With business and technology so integrated, if your technology isn’t running smoothly, neither is your business. From small things such as email issues to larger problems such as cloud and backup complications, your business isn’t running as efficiently or effectively as it could be. Your technology should work to support you not hinder you.
Many of these issues can and should be solved by your IT provider. If you have already have an IT provider and are still experiencing large or frequent technical headaches, maybe it’s time to start thinking about switching. This process may seem overcomplicated or even impossible because your IT provider is so engrained in your operations, but it’s probably easier than you think. And here are four key signs that will help you know it’s time to switch.
1. You’re Still Experiencing Small Technical Interruptions
Every business’s technology is a complex and fickle system that may take some time for an IT provider to figure out completely. And it’s a job that’s never truly finished. Your IT provider should be continuously exploring new ways to take your tech to the next level and better support your operations and employees. However, if you have been working with an experienced IT provider, you likely shouldn’t still be experiencing many small technical issues that are interrupting you and your employees’ work. Things like email issues, blue screen issues, or connectivity issues are all pretty common and easy to fix for the knowledgeable IT technician.
If you are experiencing multiple problems in these areas, your IT provider might not be up to par. These types of obstacles may seem small, but if your employees’ work is constantly being interrupted because they are running into one of these issues, it might be time to look at other providers.
2. You’re Having Trouble Communicating or Connecting with Your Provider
Because your technology is likely an important aspect of your business, your IT provider should also be an important partner. If you are working with the right provider, they will feel like a true teammate, always there to fix problems that arise and create strategic plans for your technology in the future. And the key to creating this relationship is unfettered and continuous communication. You should be able to immediately get in touch with your IT consultant when you need them. Not only that, but you also likely want a dedicated IT technician that you can create a personal relationship with and who knows all the ins and outs of your business. This way, you aren’t wasting time bringing a new technician up to speed on your system every time you call your provider. If you are having trouble getting in touch with your provider, it affects your operation’s efficiency, and it may be a sign that you should look at other options.
3. Your Provider Isn’t Taking a Holistic, Proactive Approach to Your Technology
As we talked about above, a key function of an outsourced IT provider is to fix technical issues and obstacles that arise. However, that shouldn’t be their only role. Your IT provider should also work to improve your systems going forward. They should really dig into your specific business and work with you to create realistic, affordable, and proactive solutions that will take your organization’s technology to the next level.
Examples of this might be working with you to transition to the cloud, creating a backup system that will ensure your data stays safe, or determining the best remote work option with your company, industry, and employees in mind. If you don’t feel like your IT provider helps you create strategic plans for the future of your technology, you might not be getting the full benefits that an outsourced IT firm can offer.
4. You’ve Outgrown your Provider
Last but not least, as companies grow, they continually reassess what is still working for them and maybe what isn’t anymore. But one thing that might get overlooked in this process is an IT provider. Just like anything else, IT providers are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some smaller IT firms may not have the resources to support large organizations, while others are so large that they become impersonal. The key to a successful relationship is knowing that your IT provider is the right fit for your business and when to move on if something changes.
If your business has experienced a large amount of growth since you hired your partner, it’s worth taking a second look to make sure they still have the resources and knowledge to support your organization. Just because they once were a great asset to your company doesn’t mean they still are. You may need someone with more specialized knowledge or more technicians to support your growing number of workstations. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your old provider is no longer good; it’s just that they aren’t the right fit for your business anymore.
There are many signs that it might be time for your business to switch IT providers, but these are a few of the critical things to look out for when evaluating your outsourced firm. Overall, if you don’t feel like your IT provider is an integrated partner that has improved your technology and operations, then what are you still paying them for? It’s time to explore other options and find a provider that actually supports your business.