The IT services industry continues to shift from the old, reactive break-fix model to the proactive Managed Services (MSP) approach, and for good reason: while small to medium-sized businesses might feel secure with their current break-fix “solution,” they may lack the imagination required to foresee the ease of doing business with MSPs. For small to medium-sized business owners, the mere thought of transitioning to a managed services plan may be an imposing one. Keep in mind, however, that it’s your responsibility as an MSP to help business owners understand the core benefits of making the switch.
MSP Beats Break-fix
Illustrate for business owners the core ways in which MSPs provide solutions superior to the break-fix model. Explain how MSPs prevent problems, when break-fix solutions profit from those problems. Break-fix solutions may appear to work well in the short term, but break-fix doesn’t scale.
In-House IT? Not the solution
Small and medium-sized business owners may be dreaming of the day when they can hire their own dedicated team of in-house IT professionals. The thinking goes like this: if what I’m missing is IT services, what’s better than having my own team of IT professionals? Seems logical. So explain how a single IT professional is likely to cost more than $70,000 per year. And that’s just one professional. Explain how an MSP will provide full time IT coverage without the many costs that quickly pile up when assembling an in-house IT team. Also, point out that if their budget did allow room for this amount of new-hires, an IT team will quickly lose the coverage that an MSP provides (which is round-the-clock) by spending an inordinate amount of time extinguishing the common fires that arise during day-to-day business operations.
Better budgeting with MSP
“Technology planning” as a fiscal concept is a bit of an oxymoron: the scope of what can go wrong at any time is simply profound. Computers and servers crash. If it hasn’t happened to your client, it most likely will. For those who aren’t swayed by worst-case scenarios, most will agree how technology is wonderful—until it isn’t. The break-fix model simply waits for these events, and when they do occur, solving the problem becomes far more important than saving money. Not only does the fixed rate of MSPs allow businesses to better budget for technology, a proactive maintenance model often prevents these events from occurring through round-the-clock monitoring. At this point, your prospective customer may say, “So this is like health insurance. Health insurance for my technology.” You smile and nod.
While security may not be top-of-mind for small business owners, it should be. Help them envision the devastation they’d experience as a result of a cyberattack. Many businesses feel protected by all-in-one antivirus solutions, but the security they feel isn’t secure in reality. And while fear is a powerful motivator, piling risks and threats on your customers is often ineffective. Using fear as a sales tactic serves only to overwhelm and weaken trust—not the ideal environment for a rational approach to business decision-making. The threat, though, is real: smaller companies are growing more and more attractive to cybercriminals specifically because they tend to have weaker online security. Convey the importance of patch management, firewall monitoring, and antivirus technologies.
MSP 3, Break-fix 0
It’s easy for us to understand why MSP is the clear solution, but don’t let your expertise hinder how you convey the many benefits of MSPs. Don’t forget to position your services as they are: the MSP way provides better monitoring, budgeting, and security for small to medium sized businesses. Your prospective clients will be far more inclined to agree, and they will be happy to finally leave behind the old break-fix approach.