A new calendar year is just around the corner (12 days to be exact) and this is the time of year where people are thinking about setting new goals and priorities. Not only are people focused on personal goals, but as a business owner, or business decision maker, these times in a calendar year present an opportunity to plan for change. Throughout the years I've been involved with assisting organizations transition away from an IT Consultant or an IT support provider and repeatedly it's for the same reasons. The goal of this blog post is to highlight these 'reasons' as I've also encountered numerous situations where a business doesn't recognize what they're missing out on and poor performance is accepted as the norm.
Here are the most common reasons why an organization looks to change their IT partnership:
Your IT service provider is just an invoice
How often do you see your IT consultant or IT company? Is it always a struggle to get someone onsite when you need them? Do you question the level of activity and have to ask why you're paying this much per month. Questioning the overall value of the business relationship is the #1 thing that causes a business to switch IT partners. As a business owner or business decision maker, if you cannot quickly define the value of your existing IT partnership, then this is enough reason to consider other providers. A true strategic IT partner is much more than just a monthly invoice and it should be considered a strategic partnership that provides recurring value to your business.
You don't have a clearly defined IT plan
Any doctor can put a band aid on a wound but it takes the right doctor to diagnose and recommend the right solution to your ailment. Just like a good doctor, addressing the root cause of a problem and having the right plan (instead of a quick fix) is critical in ensuring the long-term health of your network. The right IT provider should identify risks and opportunities for improvement through a clearly defined IT plan that aligns with your business objectives. If your existing relationship only involves break/fix scenarios without any transparency into back-end systems then you are sitting on a ticking time-bomb. You need to be aware of the risk present within your environment, and you need a short and long-term plan to remediate any deficiencies. Maximizing your IT investment is something Softlanding has been doing for numerous large organizations in Vancouver since 2000 and we take this enterprise-level exposure and apply it to your business regardless of its size.
Your relationship is 100% reactive
Do you only see or hear from your IT partner when something is broken? How often are they proactively involved in your business. A regular onsite presence is a key ingredient of a successful IT partnership and it is something we include in every single partnership that we engage in. Softlanding is not only your break/fix Help Desk when you need it, but we strive to become the 'face' of your IT department and build real relationships with your staff. If you feel like you're chasing your tail on recurring issues and not progressing as an organization from an IT perspective, then you are not getting the proactive love you need.
Your Help Desk is a black-hole
If you're in a situation where you submit a 'ticket' but have no clear indication of when it will be worked on, let alone resolved, then you're most likely submitting support tickets into the abyss. If it takes days to get the most basic support requests resolved, it most likely means your IT partner does not have an efficient service delivery operations, is under staffed, or is over their head. A lot of competitors hire the most inexpensive technical resources to staff their Network Operations Center which results in poor response times, multiple escalations, and an overall poor support experience. At Softlanding our team is composed of technical consultants with years of IT experience to ensure you get a seamless support experience with same-day resolution.
The more I write the more I realize I could go on about this topic but I think it's important to remember that any one of the items mentioned above is enough for you to consider looking at alternatives. One of the most important aspects of any relationship is trust, after-all, when you engage with a Managed Services Provider you are looking for them to become your trusted IT advisor - I've spoken to many executives about the state of their IT environment including their relationship with their external IT service provider and they often have a tough time describing the value of the relationship. You'd be surprised by how many IT service providers are actually smaller than they appear and many do not have the exposure/experience to deliver on what they're selling to provide you with the true business value you deserve. Therefore, before partnering with just any IT company, make sure you build a level of trust, ask about their company and business direction, their team, the clients they've done business with, and obtain references.