An IT partner’s goal is to work with you to make your business more efficient and secure. For the owner of a small business or startup, reactive IT services or a one-man partner may seem like the best fit, but it’s important that you recognize when the time has come to scale up your IT support.
Here are some telltale signs that you are too big for your current IT provider:
- Unstable technology: Business continuity is an extremely important contributor to productive days and a profitable bottom line. If computers are freezing, software is crashing and your connections keep dropping, this is a surefire sign that your current partner is unable to maintain the level of technology support you need.
- Recurring problems: Nothing is ever 100 percent perfect, and IT problems will inevitably arise. A provider with the depth of knowledge you need should work to diagnose and solve any problem that crops up, and then implement steps to ensure the issue does not happen again. If you’re consistently calling your IT partner to fix the same things over and over, this may be a sign they do not have the level of expertise needed to keep your organization functioning smoothly.
- Slow response time: When issues do crop up, time down is typically money wasted, and a quick response is one of the things you are paying for with an IT provider. If you’re working with a provider who cannot provide emergency support outside of office hours and whose response time is generally slow, this usually means one of two things: Either the partner has too many clients and you’re not a priority, or they simply cannot provide the service level needed by an organization of your size due to time or knowledge constraints. The bottom line is that they are not qualified to provide the right type of service for you.
- No new suggestions: Your IT partner should be more than a reactive, break-and-I’ll-fix-it resource. They are an extension of your company, and as you grow, they should make it a priority to understand your goals and recommend the best ways to achieve them.
- Solutions are not up to date: One of the reasons to hire an IT service provider is their cutting-edge knowledge of what technology will serve you best. If you’re not operating with up-to-date technology and your provider is unable to answer your questions about software or security, it’s probably time to find someone who can.
- User complaints are on the rise: Your employees are on the ground every day utilizing the software, machines and systems in place. They are a valuable resource in terms of letting you know if your IT provider isn’t providing sufficient service. Pay attention to the number of user complaints coming through - if users aren’t getting their issues addressed, they may look for their own workarounds outside the system, which can cause security headaches down the line.
- You don’t know what you’re paying for: Although your IT provider should be thought of as a business partner, the bottom line is that you are paying for a service. If you’re consistently paying for what amounts to little to no improvement in service and you cannot justify the cost of the service you receive, that’s a major red flag. You should always have a clear understanding of where your money is going and be happy with the service you’re getting.
Every business has its own individual needs, but as a managed services provider for 23 years, we’ve seen the complaints listed above time and again from companies that weren’t getting the service they needed and were looking to switch partners as a result. Pay attention to the warning signs because a solid IT infrastructure is part of the foundation to a thriving business.
Our goal for this blog is to answer the IT questions you have! Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments. If you're in the central Texas area make sure to check out our services page for more information on what we do!