Many IT companies specialize in offering services to companies of a specific size. Others are just one person and perfect for a small business just starting out. Still others specialize in offering fully managed services to small businesses and some offer the same to large businesses and even giant corporations.
Some IT providers can grow with you, but oftentimes small businesses outgrow their IT providers. How do you know it’s time to move on?
1. Your IT Provider Seems Overwhelmed
Response to support tickets needs to be quick in today’s fast-paced world. Speedy tech support can give you a competitive edge over your competitors. The longer any technology service you use is down, including e-mail, cloud services or your internet service the greater potential loss of income.
Providers should be readily available by phone and e-mail, have an emergency number for after-hours contact, and address concerns in a timely manner. Signs that they are overwhelmed include messages getting lost in the shuffle, having to contact them multiple times about the same issue before receiving a response, or messages not returned on urgent issues for far too long.
2. You Need 24/7 Support
When you were at the mom-and-pop level you didn’t need support on evenings and weekends. Now, your business is larger and you need 24/7 support. You want a whole team of competent IT service providers who can take care of your business’s technology infrastructure no matter what time of day or night, or day of the year.
3. You Are Holding Back Growth Because of IT Limitations
It’s much harder to grow your business when in-office technology is limiting. You need solutions that will work for you where you are now, but will scale into the future as your business grows. Enterprise IT solutions may be also more efficient for employees, allowing them to do their jobs better and causing your company to grow more quickly.
4. Your In Office Technology is Out of Date
Running old hardware? Software only updates manually? Sounds like you need to work with a team who is really going to invest in your future. The world of technology moves faster than ever. To stay competitive, you have to keep up with all of the latest developments.
IT companies should keep your office up to date with new technology. At the very least, they should let you know about new technological opportunities as they come up and give you the decision whether or not to capitalize on them.
5. Frequent Downtime
Frequent downtime for your in-office network or other vital services is a good indicator that you are probably outgrowing your current IT firm. Downtime hurts not only your bottom line but also your brand’s forward facing reputation. It may cause a whole chain of events that can tax your whole team, from the marketing department to operations.
6. Resistance to The Cloud
Cloud technology is often considered the way of the future in our modern age. It allows companies to save money on infrastructure as it reduces the need for on-site servers to store data. It is also eco-friendly. You won’t need to print as many documents by sharing files on the cloud and you may use less energy in-office. A good IT support company will support the future of your business with the right cloud products.
7. You Pay More – But You’re Not Sure What For
An aging, inefficient system costs a lot to keep up after awhile, partially because they require more support. An IT provider should be able to tell you exactly what you’re paying for and why. IT should be much more than a mysterious money pit, it should be a continuous conversation between you and your provider.
8. You Don’t Know if You’re Safe
Digital security is more important than ever. Different types of hacking attacks could come from any number of angles. DDOS, phishing and Trojans might sound like another language to the average person, but IT providers should protect you from these digital threats and inform you of how they are doing that in terms that you can understand.
9. You Don’t Have Complete Backups
One major thing that every IT company should do is make sure that you have a backup of everything you need in case something unexpected happens. Disasters happen all the time either from security breaches, natural disasters or hardware and software failure, and you need to be ready.
Your IT provider will work with you to find out if you need full, incremental or differential backups. A good IT firm will not only let you know where your backups are located and how to access them but also give you information on exactly what data is backed up on a regular basis.
10. You Use a lot of External Solutions
Outside solutions can be great for a short time, but it is harder to scale with these services because as your business grows they can get exponentially more expensive. Customized internal solutions ultimately save money in the long run, as it allows you to have exactly what you need!