MANAGED SERVICES

July 3rd 2017

Below is an excerpt of Roisin Cahill discussing IT Managed Services with Quinton O'Reilly of the Sunday Business Post for the July Connected Edition. 

Managing expectations


Much is made of managed services and how useful they can be for organisations, but, Quinton O’Reilly asks, do businesses balance their expectations of them?

With companies needing to work with less and prioritise more, managed services providers (MSPs) have offered a lifeline for many who need expertise in certain areas but don’t have the means to hire the necessary personnel.

Availing of such services is incredibly appealing for a few reasons. For one, it plugs the gaps a company may have a lack of expertise in, and with the fall in costs for things like cloud, hardware and software, services that were inaccessible to the smaller organisations are now within easy access.

The drawback is that some companies can overestimate what exactly an MSP can do for them. While the scope has expanded significantly, there is potential for confusion on the company’s side regarding what they’ve signed up for.


Reviewing progress

Keeping businesses up to speed on the latest developments is important but this must go beyond mentioning what’s new. It should also take the form of regular communication between the two parties and trust between them is strong.

This is vital as uncertainty can lead to distrust which can cause havoc within a company’s operations, something that Roisin Cahill, the chief operations officer of IT Force, warns against.

“Trust is always at the forefront of any business relationship and it is important that a company trusts their MSP or the relationship will become untenable,” she said.

“However, from the client’s perspective, if the MSP is constantly trying to sell new services or products without putting much thought into what the client actually needs, the client will feel that the MSP does not have their best interests at heart. [At the same time], there is still an onus on clients to educate themselves and their staff.”


Shared risk, shared rewards

So for businesses looking to team up with an MSP or are looking at their current relationship, what should they do? For Cahill, her advice is to engage fully with the MSP from the start. “Your MSP will be an expert in technology and will know how to use it to drive your business forward. They will not, however, be experts in your line of business and this is what you must be willing to bring to the table,” she said.

“It is important to invest the time and effort required to assist your MSP to understand your business requirements. It is also important to listen to your MSP and be willing to take on board their recommendations. This does not mean giving them on open cheque book but it is important to take their advice and to work this into your strategic and budgetary plans.”

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