You’ve been with your current IT support provider for some time now, but you’re starting to get the sense that they might not be the best choice for your long-term needs. Sometimes the service provider you pick to serve the early stages of your business is ill-suited to grow with you. Here are five signs that your growth rate has gone beyond what the provider can do for you.
How often do you exceed the capacity that your IT provider has to offer? When you’re getting ready for a hardware refresh deployment with over 30 server systems, the last thing that you want to hear is that they don’t have enough people to help out. Another sign that you’re running into this issue is when the user support tickets pile up and it takes the provider a long time to get through the queue. Even basic questions take days or even weeks to address, which leads to a lot of user frustration. The hit to productivity, employee happiness and customer satisfaction can be significant.
Hiring skilled IT technicians is not a process that happens overnight, especially when you need specialists in high-demand areas. The IT support provider must have a workforce and the resources capable of keeping your technology running without putting a strain on their capacity.
Does the IT support company fail to live up to the timelines outlined in the Service Level Agreement? You can’t wait around forever when a critical server or application goes down and you need help getting it back up and running fast. Your organization is too dependent on data to lose access to these mission-critical systems, and “We’ll get out there as soon as we can” is not an acceptable answer.
Start comparing the company’s response times to see whether they’ve been getting slower and slower over time. The IT services provider that you pick at early stages of your business may not be the right option to see you through growth periods. These growing pains have significant opportunity costs, especially if they impact the customer experience. You could end up with a bad reputation if your front-end systems are slow loading or crash all the time.
Hardware and Software are Out of Date
IT maintenance is a basic, but time-consuming task. It’s one of those duties that are perfect to delegate to an IT company, as they can easily bring in technicians to take care of the updates on a regular basis.
When you have a more complex, or multi location infrastructure, staying on top of updates and upgrades becomes more difficult. An IT company that is ready to grow with your company can rise up to the challenge and stick to a maintenance schedule that works for your organization.
However, if you exceeded what they have to offer, you’ll start to see systems and software updates falling behind. Not only is it frustrating to work on out of date systems, it also puts your organization’s data at risk. Cyber criminals are happy to look for low-hanging fruit in the form of unpatched servers and out of date operating systems and applications.
Provider Doesn’t Take a Strategic Approach
Reactive IT support involves fixing problems as the tickets come in and acting like a firefighter. When they see an issue, they go in and fix it, but they don’t consider taking the time to locate root cause in order to preventing it from happening at all.
A strategic IT approach takes a top-down view of your IT operations to determine how they can optimize equipment and processes so everything runs smoothly at all times. They learn about your business and understand its short and long-term goals. Their IT support plan reflects this information.
For example, if most of the support queue involves basic questions about software operation, the company can put together training resources for users to access without requesting hands-on assistance. Employees learn more about how to operate essential software, and their productivity goes up.
Falling Behind the Competition
Every company’s technology infrastructure is different, but there are trends in every industry that dictates the baseline level for success. If your company can’t keep up with the basic technology requirements that potential customers expect, then you end up falling behind the competition. Catching back up on the tech front can be a difficult endeavor, so it’s important to keep a strong, innovative pace going.
When an IT support company fails to understand what the landscape of your industry is like, they put you at a competitive disadvantage. They won’t be able to recommend solutions that will improve operations that are specific to your market. A common situation is that you end up with a lot of adequate software and hardware decisions, but they don’t offer opportunities for optimization or customization. A one-size-fits-all approach might be easy to manage on their end, but it can spell disaster for your company.
It’s hard to break up with an IT support company, but you have to keep the long-term health of your organization in mind. When they can’t keep up with the growth rate or the stage of business that you’ve achieved, then you need to start looking into replacement options.
If you have questions or are concerned about the scalability, feel free to give us a call or setup a consultation.