Nobody changes IT providers lightly. It can be intimidating to end a longstanding business relationship, not to mention setting in motion all of the admin and processes around introducing someone new to your systems.
However, switching providers can also blow a breath of fresh air into your business and solve a hundred trifling problems you’re not even aware of.
If you’re used to the service given by a provider that’s not at the top of their game, your team may have found imperfect workarounds to IT problems in-house that can build up to major problems over time.
You may also find yourself accepting that a system issue will mean an afternoon lost, rather than knowing there are better options out there.
A good IT provider should also be able to recommend useful new tech or updates based off their knowledge of your business needs, rather than simply reacting to problems. If you’re still not sure how to proceed in terms of your IT support, watch out for these ten signs that it’s time to make a switch.
Running into the same issues over and over
A sign that your IT provider isn’t giving you optimal support is if you get recurring IT issues. All systems have their problems but, if you’re getting the same ones over and over, it suggests a deeper issue is going unresolved.
A good IT support team should try to address this rather than only offering short term fixes. If you notice that your team have been regularly asking for help for similar problems, you could try asking your provider about this directly. It may be that they suggested an update or software change a while ago which was lost through the communication channels, or that they haven’t noticed the pattern.
If the problem continues to occur after you’ve explicitly discussed your concerns with your provider, it may be time to move on.
All jargon, no sense
Sometimes, it can seem like IT professionals have a language all of their own. It makes sense that those within a specialist field use technical terms and popular jargon between themselves.
However, watch out for providers who use too much jargon when offering support to those who may not be as familiar with tech speak. A good IT provider will help you to understand what’s happened to your device and how you can assist them in fixing it on your end. They’ll answer questions at an appropriate technical level and stop and explain a term if you ask them to.
It’s a bad sign if your provider is unable or unwilling to help you to understand what they’re doing. At best, they need to work on the quality of their customer service. At worst, they’re using jargon to deliberately confuse and put issues off until later.
They don’t follow best practices for security
At absolute minimum, your IT provider should have Cyber Essentials certification, 2 factor authorisation on important logins, and a patch management system set up.
This may sound a basic level of security but it’s amazing how many providers don’t meet it.
If your IT provider don’t take their own security seriously, they could be compromising your systems. Keeping your customer’s information secure is your responsibility, so take it seriously when it comes to evaluating your IT provider’s cybersecurity.
They can’t keep up with your business growth
Has your provider started falling behind as your business has grown? Has their advice on your IT strategy become increasingly limited, or has it dried up altogether?
Is there a feeling amongst your staff that the quality of IT support just isn’t good enough to keep things running smoothly?
If the answer to any of these is yes, you may have outgrown your provider. Some IT businesses that can provide excellent support to small businesses aren’t always the ones who are right for middle-sized or larger ones.
This may be due to gaps in their knowledge or experience if they mainly work with SME businesses. It may also be simply due to their capacity and number of employees. Other providers will grow with you and rise to match your new needs.
If that’s not happening, it could be time to start looking for a provider who will continue to effectively support you as you scale up.
You aren’t seeing any ROI
Working with an IT provider can often be about more than support with computer issues (unless that's the specific service you're signed up for). You might also be relying on them to know your business and industry well enough to be able to advise you on the best tech and software to invest in.
If you’re not sure how well your provider is doing this, it may be time to take a look at what ROI their recommendations have generated up to this point. For example, if they suggested that using Azure Virtual Desktop was the best solution for your remote workers in 2020, you could look at what this has saved you in terms of security, Windows licenses, and virtual machines.
Weigh this against any additional costs the tech brought with it and you should get an idea of the ROI. You could also research what benefits some of the alternatives might have brought you.
Another way to look at this is how much outages will cost you, and how your provider does at keeping you online and running your business critical systems.
There is nothing more frustrating than having to constantly chase up IT issues, never sure when or if they’re going to be resolved.
If this sounds anything like your day-to-day, it’s probably time to start looking for a new IT provider.
While not all issues are instantly resolvable, you deserve a provider that keeps you in the loop, even when it’s bad news. If your provider does not reply to communications or update you within the time promised, there is a problem. Similarly, there is an issue if the messages you receive are not helpful or accurate. Giving another business access to your system requires a lot of trust, meaning that good communication is essential.
One more thing before you go…
If you’re looking for a new provider, or you just want to chat business tech, you can always give SpiderGroup a call! We have over 18 years of experience in empowering businesses through technology and we’ve grown alongside a number of our clients. Whether you’re looking for help with security, automation, supporting users, using the cloud, or something completely different, we can help you to find the right strategy for your enterprise.