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As you’re heading in for another financial year, you might want to look for ways to cut down on expenses. One of the top areas to cut down expenses is IT, as it is necessary for every company but can also cost a large amount of money.

If your company doesn’t have an IT department, and you find your company constantly dealing with IT problems, you may find it easier to find an award winning managed IT service provider (MSP) who can function as your IT department.

An MSP’s job is to take care of your IT so that you can focus on the parts of your business that you are good at. You can call up your MSP just as you would a regular IT department, and they will keep you updated on the progress of your IT.

It’s a great way to cut down on IT costs if you’re not in a position to hire an actual IT professional to manage your company’s IT, or if you are unsure what level of IT support your business actually needs and want to engage a company to see what you need.

The goal of an MSP is to help your company with your IT and ensure that it is maintained until your company is in a position to acquire its own IT department. Or maybe you might even enjoy working with an MSP and make them a cornerstone of your business strategy going forward.

However, you’re also trusting an MSP to work with information and equipment that is highly sensitive to your company. Some MSPs aren’t going to live up to your expectations, and others might even provide you with terrible service.

When we think about what an IT professional can do though, you might misunderstand what an MSP is actually able to do. While it is our job to fix your IT problems, there are limits to what can be done, and sometimes what is being asked of us may not be our problem to solve.

If you are thinking about working with an MSP, it’s important to know what they can and cannot do. This way, you can ensure that not only are you getting your money’s worth, you understand what an MSP can actually do for you, and whether it is worth it.

Does: Fix Your IT Problems

The main reason anyone hires an IT professional is because they can solve problems that you aren’t sure how to solve when it comes to technology.

As an MSP is a company that consists of trained IT professionals, you can expect that they can fix a wide variety of technology problems that you may encounter on a daily basis. Even problems that do not happen often such as virus attacks or a hardware failure can be fixed by your MSP.

If you need to replace hardware or install a new piece of software, your MSP can do that for you too. An MSP functions exactly like an IT department would, only in this case the IT department is farther away from your office than a simple walk to the next room.

Doesn’t: Fix Your Problems Instantly

IT problems can have quick solutions, but almost all problems will require someone to contact the MSP to report a problem. Then the MSP can get a technician to look at the problem and fix it.

MSPs aren’t psychic. If you don’t report a problem, they can’t help you fix a problem. Even if you do report it, depending on the severity of the problem, it might take some time to fix.

Technology isn’t the easiest thing to understand, which is why the solutions may not always be as simple or easy-to-understand as you like.

Put it this way: if technology problems could be solved so easily, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t have considered it to be a problem in the first place.

Does: Monitor Your Systems And Network

Any good MSP will properly set up a monitoring program for your company’s IT infrastructure. This helps catch simple threats and problems that would normally result in terrible IT headaches. It also alerts the team to anything that couldn’t be prevented and allows technicians to fix your problems before you notice they are there.

This way, you can relax when it comes to basic IT security. An MSP will cover you so that you won’t be falling prey to simple things that you could easily prevent.

Doesn’t: Prevent Any And Every IT Problem From Happening Again

It would be nice if an MSP could prevent your company from ever having an IT problem ever again. After all, you believe that’s what you pay an MSP or IT professional for. It’s their job to make sure that your company’s operations are never interrupted because of an IT problem.

While it’s true that MSPs should be able to catch threats and fix problems before you notice them, not every problem is going to be preventable.

For example, if you spill coffee on your laptop and it breaks down, that’s something that an MSP can help you fix. But that’s an IT problem that an MSP can’t prevent, outside of barring you from drinking coffee (which would no doubt garner a lot of dissent and dissatisfaction).

We can’t foresee the future. An MSP will do what it can to stop threats and fix problems when they happen, but they can’t see everything before it’s about to happen.

Does: Work With You To Solve A Problem

The IT professionals in an MSP will always work with you to solve a problem. The last thing anyone wants is an unresolved problem that gives headaches to the people on both sides.

Of course, you need to be working with the team in order for your problem to be solved. A technician will be assigned to your problem and will contact you to advise you on solving the problem, as well as having you test your technology to see that the problem is actually solved.

You will be met with professional service at each and every step, and you will understand everything that is being done to fix your problem.

Doesn’t: Fix Your Problems With No Information

MSPs will always have highly trained technicians on hand. You can expect high quality service regardless of the technician that you engage with, and you can guarantee that your problem will be solved as soon as possible.

However, IT professionals are not psychic. Just because you say there is a problem doesn’t mean we will be able to magically fix it. You have to tell us what the problem is, who is affected by it, what files are involved and all the other relevant details needed to solve the problem.

Simply calling and claiming there is a problem and it needs to be fixed, but being vague and demanding will not get your problem solved any faster. In fact, it will make it difficult for both sides, as frustration will grow and your problem will remain unsolved.

MSPs can fix your problem, but you need to be cooperative with them. We’re not a personal caretaker who picks up after you, we’re your IT department.

Does: Work With You To Improve Your Business

Every business needs technology, whether or not they like to admit it. Whether it’s for delivering better service to customers or helping your team work efficiently, there’s almost always a technology solution that will help you.

Of course, you might not be ready for these solutions, or maybe even understand how it works. That’s perfectly fine, because every company’s needs and situation are different. That’s why an MSP will work with you to improve your business.

Just as your IT department wouldn’t sit around and only exist for the sake of solving problems, you need a group that is interested in actually helping your business move forward. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

Doesn’t: Control How Your Business Operates

No decent MSP would be constantly bombarding you with suggestions to buy more products or use more services. While they may actually offer benefits, you shouldn’t be forced or feel pressured into making a decision that you don’t feel comfortable in making.

Your IT department is also meant to help you with your day-to-day operations concerning IT. It’s not going to tell you whether you’re making the right business move (for better or for worse). It will talk to you about what IT will be affected when you take a step in a new direction.

Also, your MSP can only help you with IT related matters. If it’s not involving IT at all, there’s very little your MSP can be expected to do. You can get advice on services you need, you can get your problem fixed, and you can develop a great relationship. But your MSP can’t streamline your operations or get you tax savings on your employees. That’s for other parts of the company.

MSPs Are Here To Help

You might seem hesitant about working with an external IT company. That’s perfectly fine, and quite reasonable. You’re trusting another company to manage your company information and technology, and that’s never an easy thing to do.

But by understanding what they can and can’t do, you might be able to rest easier knowing what an MSP can do for you, and what they aren’t able to do. Then you might feel a bit better knowing you can trust an MSP to support your IT, or you might need a better option.

By being informed, you can now make a better decision when it comes to your IT. In this day and age, information is vital.

To find out what one MSP can do for you, do think about contacting MSP Blueshift if you’re in Melbourne, Australia! We’d love to have a chat with you.

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you liked it, share it with your friends and family, and follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @mspblueshift and on LinkedIn! Call us at 1300 501 677 for a look at your IT today!