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MSPs are waiting – so why is it so hard to ask for help
Tue, 20th Feb 2024

Asking for help is not always easy. In a Harvard Business Review article Why it’s so hard to ask for help, Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries points out: ‘Although humans are social creatures, ready to both give and accept help, many of us struggle to actually ask for it.’

Manfred is a management scholar, a psychoanalyst and an executive coach. He identifies six reasons why people have a hard time asking for help, impacting both their personal and work lives.

Although we tell ourselves that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness and that it can make us more productive, knowledgeable and valuable to the organisation, internal IT managers are often tempted to go it alone. Maybe our readers see themselves reflected in these common mindsets:

Fear of being vulnerable. Some people are concerned that asking for help will make them look less competent. If they’re asked to do something within their (often vague) job description, they ought to be able to do it. Or somehow figure it out.

The need to be independent. High performers take pride in self-sufficiency, leading them to believe they should be capable of handling things on their own. Getting other people involved can seem like a waste of time.

Fear of losing control. People who have issues with trust may fear turning over some of their work to others if it could mean they don’t have enough oversight. They may fear being blamed if something doesn’t go right.

Fear of rejection. Even though ‘teamwork’ is the watchword of a modern organisation, many are still worried that a request for help will be denied. This can feel personal, even if it’s more likely just a matter of priorities.

Over-empathising with others. A person who is overwhelmed may project that feeling onto others and not want to burden them with additional requests. They may not have considered the simple phrase, “you won’t know until you ask.”

A sense of victimhood. Some people have internalised a feeling that they’re not worthy of getting help. This can lead them to suffer in silence, with poor results for the organisation.

Tasks can end up being neglected or given short shrift. Not asking for help can also deny a project the level of expertise needed to get it done well.

So, get help from an MSP. Managed service providers offer a wide range of IT support services. They can be an extra set of hands, or they can handle the full implementation of a strategic initiative. Yet sometimes, internal IT teams are still hesitant to get their help.

The assistance MSPs provide includes:
Day-to-day support. A managed IT service provider can provide ongoing IT support and helpdesk services for users, cybersecurity threat detection, network and cloud management, and software application updates.

IT consulting. Changes in organisational structure will often necessitate a look at the supporting IT strategy. Depending on their size and capabilities, a managed service provider can advise on infrastructure configuration, application selection, cybersecurity strategy, or change management.

Special projects. Only the largest in-house IT teams have the personnel and expertise to take on one-off projects like a merger or divestiture, platform conversion, or development of a business continuity plan.

Even though BitTitan has built a migration app for ease of use, large or complex migrations are the kind of special projects that benefit from an experienced MSP.

So… change that mindset, go ahead and ask for help.

Plugging the right managed service provider into the organisation can turn you into an IT hero (although we suggest you only wear your cape on weekends). You can get IT projects done more efficiently, leverage an experienced team, increase security, and have eyes on your infrastructure 24/7. Turn those negative mindsets into empowerment:

Expand your competencies. Feeling vulnerable? Identifying a managed service provider that’s a good fit for an organisation can help you to increase its professional value.
It’s an opportunity to learn from experts who have broad experience, and flex your own expertise about the needs of your organisation. Be sure to assess each provider’s experience with your industry and their track record in delivering similar services.

Spread the work. Sure, you could try to do everything yourself. But getting help from an MSP offers a chance to handle more projects and responsibilities. With tasks taken off your plate, you have more time to add value to your organisation.

Assuage your fear. Calm those trust issues by doing your homework on what different MSPs can offer your organisation. My company works with MSPs of all sizes and specialties.
Your account manager can provide a list of trusted partners with experience to match your needs. Also, ask for customer references to gain insights into the MSP’s performance, reliability and service.

Don’t be denied. Nobody likes to hear ‘no.’ A request to work with a managed service provider is less likely to be turned down if an organisation puts together a solid business case to present to decision-makers.

Be sure to provide well-vetted options, a rationale for IT outsourcing, and an analysis showing how this will help to do more with the allocated budget.

Just ask. If a team is overwhelmed, find out what tasks they need to focus on and which they think can be outsourced. Avoiding the conversation can result in burnout, frustration and distrust.

When talking to an MSP, be sure to understand clearly their response times, resolution times and scope of services offered. These are often referred to as SLAs (service level agreements).

Don’t suffer in silence, but don’t just complain. If you think internal IT needs help, you’re probably right. Getting the right kind of help will alleviate problems down the road because those problems can become serious, leading to project delays, security vulnerabilities and lower organisational productivity.

So, asking for help isn’t that scary. A great place to start is with my company. Whether you need immediate help with a migration, want to learn more about using MigrationWiz, or have questions about working with an MSP, don’t hesitate to contact us or your preferred distributor.