When choosing an IT provider, you are probably looking for a reliable company who understands your business needs and is properly prepared and ready to assist. You may think you have found the perfect fit, but things can start to get spooky. So what are some things you should look out for to determine if an IT provider is not right for you?1. Do they require long-term contracts?
Although you don’t want to change providers frequently, it is far worse to be stuck with someone who is not meeting your needs. Your IT provider should not hit you with a 3-year contract or any long-term contract for that matter. You wouldn’t enter into a 3-year agreement with a contract employee and how would this be any different? Be certain they continually earn your business with a 60-day out or similar contract. Technology is important for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), strategically and day-to-day, so be sure you are not latched into a contract that doesn’t satisfy your needs.
When an IT provider does not understand what drives your business, they cannot provide the right solutions to fit your business. If you find yourself initiating every conversation, then you might question whether they are able to meet your strategic needs as well as the day-to-day. If you find that you are constantly approached with products and services that are unnecessary then they may not really know what you need.
Reliable IT providers will include a Service Level Agreement (SLA) into your contract. This agreement outlines the expected support response time on an hourly and daily basis based on the urgency of the request. Speed of response needs to fit the type of need or question being posed. If a provider is not responding to you within this deadline (or at all), it could mean they are disorganized, handling too many clients, or are just not seeing you as a priority.
Having stated all the above, if there is always someone available when you make contact, your IT provider may not be using a business model that saves your company money. Don’t get me wrong service response is a key factor, and yet, you don’t want your IT partner staff sitting around waiting on the phone to ring either. If your IT provider is overstaffed, that will impact your contract.
4. Do they openly talk about partnering with others?
Your IT provider is not able to do it all, and they shouldn’t pretend to. Do your main technology contacts talk about partnering with others internally or externally to give you the right solution? If not, they should be. Collaboration can provide an informed path to address your needs. In addition, partnering can provide the outside expertise you need to accomplish a project in the time you need it.
Remaining current with security systems, guidelines and suggestions for your business is one of the most critical aspects an IT provider can do for you. Assuring your IT provider has fully embraced new technologies is crucial to providing your company with the best security, systems, and services to help you succeed and protect your company.
Do some of these tips sound familiar? Consider the impact on your business and talk with your IT provider about your concerns. Your business is worth it.
Looking for another option for your business IT service needs? Contact us today! We would be glad to have a discussion with you.