Whether your company is relying on an outsider or utilizing an in-house IT person, red flags will present when you have outgrown your IT provider. It’s simple: when businesses grow, your IT needs will change and the person running your IT will need to understand your goals and have the expertise to promote your growth.
1. Your security is lax
One growing company we recently partnered with came on board after becoming dissatisfied with their longtime IT provider. For this company, there were red flags – lack of communication, vague answers to questions – but upper-management also had a gut feeling they were not getting the best services for their buck. They were correct.
We learned that this fast-growing company was lacking in security protocols and backup. They had nothing in place for disaster recovery. When your IT provider is not proactive about security, this is a major red flag. Not only is lax security grounds for a potential breach of sensitive data, it also puts you at risk of noncompliance if there are government regulations that you’re required to follow, such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Sarbanes-Oxley.
2. Computers are glitchy
The glitches may be subtle at first – a few complaints from employees about apps failing or email not working. These malfunctions can easily add up or compound, leaving you with issues like:
- Slower computers
- Slower internet
- Backups not working correctly
- Applications not functioning
- Files disappearing from servers
You call your IT provider or ask your in-house IT person to sort out the problems. The issues go away or improve, but then new issues arise. Or, the same issues return within days or weeks of being “fixed.”
When you start to notice that there is always something wrong, something not quite right, it means you have outgrown your IT provider.
3. No strategic planning
Your IT support should be goal-oriented in pace with your growing company. Often, small IT providers do not make suggestions for tech upgrades or optimal software integration. Sometimes, they are simply not aware of the very latest or even the correct software for your company’s goals.
Comparatively, IT managed services provided by a reputable firm will:
- Offer yearly design sessions
- Offer automated trouble tickets
- Put together virtual CIO meetings annually or semiannually
- Help you budget for future tech needs, including hardware upgrades and end-of-life software planning
Additionally, a firm that recognizes and promotes your company’s growth will contact you, roll out new technology and guide you toward the right utilities needed to prosper. We recently partnered with a company and discovered they were using the wrong Office 365 licenses at an up-charge of 40 percent – that is 40 percent per license. Not only the wrong licenses, but the wrong licenses with profit loss!
4. Your cost outweighs their performance
We recently partnered with another company that was unsatisfied with their IT provider. In this situation, they were paying several thousand dollars a month for “as needed” support. In other words, they only saw their IT provider when something went wrong.
Additionally, their provider put the company on a private cloud which did not take the following into consideration:
- Disaster recovery
- Data protection
We were able to cut their IT costs in half and provide everything that was missing through public cloud integration.
5. They set everything up, and you never hear from them
When you are dealing with a smaller IT provider, they will often set up your network and then you will not hear from them unless something goes wrong and you call for support. Even if they are on time and fix the issue, a growing business needs a proactive provider who is focused on preventative maintenance and monitoring. Additionally, setting up your network and forgetting about it is not conducive to uptime. To optimize tech in a growing environment, there should be periodic maintenance and updates and well as strategic meetings and planning sessions.
This one is a definite red flag!
6. They have you relying on their own data cloud
Some smaller IT providers often insist on putting your business into their own small, private data centers. More often than not, their tech is outdated and their private servers are simply not robust enough to take your company to the next level. It also may cost a lot more money. If the cost of your cloud hasn’t come down in the last 5 years, you can be sure that you’re paying too much. Public cloud costs have dropped around 40 percent; private cloud costs are stagnant or rising.
For a growing company, it is essential to take advantage of the big data that public clouds offer for the following:
- Business analytics
- Predictive modeling
Your company needs cloud data solutions to facilitate integration between diverse data sources, rather than unconnected resolutions that keep data locked in a cloud repository.
In short, we have yet to see a private cloud that provides the robustness, flexibility and safety needed to protect and keep pace with a growing business.
7. Provider cannot grow with you
We get it; many small companies and upstarts with only a handful of employees will rely on one individual with tech knowledge to handle their minimal IT needs. This person has been there from the start, but if your IT provider cannot keep up with your company’s growth, you owe it to your company, your employees and your clients to move forward with a more full-bodied managed IT services provider that can keep pace with your company’s trajectory.
Even if your IT provider is reasonably keeping pace now, are they helping you plan for your growth? What will happen when you have 10, 20 or 30 more employees filing ticket requests? Are your downtimes such that it would impede your customer experience as you grow?
Nortec believes in a customer-centric, strategic approach to IT. Our 2018 customer satisfaction rate is 9.3 out of 10 and 92% of support tickets are resolved in less than 48 hours. If you have outgrown your IT provider, it is time to rip the Band-Aid off and start talking to an IT company that can better meet your needs.
Contact Nortec today to learn how easy it is be to transition to an IT provider who can – and will – meet your needs.