Is your staff always complaining about technology? Does it take forever to get IT issues fixed? Are you constantly spending money on IT projects you didn’t budget for? If you’re routinely dealing with any of these issues, then it may be a sign that you’ve outgrown your current IT provider.
The days of IT providers being around just to fix issues after they happen are long gone, or at least they should be. Today’s IT providers must be proactive.
Technology now plays a critical role in almost every business function. An effective, modern IT provider doesn’t just fix tech issues, they’ll create an entire technology strategy that covers:
- Using technology to reach your business goals
- Minimizing current and potential IT risks (i.e. outdated technology, cybersecurity, etc.)
- Incorporating new and innovative technology
53% of businesses say their operations are becoming more complex due to an increase in data to manage/analyze (source). A small IT provider simply can’t keep up with the increasing needs and complexities of managing modern IT.
If you’re unsure that your current IT provider is meeting your businesses’ actual needs, here are some signs to look out for:
5 Signs You’ve Outgrown your IT Provider
1. You only see them when there’s a problem
Many providers simply don’t have the resources to be proactive. They spend their time putting out the “fire of the day”.
Resolving IT issues is just one of many functions your IT provider is responsible for. You’re paying your IT provider to handle every aspect of your IT operations. If they are only regularly performing one function, then you’re not getting proper value of your IT spend.
Your IT provider should be regularly reviewing your IT environment to anticipate future problems and take proactive steps to combat them. If your IT provider is doing their job correctly, you’ll notice far less downtime and a more efficient overall operation.
2. They aren’t recommending new technologies that are right for your business
A challenge many small providers face is that they don’t have the resources to research and implement new technologies for your business.
Your IT provider is your businesses’ technical expert. They should be recognizing when certain technologies or processes aren’t working and offering paths for improvement. If your IT provider is never suggesting better technology or processes, then you will quickly find your business reliant on antiquated and inefficient systems.
For example, has your IT team informed you about Microsoft’s Office 365 offering revamp? The new offering, Microsoft 365, includes more features and tools for a better value. If you’re already using Office 365, you may not even be aware of all the new tools you’ll now have access to if you weren’t told about the change.
Keeping up to date on the trends and new technologies of your industry is a must. By staying on-top-of the cutting-edge technologies in your industry, your IT provider becomes a competitive advantage instead of just an expense.
3. They can only solve one problem at a time
Your IT provider supports your entire business. With so many moving parts, multiple IT issues are likely to occur simultaneously. Are you having to wait on support because they are always dealing with someone else? Employee downtime from sitting around waiting on tech support adds up. Additionally, your staff will become frustrated if they aren’t able to get their work done due to long IT resolution times. Frustrated employees with nothing to do is bad for business!
4. No support after-hours, holidays, or weekends
What happens if your business has a critical IT problem outside of normal operating hours? Does your problem go unresolved until the next business day? Or do you have to pay your IT provider to come in after hours to solve it? Neither option is ideal.
If you choose a larger IT provider, they most likely offer 24x7x365 support. Some major IT problems, such as a cyberattack or an outage, need to be dealt with ASAP. You’ll be extremely thankful to have an around-the-clock team when a major problem occurs.
5. You’re completely reliant on one or a few people
Having all your organization’s IT knowledge and skills concentrated in one or a few techs is a huge risk. Just imagine what would happen if your IT guy was in an accident and unable to work or quit out of nowhere. You’ll have to scramble to find another IT provider just to resume operations. However, even if you find another IT provider, years of experience and knowledge on how to run your organization’s IT may be lost.
An experienced IT provider will have extensive documentation on your business’s technical needs and operations. With a larger IT provider, you’ll have an entire team of techs that are very familiar with your business so you’ll always have someone you can rely on.
Many companies are beginning to realize how much business value a proper IT provider can offer. Don’t continue to pay expensive service fees if all you’re getting in return is tech support.
If you’re still unsure if you’re getting proper value from your current IT provider check out our blog The Cost of IT Outsourcing: How to Budget and Tell if You’re Paying Too Much.