The managed services provider (MSP) model is increasingly attractive to companies of all sizes, as they recognize the benefits of an IT partner proactively resolving issues before they become outages (rather than responding after trouble has occurred). Most business decision makers understand that all MSPs are not created equal. However, they may focus on the MSP’s IT services and operating model rather than considering its commitment to adapt the plan to their own business practices.
In a fast moving IT world, “full service” IT requires working with the client organization to support their strategic goals, plan for future business scenarios, and allow for new opportunities that arise. On a more fundamental level, it also means understanding business limitations and challenges, and working within them.
Consider this: the goals and plans for an accounting firm whose business is highly cyclical would necessarily be very different from those of a manufacturer that strives to produce consistently, with no large swings in output, 24/7. If an MSP cloned a single model for each of them without addressing these differences, problems would ensue.
For the accounting firm, maximum uptime would be crucial from January to April, so performing upgrades—or even minor scheduled maintenance downtime—during that period would be extremely disruptive. For the manufacturer, system maintenance and upgrades might be timed to occur during regularly scheduled plant maintenance periods.
These are minor examples of the impact that a business operating model has upon IT decision making and planning. The point is that your MSP should understand not only your infrastructure, network and devices, but also your business and its ebb and flow.