Top 25 Managed Services Myths
Despite being around for nearly 10 years, misconceptions about Managed Services continue to rage with customers and many in the IT industry. The following points help clear the confusion and dispel common myths:
- Outsourcing is expensive. Versus one or more IT staff the cost should be less when considering taxes and benefits alone.
- By the hour costs less. Like gambling in Vegas, a break-fix mode may have stretches of little or no cost followed by a roller coaster of downtime and unexpected significant cash outlay in short periods.
- Managed services are all the same. Offerings and pricing models are dramatically different between providers, so pick based upon need and fit.
- Model to sell more stuff. While some in the industry have taken this misguided approach adding to the confusion, managed services are actually based upon saving cost for provider and customer with no motivation to sell product or bill by the hour.
- Managed service providers hold customers hostage. The customer still maintains control and has more documentation and feedback.
- Missing goals. Just like any part of a business, customers should have clear goals that are defined and measured for IT.
- Management can forget about IT. In business, you can never fall asleep at the wheel and upper management should be educated on IT business aspects and regularly informed of ongoing operations.
- Someone must be on site all the time. With remote tools, response is fast and may be provided by multiple personnel versus an individual employee that may be occupied.
- Only an employee can understand. Most systems have common components and a provider has a breadth of like customer environments across several personnel over the limited exposure of a single employee and site.
- Managed Services are all or nothing. Many customers may choose to have a hybrid of IT and managed services for best function and lower cost.
- Managed Services solve all problems. Some users need basic PC training and hardware still fails occasionally.
- Recommendations are suggestions only. While the latest article or magazine may have some cool ideas, consistently ignoring professional advice can be as detrimental as ignoring your doctor.
- Phones are included. Even though on the network, phone systems have little commonality and less than 2% of providers support phone systems.
- Development included. Developing applications are another separate competency and project.
- Hardware and software is included. Unless leasing, products should not be part of a monthly fee.
- Ultimate competency. Just like doctors, individuals and providers specialize in specific areas.
- One vendor for everything. Not just a bad business practice, but plain not feasible.
- Customer leads. The provider consults and assists with strategy and implementation, but the customer must convey clear and realistic expectations.
- Software Control. It is the customer’s responsibility to keep software in a locked cabinet.
- Cases unimportant. Customers should help in advising the provider of problems and providing feedback.
- Reports don’t matter. Just like financials, it is time to take a business approach.
- Turnover concerns. Most IT professionals change jobs every 2 years. Focus on provider approach and processes.
- Buy it anywhere. It may have been a good deal, but that consumer product bought at a retail store is going to cost you much more in the long run.
- Provider has full responsibility. Keeping business running and becoming more profitable is not about IT politics or blame, but rather clear and realistic expectations and measured execution.
- Adversary approach. Managed services are about a partnership in risk and cost for customer and provider.