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I’ve been working as either a support technician or in a management position in the Managed Services industry for most of my IT career. Before that I worked at a private company as an internal IT support engineer.
I have been fortunate enough to see both sides of the IT industry and over the years I’ve concluded that Managed Service Providers (MSP) have a special role in the IT industry.
The company where I started my IT career had over 400 employees. When I started doing IT work there, I essentially knew nothing about IT. Somehow, I convinced the IT manager to hire me. From there, it was all learning on the job and hands-on training.
My safety net in this job was that this business also hired an MSP that served as escalation engineers. Any time I was in over my head or had questions about something, I would reach out to our MSP for guidance and support.
As a new IT person, I would always shadow these engineers and take notes on how they resolved any issue that we worked on. Over the years I acquired quite a bit of knowledge by trying things, watching, and asking our MSP questions.
With a few years and some experience under my belt I felt pretty confident about my technology skills. A position opened up at a smaller MSP in town and I was up for a new challenge, so I decided to take the job. However, I quickly realized that I still knew nothing about IT. What became painfully obvious was that I had become very proficient in managing and engineering one type of IT environment. Anything that strayed from the setup, configuration, or issues that I had encountered in my old IT environment had me completely dumbfounded.
I suddenly went from managing one IT environment to managing 50 different IT environments. All of them had their own setups and quirks that I knew nothing about.
The next couple of years would be some of the most challenging and stressful times of my IT career. This time served as a crucible of IT learning and even though it was very difficult, it was a time that I’m extremely thankful for.
My experience is not unique to engineers at MSPs. The engineers I’ve known at different MSPs throughout my career are brilliant people. They are successful in this industry because they have seen everything. They know the proper way to setup an environment. They know the disasters that will come about if the right things are not done.
This is why MSPs are invaluable in the IT industry. We are managing a lot of clients simultaneously. We know what works and what doesn’t. We know the tools that save us time and we know the tools that are worth spending money on. Efficiency is where an MSP will live or die. Unfortunately, there are MSPs out there, that will prioritize clients with problems due to the stress of needing to put out immediate fires, at the expense of neglecting other clients, thus making unhappy clients.
Successful MSPs are successful because they do the right thing by their clients. They will not waiver in their conviction. They know that shortcut and cutting corners will always come back to bite you.
This should be seen as good news for business considering hiring an MSP. If you find the right one, It’s a win/win for everyone. When IT environments are setup properly and documented, they usually don’t have many problems.
This is what I love about Sequentur. Everyone here has a deep conviction to do the right things.
Not just because it’s the right thing, but also because we all have enough experience to know that if we stray away from industry standards, bad things will happen. Successful MSPs have the best vantage point of the IT industry.
We are the frontlines of everything that is happening.