Although changing your IT support provider is not a decision to be made lightly, it often comes from necessity rather than choice. Businesses frequently become paralysed by the perceived distress of shifting support providers, leading them to settle up with poor service until the costs become unsustainable. Often, a provider’s incompetence becomes obvious as soon as the service begins, but it can also become apparent halfway through the contract if something transpires with the provider’s operations. The worst-case scenario, though, is when incompetence goes undetected or when the company fails to be aware that it is occurring.
It’s challenging to determine whether your provider is competent. Reviews can be fabricated, and getting one is bound to produce a favourable response. In this blogpost, we will outline 5 red flags to look out for when you are having doubts about you IT Provider.
1. They don’t understand your business sector
Choosing an IT provider that understands your business sector is vital as different businesses need different systems. There is an oversaturation of generalist IT providers on the market right now and whilst they might be able to fix your PC when it breaks, they’re unlikely to be able to advise on implementing a specific system for a niche sector.
Your provider needs to be aware of the challenges as well as possibilities that currently exist in your industry in order to offer suitable guidance. It also means that they need to be participating in and hosting events related to your industry, as well as speaking the language of the sector in question.
It could be easier to approach the situation from a different perspective. If your business is in a regulated sector and your provider is unfamiliar with it, they won’t be able to create solutions that are allowed to be implemented. How can they create changes that add value for your customers if they are unable to carry out that simple task?
A provider who doesn’t understand your business is fine for daily maintenance since that only requires an understanding of tech. But for even a degree of business value, you need a provider who understands your sector. If you get this, you’ll be able to form an IT partnership that motivates true business outcomes, driving you and your business forward.
2. You aren’t learning from your IT Support
Are you receiving valuable insights and guidance from your IT support provider, or do you feel like you’re not learning anything new? A strong IT support team should be able to challenge your ideas, explain why certain approaches may be incorrect, and help you achieve better outcomes through their guidance.
Consider whether your current IT support provider has ever engaged in this type of constructive criticism and provided suggestions for improvement. If you’re not learning from your interactions with them, it could be an indication that they either lack the expertise to teach you or they are not actively challenging you to expand your knowledge.
Innovation thrives when the status quo is questioned, and technology can be leveraged to exploit opportunities in your industry. If your IT support provider isn’t bringing new ideas to the table or helping you explore ways to utilize technology for growth, you may be at risk of stagnation.
To ensure ongoing growth and development, it might be worth considering a switch to a different IT support provider that can offer fresh insights, challenge your assumptions, and help you stay ahead in your sector.
3. They don’t take security seriously themselves
It’s alarming to discover IT support providers who don’t prioritize their own security measures. When you entrust your business’s sensitive information to a support provider, a strong foundation of trust is crucial. If your IT support provider neglects their own security practices, it represents a significant breach of that trust.
If your current IT provider fails to adhere to essential security protocols such as Cyber Essentials Plus, patch management, or zero-trust principles, it’s essential to consider switching before a disaster strikes. Just imagine the frustration and anger you would feel if your IT support provider’s negligence resulted in a misconfigured client database, leading to the theft and sale of valuable data by criminals. Now, magnify that anger by the number of clients you have, and direct it back at yourself. It’s certainly not a pleasant thought.
Choosing to work with an insecure support company, knowing the risks involved, places you in a similar position of fault if anything goes wrong. When your clients become furious because their data has been compromised, or when the board demands accountability for a week-long operational shutdown caused by a ransomware infection, their anger is entirely justified.
To safeguard your business and maintain the trust of your clients, it’s crucial to select an IT support provider who takes security seriously and adheres to best practices.
4. They focus on contractual details
Successful IT support providers recognize that their own success is directly linked to the success of their clients. If you frequently hear statements like “we don’t cover that” or “that’s not in your contract,” it may indicate that your provider lacks interest in supporting your business or lacks the necessary competence.
Of course, if your contract explicitly states that your provider doesn’t offer support for certain services, you cannot expect them to assist you in those areas. However, if your provider treats your relationship as purely transactional and fails to view it as a partnership, it may be time to switch to a different provider.
In unique cases, a good provider will be willing to assist you even if it falls outside of the strict contractual details. They understand the importance of building a strong relationship with you and will prioritise your needs accordingly. Providers who rigidly adhere to contractual details often view your business solely as a source of monthly recurring revenue, rather than as a valuable partner. Consequently, they may see providing additional assistance as an unnecessary expense.
To ensure that your business receives the support it deserves, it’s important to work with an IT support provider who views your relationship as a partnership and is willing to go the extra mile to help you succeed.
5. You have outgrown them
When your business experiences rapid growth, it’s not uncommon to outgrow your current IT support provider’s capabilities. Instead of intentionally hindering your business’s progress to allow your provider to catch up, it’s advisable to consider switching to a more suitable support provider.
Determining if you have exceeded your provider’s capacity can be challenging. However, the fact that you’re currently reading an article about switching providers suggests that you might already be reaching that point. There are several indicators to watch out for that signify you have outgrown your current provider:
- Falling behind on tickets and missed SLAs – If your provider is struggling to keep up with the volume of support tickets and consistently missing service level agreements (SLAs), it demonstrates their inability to handle your growing demands.
- Decreased confidence among your staff – If your employees have less confidence in the capabilities of your support provider, it could be a sign that their service quality or response times have deteriorated as your business has expanded.
- Lack of strategic support – If your provider is no longer actively involved in helping you shape your IT strategy and is solely focused on fixing immediate issues, it indicates they are not keeping up with your long-term business needs.
- Limited strategic perspective – If your provider’s guidance seems narrow and fails to consider the broader scope of your business and industry, it suggests they lack the strategic insight required to support your evolving requirements effectively.
If you observe any of these signs, it’s likely that your current IT support provider is unable to effectively manage the demands of your growing business. In such cases, it is indeed time to consider switching to a provider who can better accommodate your needs and help boost your business forward.
If you’re experiencing any of the five signs discussed, it might be time to consider switching IT support providers. It’s critical to have a provider who understands your business sector, challenges you to learn and grow, prioritizes security, views your relationship as a partnership, and offers flexibility in their services.
Don’t settle for mediocre IT support, as it can harm your business in the long run. Instead, switch to a provider who is eager to understand your business’s unique needs and can offer tailored solutions to drive growth and innovation. Here at Bells IT Support, we can offer reliable, trustworthy, and excellent IT Support. if you are considering switching provider, don’t hesitate to contact us.