What happens when your MSP goes out of business?

During my free time I enjoy spending time on the water. I’m hardly an expert when it comes to navigating the waters but one of the first lessons I can recall learning was what to do should the boat start to sink. It’s something we don’t really like to think about and statistically isn’t all that likely to occur, but if you are prepared and ready to take evasive action, you are much more likely to survive should it happen.

You’re likely wondering what this has to do with technology and your business. Well some Managed Service Providers in Canada are starting to go under, leaving businesses scrambling to stay afloat. There are many reasons behind MSPs going out of business but in most cases it has little to do with service. A number of clients who moved to Dyrand after their MSP closed told us they were happy with the service they received. Unfortunately, these providers simply don’t have the operational and financial capabilities to grow and maintain a healthy company.

Quite often this is because they haven’t yet figured out the true cost of running a MSP business, which leads to them not pricing their services appropriately. This can come from the fact that they believe if they are pulling out a salary from the business, that’s enough. Anyone in business long enough knows you must also be putting a healthy profit to the bottom line in order to maintain and grow your business.

And while everything may be smooth sailing now, you never know when those choppy waters can sneak up on you. If something happens to your MSP you certainly don’t want to go down with the ship. Not being prepared could end up costing you access to all your data or see you become vulnerable to numerous cyber threats as your security doesn’t get updated. These are situations that could force you out of business too. I’m not going to sugarcoat things here and tell you it will be alright if your MSP goes under. That would be irresponsible.

But, I don’t want you to think the situation is hopeless either. With the right planning in place to serve as your IT lifeboat, you’ll be able to make it through the closing of your MSP and buy yourself enough time to get things back to normal. Here’s what you should do if your MSP goes out of business.

Get your data back ASAP

You won’t have to worry about this if you keep your information on-site, but if your MSP is hosting your off-site cloud storage, you will want to start the process of getting the data back immediately. The minute you find out your MSP will be closing, you need to ensure you will regain control of your data in a timely fashion. If your MSP has provided you with a proper cloud solution, this should be a seamless process. However, if they have integrated your systems with their other clients, this can be a painful experience so knowing how it’s setup now can avoid this pain later.

Make sure employees know the score

If your MSP is going out of business then you will need all hands on deck. That means your staff not only needs to know about the situation but should be diligent when opening emails and using the internet. During an MSPs last days, it can be hard to gauge just what they are and aren’t doing and the last thing your company needs is some massive piece of malware infecting your systems at the same time you no longer have access to an IT service. This is also true if you end up handling IT yourself once your MSP is closed.

In theory, employees should be practicing safe internet usage principles at all times but in reality we all know that is not that case. However, in this instance, they should be warned about the severity of the situation and expressly told to stay away from any email or website that looks remotely suspicious. This will help you during these uncertain times.

Brace for impact

There is going to be a transition period and you’ll need to work out not only just how things will carry over in the short term, but what you want to do in the long term as well. A lot of business owners simply do a quick Google search for MSPs in their area and normally pick one. That’s clearly a less than ideal way to make a big decision and one that could see you end up on another sinking ship a few months later.

The first thing you are going to need to establish is if your company can function without an MSP in place and how long it will be able to do so. For some businesses who have on-site servers and software, this is doable for a short period of time. For other companies who might not have these capabilities, it will be vital to find a stop gap solution to ensure your operations are not disrupted. If you are lucky, your MSP will make an arrangement with another local MSP to handle your company on a short-term or even trial basis. However, this is not always the case.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re able to stay operational once your current MSP shuts its doors for good.

Inform clients of any possible delays/disruptions

Chances are as your company makes the transition from a MSP that is closed to an open one, there will be some bumps in the road. This could mean service outages, information being lost or maybe something else that is beyond your control happening. Some business owners simply hope clients don’t notice but rarely, if ever, is this a good idea.

Instead, be proactive with clients and let them know that there is a possibility of some issues. You don’t need to divulge the entire story as to why this is happening, just simply drop them a line informing them of upcoming IT changes that may cause disruptions in the short term but will better help you serve them in the future. Believe it or not, clients appreciate the gesture and will be far less upset if/when something does happen.

Being informed that your MSP is closing is a harrowing experience. If this has happened to you, get in touch with the experts at Dyrand. We won’t simply keep your head above water, we will provide you with a seamless IT transition that will let you enjoy smooth sailing for years to come. I may not be an expert when captaining my boat out on the water but me and team here at Dyrand are the technology crew you need to succeed.