What’s your argument against an SLA with an MSP? (And why it doesn’t hold water) Part-2

Regina Christensen Perspectives

In our last blog post, we discussed 3 reasons SMBs usually cite for not signing a service level agreement with an MSP. In this blog post, we suggest how an SLA with an MSP will add value to your business, irrespective of your business size, budget and the presence of an in-house IT team.

Reason#1: Our IT requirements are limited

IT is not a one-time thing where you can follow a set-it-and-forget-it approach. Want this to run smoothly? IT needs regular maintenance– a service level agreement with an MSP is the answer. Regular data backups, timely security patch application, software updates, etc, are all important and won’t happen unless you have a dedicated resource working on them. Plus, there’s the issue of network latency. Services like periodic network monitoring offered by MSPs ensure that any latency issues are identified and taken care of before they result in a major system failure.

Reason#2: We are tight on budget

Agreed that SMBs may not have the kind of revenue inflow as expected in large organizations, but that’s no reason to skimp on your IT requirements. Skimping on IT needs and diverting the funds elsewhere may sound tempting, especially when your IT infrastructure is running great, but this can cost you a lot more in the event something goes wrong. Let’s take a look at a malware attack scenario, for example. If you don’t have an SLA in place, you are most likely to reach out to an IT expert or MSP on a transactional basis. It will not only result in a sky-high bill, but also, there’s no guarantee that you will be immediately attended to: customers with SLAs get preference over transactional ones in the event of an emergency. Plus, every minute your IT infrastructure is down, you are losing potential revenue–through online or even offline sales. In the event of a data leak or a compromise in customer/vendor data due to the malware attack, you are liable for penalties and may be even sued by your clients. So, saving a few bucks here and there by cutting back on IT expenses can prove much more expensive later.

Reason#3: We have our in-house IT person/team

So, you have in-house IT personnel? Great! But there are ways in which an SLA with a managed service provider can still add value to you. This kind of setup is called the co-managed IT model. By bringing an MSP onboard when you have an in-house IT team, you B

  • Benefit from their expertise and enrich your in-house IT team’s knowledge
  • Enjoy flexibility in terms of meeting your IT needs as you can scale your IT up or down based on your business needs
  • Reduce payroll expenses incurred as result of hiring new IT staff in-house
  • Help your in-house IT team focus on more important tasks by outsourcing the mundane IT processes to the MSP
  • Get an extra hand to assist your in-house IT personnel in the event of a major IT issue
  • Have 24/7 IT support, something that may not be viable with a small in-house IT team

Having a service level agreement with a managed service provider adds value to businesses under all circumstances, and should be considered an essential, not an option.