How MSPs can prevent vendor lock-in

When selecting the right products and services, having the most options and flexibility are important elements. However, an issue that many MSPs encounter are vendor lock-in matters.

As the name suggests, vendor lock-ins are situations where an MSP – or any other type of business – is solely dependent on a specific vendor for the services and products they offer. Many of these vendor lock-ins also stipulate MSPs face substantial costs if they move to another provider. Here are some ways that MSPs can prevent vendor lock-ins from taking place.

Planning Ahead

Navigating around vendor lock-ins starts off with planning ahead. How this looks like at the start is through the contract for the product or services the MSP is getting. Any MSP owner should work to negotiate how an exit strategy will look like and incorporate that in the initial contract. This will ensure down the road if something must change, there is an option to do so.

Furthermore, MSPs should also work to ensure that their data can migrate easily to other service providers if it comes to that. MSPs will need a clear understanding of technology dependencies to ensure everything from the apps to the data itself can be moved wherever and whenever. These dependencies can include:

  • APIs
  • configurations
  • heavily customized options
  • and other features that aren’t supported by the migration process

Vendor lock-in also causes more issues when using public cloud services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. In those situations, vendor lock-in can prevent MSPs or customers from moving files from one cloud to another.

A Silver Lining

Even though vendor lock-ins are a problem in certain circumstances, they can also be a blessing. For example, MSPs can intentionally lock themselves in with certain providers that reward long-term loyalty.

Furthermore, locking in with providers of legacy technology – wherein MSPs can’t replace or update – guarantees venders continue to support technologies MSPs use and their overall business strategy.

Just like planning ahead to avoid vendor lock-ins, vendor lock-in issues can be mitigated when MSPs make conscious choices and spend time mulling it over rather than being forced into a decision by a vendor.

In the end, it is inevitable that MSPs will have to deal with vendor lock-ins for some services. However, with planning ahead and knowing what awaits an MSP, vendor lock-ins can be dealt with, resulting in MSPs offering the most flexibility they can.

About MSP Corp

MSP Corp understands you’ve worked hard to build your business and you want to protect it. With a mission to be a world-class business partner for MSP owners across Canada, we actively seek to acquire and partner with owners looking to secure the value of the business they have built and provide a seamless exit process that ensures business continuity and employee and client stability.

Contact us today to learn more about selling your business and maximizing its value.