6 Possible Managed Service Provider Challenges And How You Can Avoid Them

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Businesses are increasingly reliant on IT. There’s a good reason why IT is its own department in larger corporations. Small companies that do not support the overhead of a unique IT department, or very large organizations that need a variety of skills often choose to outsource their IT to managed service providers (MSPs). Yet, there are potential IT managed services challenges that can cause more harm than good.

These challenges are the exception, not the norm. A good MSP shouldn’t cause issues in your business when they’re there to help. Still, there are a few all too common challenges that come from many providers in the MSP market.

This article will list 6 challenges you want to be aware of if considering an  MSP partnership. We’ll also talk about how to avoid these challenges by asking the right questions and watching for red flags. Keeping these possibilities in mind will help you choose the right MSP the first time.


1. They Don’t Listen to Your Specific Needs

The reason why organizations are turning to MSPs is because they’re IT experts. MSPs are well-equipped to solve any major challenge in an IT environment. However, no one knows your business better than you and you have the right to push back if your partner gets it wrong.

Avoid partners that ignore your business goals and treat IT as a one-size-fits-all solution. Good MSPs will ask you a lot of questions about what your challenges are and what you would like to accomplish. Stay away from candidates who only talk about themselves during a discovery call.

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2. They Over Upsell

Upselling is a normal sales and marketing tactic. It’s not always bad for you either. Most MSPs will upsell to you, but it should be with the intent of providing a more thorough and well-rounded solution, or an option of more high-quality services.

Unnecessary upselling is a bad sign for any business. It indicates that the vendor cares more about their profits than they do about your needs. While you shouldn’t be alarmed by a partner’s upselling, you should ask questions to make sure they’re upselling an appropriate solution.

Make sure your consultant can justify the offer for your business needs. Disagreeing about the offer’s benefits is not a red flag, but a partner who can’t provide a reasonable justification for the suggestion is.


3. They Lack Transparency

Most businesses don’t want (or need) to tell their clients everything about their practices. Sometimes, it can be challenging for MSPs to decide what they should or shouldn’t reveal. However, if your MSP candidate is overly guarded, that’s a bad sign.

Specifically, you need to know why their advice or solution will best serve your business, and as a partner, they should be assisting in making your life easier, not more difficult. Make sure you choose to partner with an MSP who is happy to answer your questions. If they can’t answer a question, make sure they have a good reason why. They may need to consult with a technical expert or a superior, and that’s perfectly reasonable. Working with MSPs should be a partnership, and one partner shouldn’t ever hide or conceal mission-critical information from the other.

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4. They Provide Conflicting Advice

On average, managers spend 6 hours a week solving workplace conflicts. Many of these conflicts are caused by employees who have opposing ideas on best business practices. If your MSP is offering conflicting advice, they’re only increasing this problem. As a result, you’ll lose time and productivity.

Seek an MSP with a unified idea of the best service offerings. They should have a clear line of decision-making with team members from both the client and the provider. This ensures that your business continues to receive the same high-quality support.

It’s true that your needs will change as you evolve and different perspectives can give you a more holistic view of IT management. It only becomes a problem when differing advice creates rifts and unproductive arguments among your team or between you and your vendor.


5. Their Own Cybersecurity Measures are Lackluster

Third-party data breaches are a growing concern. This type of breach happens when your data is stolen from a third-party vendor instead of directly from you. In fact, 54% of corporate cyber breaches in 2022 originated from a third-party vendor with lower cybersecurity measures.

Many MSPs provide security services, but make sure their practices extend to their own organization as well. When you talk to candidates about cybersecurity, ask them about their practices, not just what they will offer you. Even if they provide the best security for your business, protection is limited if their network is too easy to infiltrate.

Managed Service Provider Challenges

Third-party services most frequently associated with third-party breaches. Source: Black Kite


6. Inconsistent Communication

One common IT managed service provider challenge comes from the fact it’s almost always remote work. MSP specialists aren’t in your office every day. They may even work out of your state or country depending on who you choose. That means regular communication is vital.

Many vendors establish a regular communication cadence with each client. This prevents siloing and ensures that you always know what’s going on. If there are large gaps between contact and inconsistent responses, that’s not a good sign. It may mean that the MSP is doing a lot with your network without your knowledge.

See What Buchanan Offers as a Challenge-Free MSP

Avoid Managed Services Challenges With Strategic Partner Selection

Start shopping for a challenge-free MSP by considering Buchanan. We’re a people-first managed service provider who steers clear of common managed IT challenges. Our experts are dedicated to providing the best service for you. We’ll get to know your business and will never lose touch.

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Reach out to Buchanan to request a consultation.

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