When Is the Right Time To Call a Managed IT Services Provider?
Well, when is the right time to call an MSP? This is a question we find that a lot of small business and organization decision makers have a tough time answering. Unfortunately, it is all-too-common that the decision to call for IT help only when something has gone very wrong. A breach. A substantial data loss. A hardware failure that has brought business to a standstill.
Admittedly, there is no perfect answer: every business and organization is different. There are certainly some wrong answers. However, very often, the most correct answer is RIGHT NOW. Yes, I know that’s easy for us to say…but there are very good reasons why we say it.
You’re under no obligation to spend money
Calling right now puts you, as a decision maker, in the driver’s seat. Many folks find it beneficial to discuss with various MSPs and see who best fits your price point and value expectations. You become more informed, can plan accordingly, and likely will find that you’d prefer to deal with certain groups over others.
You will get a better handle on your IT situation
Unless you are already running the tech (which may be its own issue…check out this blog post on running your own IT), you’ll likely learn a lot about what is making your IT tick. You can then use this knowledge to make more informed decisions.
The longer you wait, the more risk you may be exposed to
If there happens to be a glaring IT security risk you are unaware of, your business or organization could simply be an hourglass waiting for the last grains to fall before an issue occurs. This could stem from outdated equipment or software, poor standards or practices, lack of employee training or knowledge, or a plethora of other things.
You might not yet know what you don’t know
Even if you already have current IT support, you may not have a great view of the whole picture. Unfortunately, many competing IT firms tend to fall short when it comes to being a trusted IT advisor. At Certified CIO, our vCIO team is in charge of customer communication, planning, and advisement in this arena. (We generally get very positive feedback from these communications—most decision makers, likely much like you, value knowledge that better prepares them for the future.) We feel that keeping the machines running is only part of the job.
And if you don’t have current professional IT assistance, the odds favor that your view might be quite limited.
A trained, experienced IT staff will ask you the right questions and determine how far down the path you may be, whether for good or for bad.
You’re not under stress to make a quick decision
The worst time to be calling IT firms is when you need one right now. IT issues arise, but should one occur and you’ve previously talked to some MSPs, you’ll find yourself in a better and more informed place to make a decision. You’ll have phone numbers in hand and have a good idea of what the individual firms are all about. Few people make better decisions under tough conditions. You’ll have more information at the ready as opposed to a search engine, stress weighing on your shoulders, and a handful of unknowns.
You already know this one…but it’s just the more responsible path
Just like with a vehicle, the time to engage in maintenance is before you’re sitting on the side of the road with steam billowing from the hood. Would you wait until your engine seized to get an oil change? Do you run your tires until they blow out and leave you stranded?
Of course not. The same principle applies here. Let us get you running smoothly before it is an emergency.
You might be closer to an IT emergency than you realize
As you sit here reading about when the right time to call an MSP may be, the hard drive in your server could be logging errors alerting to something being awry. This early failure indicator is a key stopgap to maintaining productivity. But if no one’s listening, it doesn’t matter.
IT personnel will generally have a pretty good idea of the state of a company’s IT by doing a cursory inspection and interview. (For example, if the server is running an unsupported OS and the laptops from 2012 are all running Windows 7, there are some pretty good indicators other items may be afoul. If the networking closet looks like a scene from Predator, there is likely some further investigation warranted.)
This kind of “look around and ask questions” advice doesn’t replace a more formal assessment, but many telltale problems are common and others can be solicited during a discussion or meeting.
So….when is the right time to call an MSP?
Right now, of course. CONTACT US and get something lined up! You’re under no obligation and, if history is an indicator, you’ll leave as a more informed IT consumer. We’d love to talk to you and help get you prepped for a better IT future!