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Does Your Managed Service Provider Plan?

Technology PlanThe dirty secret of the technology industry is that it is not regulated. While there are many industries that also are not regulated, none are like technology where a system administrator has full access to vital information from financial systems to human resources and company documents to e-mail correspondence.

That’s why regulated industries are required to hire a third-party managed service provider. A managed service provider is disinterested in the information, audits systems, and is contractually obligated to protect and keep systems running. In recent years, many non-regulated organizations have starting utilizing managed IT services to mitigate the high risk and control costs.

Unfortunately, since there is no regulating board, technology “consultants” exist only on paper and cannot establish a Professional Services Corporation like a doctor, lawyer, or accountant. Anyone can spend $100 to create a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and put out a shingle touting themselves as experts.

That’s the first place where most managed service providers fail to plan and put customers at risk. In Oklahoma, like many states, the true owners of a LLC are not listed. So customers don’t know if the LLC is owned by a foreign entity, an illicit business, absentee parties, or even competitors. One of the main tenants of trust for manage services is that the organization must be a C Corporation with listed shareholders and board of directors for oversight.

These so-called experts also don’t plan on helping customers. The mantra is typically “Let us handle the technology, so you can focus on business”. There is no business value other than convenience and certainly no mention of cost savings. What happens to any part of a business that you ignore? Streamlining technology is our trademark as a planned strategy to reduce complexity and improve operations.  Less stuff and more agile business obviously improves the bottom line.

Beyond the false platitudes, few managed service providers have the capabilities to plan. If you see the owner after the initial sale, you’ll be further dismayed when you inquire about their education as most do not have a 4 year business or technical degree. All too often beyond a monitoring tool, nothing is provided to customers to manage their business.

Without a patent pending methodology like Matrixforce Delta, most customers are flying blind with little or no documentation, roadmap, or understanding of their situation for risk and growth. As we finish Q1 and schedule with clients to review, they have received a dozen deliverables for managing their business now and for the next 5 years.

It’s great if you get a call asking “how are we doing?” and to review some budgetary quotes. However, that’s just a sales call and no planning to help you grow your business.

If you’ve had the discussion above with your provider and not liked the answers, contact us to discuss a better approach.

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