Written by: Charles Weaver, CEO – MSPAlliance
Early on in my managed services career, I used to openly advocate for break-fix companies to consider transitioning towards an MSP business model. At the time, we needed more MSPs, and the VARs and break-fix companies wanted something new. I still believe in that migration path, especially for reactive IT companies sick of the status quo and interested in a better business future for themselves, and a better quality of service for customers.
I have encountered many reactive (I use this term a lot to describe both people and companies engage in reactive IT services) IT companies over the years. Many of these reactive IT shops have argued against managed services for one reason or another. I get it. Managed services aren’t for everyone. The transition to managed services is not an easy one, and I also understand that. Some business owners have legitimate fear concerning the process of changing business models; others are skeptical of what being an MSP is all about.
I do have some advice for those people and companies who have decided not to get into managed services: find something else to do!
I’ll explain what I mean.
The Reactive vs. Proactive Debate is Over
There is no further need to debate reactive versus proactive IT management. That debate has ended. Proactive IT management is the only rationale path forward on this planet. To be even more precise, we do not need break-fix companies anymore! We have too many as it is.
The cost of managed services has come down, or at least there are many types of MSPs to provide many different levels of managed services and at different cost points. There is an MSP for everyone!
Practicing Managed Services without Experience
The most significant risk to existing MSPs are the break-fix companies claiming they are managed service providers and doing it wrong. These pseudo-MSPs are giving everyone a bad reputation, and now it is spilling out into the mainstream press for all to see.
It’s time for MSPs to band together and fight against this community of hack IT management companies and educate customers on the difference between break-fix and managed services.
Managed Services Not For You?
If you have seriously looked at becoming an MSP and decided it’s not for you, then you should consider doing something else for a living. Whatever you do, staying in the break-fix or reactive IT management industry should not be an option.
Twenty years ago becoming an MSP was a choice. The profession had not matured yet, there were still plenty of doubters, and customers had not yet bought into the idea of fully outsourced IT management.
Today, it is not a choice between reactive and proactive; it’s a decision about whether to evolve or not. If your decision is not to pursue proactive IT management, then do your existing and future clients a favor; don’t offer them reactive IT. Reactive IT is the past and has no future.