Find the Proper IT Provider by Avoiding These 9 Mistakes
Your business can benefit a lot from working with a third-party IT provider. Choosing a team, however, requires you to avoid a few key pitfalls.
Time spent trying to figure out the technology you use in your business can be costly. While doing that, you can’t focus on your business needs, which can then result in poor customer satisfaction.
And let’s be honest, a seasoned technician will be able to optimize your infrastructure in ways that will save you in the long run. Don’t think of IT services as an expense, instead, think of them as investments to help you outperform your competition.
This is where IT providers can be of value to you.
They enable you to outsource hardware and computing-related services, such as managed IT security and cloud computing. IT providers can also provide you with a robust IT infrastructure. This will allow you to focus your efforts on revenue-generating activities and problem-solving tasks.
While there are numerous business IT services to choose from, not all of them may accommodate your business’s specific needs with their limited level of services offered.
A bad agency partnership can also result in unnecessary services, data backup issues, and recurring security issues. As a result, when you select your team, you must be extremely careful.
If you are looking for the right IT provider, you need to avoid these eight common errors.
THE NINE MISTAKES
MISTAKE #1 – PRESSURING YOU INTO NEW TECHNOLOGY
It is common for advertisers to convince you that the latest technology is the answer to all your problems. While the newest virtualization or cloud offerings can boost operations in many enterprises, they might not suit your business quite yet. Hence, don’t let the excitement surrounding new products distract you.
Assess the results your managed service provider will help you achieve and determine whether the investment will enable you to accomplish them. Your provider shouldn’t confuse you with state-of-the-art features – they should guide you and allow for seamless integration.
MISTAKE #2 – NO CONSIDERATION FOR RESPONSE TIMES
Determining the response times of your prospective IT providers is essential. It’s wise to ask them how long it usually takes them to reply to queries and resolve problems Be sure to gauge their onsite support efficiency, too.
Selecting your team should therefore be done with great care.
You should be able to rely upon a team of IT professionals who provide round-the-clock support. Constant monitoring, reporting, and availability can help ensure you can detect IT issues early.
As a result, the provider will be able to administer patches and updates immediately.
Furthermore, your IT provider should simplify the process of accessing their support desk services. You should be able to reach them by email, phone, and chat if you require immediate technical support.
Remember, hardware and software downtime equals lost money for your organization!
MISTAKE #3 – NEGLECTING THE SECURITY FACTOR
One of the most serious mistakes you may make is ignoring your IT provider’s security features.
If you fail to implement adequate cybersecurity defenses, you run the risk of losing data and access to the software you rely on to operate. If you want to avoid this happening, make sure you hire a support company that employs trained technicians to protect you from malware and other cyber threats. That’s why Micro Solutions only hires experienced techs to ensure your businesses functionality.
When it comes to specific security measures, your IT provider should have features that prevent data intrusions instantly upon detection.
The list includes phishing attacks simulations, web content filtering, DNS security, endpoint protection, mobile device management, and dark web protection. Services like Defendify and KnowBe4 are great options that offer many price points for organizations of all sizes.
Additionally, responsible teams should keep your network and point-of-sale systems protected against intrusions before they become a risk for your business. The importance of keeping them in compliance with government regulations, as well as security requirements, cannot be overstated.
MISTAKE #4 – OVERSPENDING ON SERVICES
Many IT companies operate under pay-as-you-go pricing schemes, the industry term for this is the ” Break-Fix Model”. The immediate advantage of this is that you can minimize upfront investment, but the disadvantage is that adopting too many technologies at once can cripple your finances.
Also, as you can probably already tell. This model doesn’t have your best interests in mind as your provider only makes money when you are having issues. Clearly, this doesn’t lead to a healthy relationship in most cases. Consider opting for an unlimited service like Micro Solutions TotalCare services. With this option, we’ll have you covered no matter the issue.
Thus, think twice before signing on the dotted line. Conduct thorough research on your providers and get professional assistance in drafting your budget. You can avoid a lot of frustration if you do this ahead of time.
MISTAKE #5 – NOT DETERMINING SCALABILITY
One of the biggest impediments to growing your company is choosing an IT provider with poor scalability. By contrast, scalable IT teams allow your critical infrastructure to evolve and grow.
They can continually extend their services to accommodate your company’s goals, even if these goals change.
MISTAKE #6 – NON-RESPONSIVE SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTs
IT service providers are held accountable by service level agreements (SLAs). They establish standards for responsibilities, quality, scope, and delivery time in writing.
You won’t be able to ensure transparency without one.
When you’re searching for an IT provider, look for one that offers a responsive service agreement. It can help guarantee the service level agreement (SLA) scales with their services while rendering continual improvement.
MISTAKE #7 – LACK OF TEAM TRAINING AND FEEDBACK
After you entrust your IT needs to a trustworthy provider, the story is far from over. In fact, it’s just the beginning. New technologies won’t magically increase your bottom line and decrease outputs.
To accomplish your goal, your employees will still need to understand how to use your new tech solutions. But bear in mind that not every team member may be able to grasp new tools easily.
It’s not uncommon for employees to want to continue using the traditional infrastructure. The good news is you can hire an IT expert to train them. Any complex steps can be simplified by these experts and your staff can be guided on how to maximize the benefits of your new investment.
Additionally, some businesses add regular training but fail to monitor the performance of their employees. As a result, this keeps you from evaluating how your employees respond to new tools. So, perform questionnaires and other forms of data collection to learn and address any weaknesses.
MISTAKE #8 – IGNORING EXPERIENCES WITH PREVIOUS CLIENTS
Managed service providers are like any other kind of product or service you buy. You cannot make an informed decision without checking user reviews. Analyze your team’s current clients and previous clients in similar industries to gain an understanding of their skillsets.
Seek out reviews, testimonials, and ask for references and examples of the provider’s work. After doing your due diligence, you should be able to tell whether an IT provider is an ideal match for your company. However, keep in mind that every IT team is different.
For example, they may have a deep knowledge of healthcare but have no background in retail. For the best results, stick with IT providers that specialize in your industry.
MISTAKE #9- HIRING A COMPANY WITH DIFFERENT CORE VALUES
Most customers will stay with an MSP for many years and are extremely tentative about moving to a new solutions provider. This makes finding a group that you find pleasant to be paramount. Remember, you will be in close contact with your provider, so you want it to be someone you enjoy building a relationship with.
Misaligned values go deeper than a simple mission statement or core values listed on a website. A company’s culture speaks volumes about the attitudes of those whom they will employ.
For example, I recently was shopping for design services.
A few days after a conversation with a representative, they sent me a box of cookies with a handwritten note from the rep that spoke with me.
I called back and let them give me a sales pitch.
We had a nice conversation and I picked his brain a bit more about the company culture he was a part of. His face lit up with joy.
Excited to tell me all about how his team each gets a bonus quarterly. The bonus is unique though. This bonus isn’t actually for the employees.
They are given the bonus with the simple task *Use this money to improve someone’s life*.
From paying single mom’s rent to medical bills for strangers, each employee was empowered to think positively about helping others and this sense o fulfillment really shined through in their customer service skills.
Finding a company with similar values to your own may seem like a small part of the puzzle, but it really can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so think wisely.
FIND THE RIGHT FIT
The last thing you want is to get stuck with a sub-par IT provider. One who cannot deliver great results, exposes your company to cyberattacks, and causes other problems. Your investment goes down the drain, and your operations suffer.
Article used with permission from The Technology Press