Selecting a managed IT services provider (MSP) is stressful, especially if you’re transitioning from a messy situation.  The last thing you need in your life is more IT problems, so it’s appealing to go with the MSP that’s most confident that your transition will be easy and seamless.

It’s important to consider how justified that MSP’s confidence is, however.  What if they’re telling you what they want to believe – or worse, what if they’re just telling you what you want to hear to get the business?  Here are a 3 IT Services Provider Red Flags that might indicate you aren’t going to get what you’re expecting.

IT Services Provider Red Flags

“One service, one price”

Whatever your industry, think about the most complex scenario you’ve dealt with.  Now think of the easiest scenario.  If you were charging the clients with those scenarios a monthly rate, would you offer those clients the same rate?

The reality is that different clients have different levels of complexity, and that should be reflected in the services they’re being offered if everyone is being treated fairly.  Otherwise, you’re either charging everybody as if they’re the worst-case scenario, or you’re planning to find a way to make your money back somewhere else once the contract is signed.

“We’ll give you a discount for a longer-term contract.”

IT services providers aren’t offering a long-term contract to protect you.  They want to make sure you’re serious about staying with them for a while – generally at least a year.  Unfortunately, that means that you’re going to be with them whether it’s working for you or not.

Think about the worst relationship you’ve ever had with a client.  Were you looking for a way to keep them in your life as long as possible?  Hopefully not!

Sometimes, despite the best of intentions, it’s just not a fit.  And if you’re not desperate for the business, the best thing you can do for all parties involved is to part ways amicably, so both companies can find better business partners.  We don’t think we’d have better relationships with our clients if we locked them into a managed IT services contract for more than 30 days.

“We can work with anything”

No MSP should expect that you’ll be replacing all of your equipment the month you switch to them – you’ve simply invested too much money in that equipment.  But if they try to convince you they’re equally good dealing with any equipment or software, don’t believe it.

Most business IT services providers have fewer than 100 employees – so it’s not even possible for them to have a team of experts to handle every single brand of equipment out there.  Instead, they have a “technology stack” of equipment they’ve tested and found to be the most efficient for their clients.  And if your equipment isn’t inside of their stack, they’re probably going to want to transition brands over time, because they can provide better support for that equipment.  That’s not to say that every piece of equipment you use needs to be in their technology stack – most companies have good reasons to use a different piece of equipment in specific scenarios – but MSPs should be honest about the brands and equipment they are most familiar with and best equipped to support when they’re asked.

To learn how WingSwept can help your company get the most out of its technology, call us at 919.779.0954 or email us at