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How to Find the Right IT Support Vendor.

When it comes to managed IT support vendors, there are two main types. Here are a few consideration and questions you can ask to make sure you partner with an IT vendor in Louisiana that's right for your business!



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First, there's your break/fix IT providers. These are most often smaller businesses comprised of just a handful of technicians and engineers that make their revenues on reactive problem resolution.


Advantages:

  • Fee-for-service model: In this model, you only pay for the service you need and nothing more. These vendors only charge you when something breaks.

  • Simplicity: Break/fix IT vendors in the Gulf South tend to keep your network and IT infrastructure extremely simple to allow for low-level techs to easily troubleshoot problems.

  • Control: Most often, this type of IT vendor is not under a contract so you can have them canned at any point.

Disadvantages of Break/Fix IT Services:

  • Budget uncertainty: There's no way of forecasting how much your break/fix IT provider will charge you each month. It's totally dependent on how much your stuff breaks this month. Better cross ya little fingers and toes.

  • They profit off of your downtime: This is one that is often overlooked when deciding on an IT provider. Break/fix IT providers make their money when your business systems fail. Not at all saying that these businesses are incentivized to Bandaid fix the problem, just saying that there is the possibility of that being the case.

  • Repeat billings of the same problem: Since break/fix IT providers bill for each time they fix a problem, the frustration often becomes, "Well didn't you bill me for that problem last month and the month after that?"

  • Reactive not Proactive: In contrast to a managed IT service provider, break/fix shops can only react to problems once they bubbled up and started causing disruptions to your business. They cannot proactively manage your business systems to prevent problems under their billing model.

Second, there's Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs). MSPs are basically out-sourced IT staff for your business that you pay monthly for strategic and proactive service to your business. These MSPs share the responsibility for your IT environment and essentially act in your best interest at all times much like having an in-house team.


Advantages of using a Managed Services Provider:

  • Predictable monthly spend: Think of an MSP billing model as that of a subscription. You are subscribing to an IT partnership that covers all you can eat IT problem resolution and preventative maintenance. This model plays well with growth-minded business owners as well as leaders who are tired of tech getting in the way.

  • Peace of mind: Knowing that you don't have to worry about being hacked or your network share drive failing is a big relief for a lot of business owners. MSPs assume responsibility of those burdens for you.

  • Stability: Managed service providers provide stability, counsel, and strategy to your IT ecosystem. MSPs are incentivized by maintaining your network in a way that makes it most stable. Their business models literally become more profitable when this is the case.

  • Proactive not reactive: MSPs are your comprehensive IT support partner that always has your best interest in mind. For example, if there's a known vulnerability that could put your workstations at risk, your managed services provider is there to resolve the problem before it escalates to a security breach.

Disadvantages of Managed IT Services:

  • More expensive: Oftentimes, in a straight measurement of cost break/fix comes out on top in terms of cost to you per month.

  • Loss of full control: Managed IT services causes you to relinquish responsibility and ability to make accidental or purposeful changes to your environment without consulting said MSP.

  • Trust: If you don't trust your MSP, then the relationship simply cannot work. If you think about it, an MSP is a lot like your accountant where you have to trust them with your pants down. Make sure your MSP is made up entirely of trustworthy individuals!

With all of that in mind - the subtitle of this article told you that I'd give you some questions to ask of your next potential IT service provider. So here they are!

  • What is your billing model?

  • What do you do for securing my business?

  • What are your response and resolution metrics?

  • Do you think these pants make me look fat?

  • What manufacturers are you aligned with?

  • What's your approach to proactive network management?

If any of this is too much to bear or you just didn't feel like reading all the way through, get in touch and check out our managed IT services powered by S1 Technology. We have a team of world-class IT nerds and partner with best in class products to provide better IT for Acadiana.