A new provider brings fresh ideas, and can recommend new solutions that will improve efficiency in your organisation and help you to reduce risk, and grow.
If you’re still struggling to overcome the same business challenges, perhaps it’s time to try another IT provider who can recommend the right technology solutions to your business problems.
It’s much easier to switch IT providers these days due to advancements in technology, so if the following 8 points sound familiar, perhaps you should consider it?
We’ve put together a checklist of questions you should ask potential providers in order to help you determine which ones are going to be able to really improve your business. You can get it by clicking the button below:
1. They're not proactive enough
Your IT support partner should always be able to respond rapidly to your requests when needed, but the best providers do most of the work proactively and can provide reports proving what they've done and how it will impact your productivity.
Proactive work includes a lot of analysis to spot trends so the root cause of recurring problems can be found. It also means carrying out maintenance and monitoring, to spot the signs of problems developing before they cause you disruption.
Security updates, patches and hotfixes should be installed in the background without disrupting you from working. These ensure your desktops, servers and applications are always up to date, with all vulnerabilities addressed so they don't become a potential weak point for cyber criminals to exploit.
There are many other reasons why your IT partner should work proactively - just get in touch if you want to know what else we do and why.
2. The same issues keep happening
This ties into the above point. If the same issues keep cropping up that disrupt productivity in your business, then this is a warning flag that your IT partner aren't working proactively to analyse the root cause of these issues. If you pay by the hour, this can be incredibly frustrating as these issues not onl cost you productive time, you get charged for your providers to keep temporarily fixing it.
You should consider moving to a monthly contract where you pay the same amount every month, regardless of how much "fixing" work is needed. Providers who work this way will want to demonstrate value in other ways, not by continuously fixing things that break.
3. They don't offer value to your business
As well as providing proactive and reactive support, an IT partner should be able to offer additional value to your business by making the right technology recommendations.
Does your provider ever recommend any solutions that will improve efficiency or productivity in your organisation, help your business to grow, or improve business continuity?
4. They don't understand your industry/vertical
Over time, an IT partner begins to develop specialisms in particular industries/verticals due to referrals, location etc. An IT outsourcing provider should be able to support most businesses, but to get the most benefit out of the relationship you want to partner with one who has worked with many companies like you before.
You want your IT partner to understand the way your industry works, your unique pressures and requirements, your line of business applications, the challenges faced by your sector, and trends which may affect your business.
5. Your business isn't secure
Business security has always been of the utmost importance, but it is particularly 'front of mind' at the moment as cyber-security becomes more of a buzzword.
Your IT partner should be recommending solutions to block spam emails, phishing attacks, snooping, network intrusion, viruses, malware, denial of service attacks and more.
Despite all of these threats, employees are often an organisation's biggest risk. The right IT partner will recognise this providing security best practices and education for employees.
6. You don't feel confident they'll be a reliable safety net in the event of a disaster
Unfortunately, disasters happen. Whether it's a fire, flood, or someone ripping up all of the copper wires outside your building, you can't absolutely guarantee that nothing will ever happen that threatens your business and brings work to a stop.
If you're regulated by the FCA, failure to have an adequate disaster recovery solution and business continuity plan could mean you are in breach of compliance. Your IT partner is crucial in this area. You need to be confident that they can quickly get you back up and running, and allow you to work remotely with complete access to all files and applications while your office location is out of use.
Ask them about your 'business continuity plan' and how they fit in. If they can't answer convincingly, it's a big sign it's time to change.
With Netstar, clients on our disaster recovery solutions will be up and running as normal within 2 hours, and can work remotely from their latest backup in the meantime.
7. They don't communicate well
Having to constantly chase up issues and not knowing who is the single person responsible for or owning your problem is a sign that communication is poor within your outsourced partner. If communication is poor over relatively small issues, are you confident it will be better when you're facing a serious problem such as one of the ones suggested above?
8. There's no personal touch
Do you always speak to different people for your technical issues? Feel like you don't know anyone in your IT partner company? Personal touch and friendly service go a long way, and show that your provider cares about your business, your challenges and goals.
You should also have regular strategy meetings to ensure that IT is supporting your business towards achieving its goals.
Not working out? Download the checklist!
It can be difficult knowing what to ask when speaking to new potential IT outsourcing providers, but this checklist will give you an idea of the questions you should be asking to ensure you find a top class provider: