Is it time to switch IT Providers?

by Rupert Davey
July 2020

Is it time to switch IT Providers?

Up and down the country industries have struggled to survive without the demand or ability to function. 

Some firms have thrived with an overwhelming requirement for their services but many have found it difficult to provide an effective service amidst this crisis with the endless challenges and problems it’s caused.

You need an IT support company that you can rely on.

As workers are beginning to head back to the office, your IT support company should have stepped up to the occasion to provide fantastic support and consistent solutions. They should have been influential in executing your business’ secure and effective switch from the office to remote working. What’s going on around the world is a real test of your IT providers knowledge and dedication to your business.

Signals of inexperience

Although working from home is a new experience for many of us, you required experienced professionals to guide your business through new technologies and different ways of working.

Technology changes on a daily basis, with updates, patches and entirely new feature sets rolling out.  Ongoing training is crucial in the IT sector and any missing knowledge is soon evident. Given many providers are new to the scene, the last thing you want is to watch them learn on the job, on your systems!  Using your business as a training ground and struggling with the detail is a real danger sign.

If they struggle with your requirements now, they will likely find it challenging in the future as your business adapts.

Accreditations, testimonials, case studies and continuous training: these are the key areas you want to consider when choosing an IT support company.

Checking how long they’ve been in business doesn’t hurt, if your IT demands are high, you need experience more than anything.

Inadequate response times

As you’re undoubtedly well aware, many providers like to gloat and rave about ‘exceptional response times’ and ‘guaranteed response in under 10 minutes.’

Remembering that response times are not resolution times, it just refers to how quickly they acknowledge your issues that you send through as tickets. Often these response times are met, it’s not to difficult to send a quick scripted message over email! Whether or not you were displeased over lockdown with your providers response times, it might be dependent on the level of support you’re paying for with a particular levels of priority assigned to individual problems.

But, with promises made beforehand, you should expect close devotion; if an hour response time is ‘guaranteed’ that’s exactly what you should receive, including immediate action for business-critical issues. Failing to meet these times is a sign of poor commitment to customers, indicating an under-resourced helpdesk and using marketing tactics to entice new buyers through the door.

At ctm IT Support, we resolve more than 80% of issues same day.

Noticeable lack of security

Given security is the top priority for any business, many expect their IT support providers to at least stick to impeccable security practises as standard.

The trust between client and provider assumes that IT companies take data security very seriously, however many don’t!

Have you been asked for your password over the phone by your IT support company?  No one from your IT company has spoken to you about Multi Factor Authentication?  Not good signs!

Do they have their Covid Secure certification and risk assessment?

Press your IT support company on these matters.  Keep asking questions until you're satisfied.  

Avoiding accountability

The relationship between your business and your IT provider should be a partnership.

Mistakes are made, we're all human, and when miscalculations occur it’s important that the guilty party owns up!

If your IT provider has a inclination to redirect blame to you, your staff or other firm then it may be time to pursue a new IT provider who’ll treat you with respect.

Do you know what they are actually doing?  Do they provide reports, ticket information and spend analysis? 

We do, on our in-house developed management portal.

Your IT provider isn't devoting time to educate

Where technology is important and fixing issues is crucial, good IT providers will educate and reassure clients as they go along.

Outsourced IT support tends to suggest that you were in hope of specialist knowledge and guidance along with the new technology and ways of working. If you’re getting all the tech but zero guidance on how to really use it, perhaps you should start to invest in a provider who is willing to invest time and enthusiasm to forming proper relationships with partners.

Doesn't understand your industry or lack in commercial awareness

The top priority from your IT provider is that they either understand or are willing to learn your industry before committing to take you on board.

Recognising the unique operational challenges you face and the widespread challenges in your sector. If every conversation with your provider sounds like a sales pitch and never mention the future of your business, it’s perhaps time to look for a new support team.

Ultimately, businesses adopt new technology to help with growth, achieving goals and keeping up to date. IT providers should be mindful of this, presenting new opportunities and displaying benefits of different, distinctive solutions.

Zero proactive maintenance and or monitoring

Only dealt with problems as you mentioned them or logged it as an issue, it may be time to move to a business that employs a more proactive methodology instead of reactive. 

IT concerns can result in lost income, so deciding on a provider that carries out pre-emptive maintenance is often a very sensible investment.

We appreciate that IT support may not be the first thing on your mind at the moment, having just dealt with 3 months of lockdown. But the current situation presents a good chance to take stock and evaluate your IT provider’s performance over the last few months at a time when you really needed them to deliver for you and your business.

Next steps

If you have doubts about your IT support company, now is the time to see if we can help. 

Get in touch now.