Are you confident in your IT company?
If your IT service provider offers you terrible service, then your business is as good as done — literally or otherwise. When it comes to IT, it’s either you have the best support or none. So, are you positive that you are working with the best support team? Are you confident in your IT company?
No, don’t do that. Are you thinking of scrolling down to the next article? Well, you are not alone. Most executives do not like this question. This is strange to some of us because one would imagine that you’d be keen to evaluate one of the most critical components of your organization.
Perhaps we’ll blame it on how ‘market-speak’ the question sounds. It’s almost like it’s screaming ‘we are selling to you our services in the next line.’ Gladly, that is not what this is about. We seek to help you critically review your IT company’s performance, and determine if you are really confident in their service delivery.
Is Your IT Company Doing What They Should Be Doing?
You are only going to be confident in a service provider that is doing what you expect them to do. Depending on your contract, you could be entitled to a number of services.
Here is a list of what a reputable IT company should offer you:
- They Should Provide You With Cybersecurity: Are you confident that the security measures the service provider has put up are enough? Cybersecurity is not a one-time investment; the team should regularly review your systems and institute patches. Whenever you have a scare or an actual cyberattack, does the IT supplier respond in time?
- Train Your Employees: Do your staff identify with the IT company’s operating systems and security measures? Any service provider worth it knows that their programs are bound to fail if they lack the knowledge and goodwill of other departments. This even extends to the leadership — has the support firm done enough to ensure you understand their services?
- Keep You at Par With Technology: As much as investing in the latest technology is necessary, not every fad is the next big thing. Your IT company should help you identify which technology is really beneficial to your organization. Expect them to review it for compatibility, and help you cost-effectively deploy it. For services such as the Cloud that require third-party sourcing, the service provider should identify and assess the right vendors.
- Involve You in Designing Solutions for Your Organization: You may not be an IT expert, but there is still security in knowing that you took part in devising your solutions. Does your IT company consult with you every time they want to run a program on your network? Or your job is just to settle service bills once they’ve done their job?
Now that you know what they should be doing, are you confident in your IT company? What is likely to dent your confidence in the service provider?
Signs Your IT Company Is Not Doing Enough
It could be a personal observation or complaints from your staff or customers; you know when you started having reservations about the service provider’s performance.
- Constant Network Outage: Are your users complaining about constant network downtime? Business is all about money, and time is money. If your users have to struggle with slow systems, you are losing a lot of productive time. Unless you like poor audio qualities or pixilated videos, you are definitely not confident in your IT team.
- Complicated Online Procedures: The other concern for most executives is the simplicity of operations. Baymard Institute reports that “21% of US online shoppers have abandoned an order in the past quarter solely due to a too long/complicated checkout”. Are you happy with your conversion rates? Do you feel that the service provider could have done a little more in that area?
- They Don’t Offer Customized IT Solutions For Your Business: The other sign is feeling excluded in your network’s critical decisions. This is now common with the rise of IT management standard practice journals that advocate designing of fixed solutions. The service provider approaches you with a fixated mind of fitting into one of their tiered services. Your request to have specific programs customized your way will probably be discredited with some lame excuse.
- You Experience Unexplained Cost Spikes: Perhaps the biggest concern for most organizations is the cost factor. The first dent to confidence is an IT company that only seeks to swindle money from you. It could be sporadic service bill hikes, the performance of unsanctioned tasks and demanding remuneration, or even creepy inclusions in the invoice. The financial loss aside, this is a team that’s not concerned with your systems’ security or performance.
If You Are Not Confident In Your IT Company What Can You Do?
Do not be in a hurry to discredit them without any substantial evidence; the problem could be the other members of your staff.
The first thing is to hire an external party to assess your networks. A systems audit will cover the stability of your IT infrastructure, security, management, and performance. The information gathered can be used to troubleshoot and identify the ‘pain-point.’
If the assessment confirms that the problem is indeed your network, you have two options. You can either discuss those issues with the service provider and plot the way forward. Alternatively, you can switch to a better IT service provider.
In case you decide to go the transition way, there are a number of things you need to know before making any moves:
- Whatever the decision you make, always ensure your data is protected.
- Only proceed with the transition once you have a replacement in place.
- Before the switch: your systems must be reviewed, you must backup your data, and you should have all admin logins.