Many IT companies use a managed service provider (MSP) platform, but using a fiduciary style of IT consulting can save a lot of money and frustration.
There are typically four services that an MSP will provide: monitoring, remote access, antivirus, and patching. However, a lot of these services are done automatically. With the huge increase in businesses using cloud-based applications, they’re less reliant on software and hardware, which means it makes even less sense to pay monthly for their maintenance. A good cloud setup means you’re “hardware agnostic,” and in the event of your computer or device being lost or broken, you can continue to work from anywhere on the planet with an Internet connection.
MSPs Aren’t Your Only Option
There are a number of free or low-cost tools that can replace the benefits of an MSP:
- There’s no need to pay for remote access — that’s free.
- There are great monitoring solutions that cost as little as $5 per server per location per month. There are also free open-source monitoring tools available.
- A three-year antivirus license can be purchased for as little as $70.
- Patching can be done automatically and takes little to no time to coordinate and implement.
Using MSPs can be frustrating because they bill for almost everything on top of the monthly service charge. Companies are typically charged if the MSP makes an on-site visit, if it needs to address a project-related issue, or if it comes out to fix a network problem.
What you should be looking for is a company that has your best interests in mind and really focuses on acting like it’s your internal IT team. A good fiduciary IT consulting company won’t inflate prices or resell products to you.
Think about it. Would an internal IT person:
- Buy a firewall, router, switch, or license for his boss, then mark it up before giving it to him?
- Charge his employer a monthly fee for installing monitoring tools?
- Charge his employer a monthly fee for antivirus software?
- No. Neither would a fiduciary IT consultant.
How Fiduciary IT Consultants Work
So how does a fiduciary IT consultant make any money if he’s not charging unnecessary fees? He makes money the right way: by supplying companies with his time, consulting services, and support — and that’s it.
A fiduciary IT consultant will find the best prices possible on the necessary products for the businesses he serves. He won’t sneak around trying to make money on product markups, license fees, or services that can be obtained for free, nor will he sell you a solution and bill you as if it were his own. But many MSPs do exactly that.
A fiduciary-style IT company also has full transparency and accountability. You should be able to see:
- Which technician did what.
- When work was performed.
- Account balances.
- License keys, care packs, and warranties.
- Vendor information, such as bills or contracts.
- IP schemas, network diagrams, and inventory.
If you find that your MSP is charging you for everything on top of the monthly fee, don’t accept it. Ask, “What exactly am I paying for every month?”
Discover how much money you can save by using a fiduciary-style IT consulting company — one that only charges for time. You should be paying for consulting, service, and support, not wasting your money on monthly service charges, products you don’t need, or products that are being marked up.
Want to learn more? I recently spoke about how to maintain the integrity of IT at #SUMtech15. If you missed this year’s event, make sure to subscribe to the SUM Innovation blog for the latest updates on next year’s event.
If have any questions about finding the right IT company for you, feel free to reach out! We’re always happy to answer questions, offer advice, or provide a second opinion. Call 212-737-0608, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEO and serial entrepreneur Danny Mizrahi created Contango IT, a pioneer in cloud computing that’s dedicated to helping businesses lower costs while increasing the productivity, reliability, and availability of their data.