There was a man who went to the cafeteria every day and ordered cold lima beans for lunch. A friend remarked, "You really love cold lima beans, don't you?"
He answered, "No, they're disgusting."
"Then why don't you order something else?"
"But what if I don't like it?"
There is a similar theme when businesses consider switching their IT service provider. They're seriously dissatisfied, but they're afraid to change. Maybe this is you. Maybe you are avoiding confrontation with your provider due to a pre-established relationship (you like the guy!), fears about switching costs, or simply not knowing what you don't know.
If you're in a situation like this, consider looking at the alternatives. An inadequate IT service may cause increased downtime, hurt employee productivity and risks more serious problems in the future.
If you don’t love your lima beans, start by evaluating what your needs are and compare it with what you're getting. From there, you can begin addressing your concerns and looking for alternatives.
The following five questions are critical to understanding what you need from your IT service. Consider how well your current provider meets each of these:
- What are your business needs? Your business doesn't match anyone's preconceived template. How well is your IT service management handling the concerns that are critical to your day-to-day operations and long-term plans?
- What is the effect on employee morale? Never underestimate the importance of employee morale. If your systems don't work well, employees struggle to accomplish anything and this will bring down their confidence in your business as a whole.
- How is the response time and ability to deal with recurring issues? If a problem comes up repeatedly, the provider should be looking for its root cause. Problems that linger need to be addressed. Don't be afraid to dig for root causes instead of empty promises.
- Is there a strategic plan in place? Have you talked about your long-term objectives with your IT provider? Do you have a strategic plan for where your IT will take you? Are you planning a cloud migration or other significant change? Are you prepared for a disaster?
- What is your budget, and where is it going? What services are within your reach, and are there others you need to budget for? What will you be spending in one year or three?
People hate change. Businesses resist switching from their current IT service management even if they aren’t getting what they need. It's the "better the devil you know" mindset. Change is scary, and predictability is comforting. We get it. Switching to another provider has transitional costs and risks. However, if you don't know what the options are, it's hard to map out a plan for finding a better one.
Too often, businesses wait until there's a disaster for which they aren't prepared. But if your IT management service can't get you up and running again, it could spell the end of your business.
Transitioning to a more strategic IT provider is easier when you don't wait until your IT situation degenerates into an emergency. Research and evaluation take time, and you make better decisions when the pressure isn't intense.
When you're talking with a prospective IT service provider, you deserve more than a sales pitch. Don't waste your time if a potential IT provider isn't asking you a lot of questions about your business needs. A provider can easily bring out a standard service plan and go through each item, but a standard plan might not be the right one for your operations.
There are plenty of IT management companies in Kansas City that can install antivirus software, configure your network, make your printers run and make sure everyone has the correct login credentials. Network Tech goes beyond the day-to-day. As your business grows, a strategic partnership with a managed IT services provider that that knows how to use IT as an accelerator for your business is an invaluable relationship.
Network Tech doesn't push the latest bleeding-edge technology. Instead, we dig deep to discover what your business actually needs from your IT service. For more information on how Network Tech provides superior IT service to our clients, you can contact us online or by phone at 913-538-7700.