MSP partner should act as an extension of your business, rather than simply an outsourced operator.
They should have an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of everything tech-related in your company.
With the right MSP, over the course of several years there will be no one better placed at understanding your ambitions and how to get you there.
For these reasons, having a long-term relationship with your MSP is a huge bonus to your digital transformation that cannot be understated.
- A long-term MSP contract offers you the kind of close relationship and dedication that you might not get from a short-term or rolling agreement
- With a long-term service agreement, MSPs won’t feel pressured to implement as many solutions as possible and are less likely to derail your DX plans by rushing the strategy
- If your MSP has curated a great technology stack, sticking with them for the long-term will give you the benefit of their vendor partnerships and solution vetting long into the future
- A long-term service agreement means that over a long period of time, your MSP will come to understand your systems and technologies better than anyone—putting them in a great position to help your business grow over the course of several years
Are you thinking about acquiring MSP services for your organization but are unsure what to expect? Get in touch and we can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of what to anticipate from a managed services partner and what one can bring to your business.
Get in touch here! http://bit.ly/2u0zSOt