The 10 Secrets IT Managed Services Providers Won’t Tell You

Everywhere you look these days IT Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are popping up on every corner. Each ready to help you move your data to the cloud, securely backup your sensitive information, and take control of your IT infrastructure with monitoring and a Help Desk support.

IT Managed Services

A sound idea as this is, managed service provider, Blue Star IT Services and Solutions is a Business-Focused IT Support and Computer Services company, warns to check the label. Not all who want to take over your business systems, are fit to come near them.

To help you sort through and steer around claims of experience and knowledge, Blue Star IT Services and Solutions has put together a top 10 list of what, managed services providers won’t tell you, which could ruin your business.

  1. MSP lacks needed skills and experience

A managed services provider, on day 1, should have skills that go beyond necessary operating system maintenance. When you ask the skill level questions, you want to go beyond the fundamental questions about certifications and headcount.

A right MSP Information Technology Technician knows their craft. They can answer questions about scalability and availability of staff with specialized skill sets.

To take it up a notch or two throw questions at them about:

  • security
  • mobility
  • databases
  • middleware
  • virtualization
  • high availability
  • managing change
  • cloud technologies
  • cross-platform integration
  • multiple network technologies

A good MSP will have deep expertise across all delivery models and integrated multi-sourcing strategy.

  1. MSP uses a reactive, not proactive, approach to IT services management

There are two approaches to IT service management. One is superior the other inferior:

  1. Reactive approach: “break/fix” mentality – Fix as needed
  2. Proactive approach: prevention and improvement – Managed Services

Ask the provider if they go beyond simple monitoring and device management. And how much they use automation to cut down on human intervention to increase quality and productivity.

  1. MSP does not align with the industry’s best practices

A highly skilled managed service provider will only follow the industry’s best practices. He/she will invest the time and training to acquire all 5 Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certificates:

  • Foundation Level – Entry level
  • Practitioner Level – Improvement level
  • Intermediate Level – 2 categories Service Lifestyle and Service Capability
  • Expert Level – Demonstrates knowledge of the ITIL scheme in its entirety
  • Master Level – Explains and justifies how an expected IT business outcome will work

If the provider has not reached all levels, ask them which degree they have achieved and how soon will they move to the next level.

  1. MSP uses inconsistent processes and limited service visibility

Consistent service delivery builts on logical processes. Ask the services provider to share examples of policy and process documentation. Have them explain how they can replicate across multiple delivery centers and the logical operations used.

  1. MSP has no support or strong partnerships for multi-vendor environments

Your IT infrastructure is tied together with hardware, software and network products from a variety of proven vendors. A services provider, like Blue Star IT Services and Solutions, insist on having working experience with multi-vendor environments.

Partnership with leading vendors has become increasingly vital. These relationships, keep the MSP up to date, on the lookout for product changes, and new technologies coming online. In this role, your provider is your trusted technology advisor pointing you in the direction that best fits your business.

  1. MSP has spotty global service delivery, with limited or no options for local resources

Selecting a managed services provider with global capabilities positions your company for needed growth and expansion in the global economy.

Ask the MSP to explain:

  • Their standard delivery processes across all locations
  • How multi-location teams get organized and communicate
  1. MSP does not offer performance-based service level agreements

Performance responsibility lies at the feet of the services provider. Here is where you get to grade service offered, not how the service rendered assistance. A professional services provider will commit contractually, to meet or exceed your service level requirements. They will also stand behind their commitments with financial penalties or reimbursement if those service level agreements failed.

  1. MSP has a limited portfolio of managed services not aligned to your business model

Your business and IT needs will continually change. You want the flexibility to add managed services without adding multiple managed services vendors. Doing so becomes costly and complicated.

Ask your provider if they offer a comprehensive suite of managed services to cover:

  • infrastructure management
  • managed security
  • resilience
  • mobility
  • other IT services to manage hosting and cloud

Look for a provider who offers flexibility.

  1. MSP resists technology planning and lacks a vision for innovation

Innovation and renewal are critical components of your business strategy. The marketplace is always changing, and your business must change with it to stay competitive. How does a promising managed services provider contribute to your expansion? They view technology as continually evolving.

They look ahead and watch the trends, they plan strategically, knowing the right time to upgrade, replace or innovate. They have developed proprietary insights and gained experiences which shine the light on future technology or market shifts? Think of the competitive advantages you learn from their vision.

  1. MSP has questionable financial stability and a shady reputation

It’s worth mentioning. Some managed service providers are running out of time and about to close.

  • They have lost clients
  • not kept up with the industry changes
  • their response times and customer support lacked urgency
  • thinking you need them when in all reality they need you.

Ask to see annual reports, financial statements, and request client references.


Blue Star IT Services and Solutions knows this list it was not intended to be exhaustive or cover the topic in one reading. Preferably the information is your conversation starter.

To learn more about choosing the right, IT Managed Service Provider for your company give Blue Star IT Services and Solutions a call at (574) 975-0767 email us to speak to one of our IT Managed Service Provider Specialists.

Published on 10th May 2018 by Jon Morningstar

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