10 signs that you need better IT support

PHIL REED

Having the right IT support provider  makes a huge difference to your business.  Lose sight of this and you risk:

  • Spending too much on IT support
  • Struggling to meet your business objectives
  • Choking your own company performance
  • Responding too slowly to new opportunities and challenges
  • Failing to empower your users with IT
  • Damaging your reputation with customers

The range of UK IT support providers is vast, ranging from one-man bands to huge global services companies.  They might have been the best you could find at the time, but the real question is: are they the best you can find now?

So take a long hard look at your existing IT support partner and consider the following tests to check that they are still the best choice for your unique needs.

  • Are they meeting their SLA?

Most businesses don’t fire their IT support providers when they fail to meet their SLA typically because it seems excessive, and/or it’s just too disruptive to business-as-usual.  Everyone deserves a second chance, but don’t risk your neck just to save theirs.  The SLA is sacrosanct.

  • Are you doing any of their work?

Another common symptom of an IT support relationship gone bad is when you find yourself ‘making it easy for them’ or even taking on some of some of their responsibilities.  You must insist on receiving precisely the IT support capability you need, and if they won’t provide it then someone else will.

  • Can they match your need for business agility?

IT is a key business enabler and will play a crucial role in making your organisation more profitable and scalable.  But this can’t happen if your IT support provider isn’t bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; attentive to your needs and responsive to new challenges.  Trust your gut-feel on whether these guys can really take you to the next level.

  • Are they up-to-date with new technologies?

Too many IT support providers don’t invest in staying in touch with the latest IT approaches and consumption models – leaving you in the digital slow lane.  Does yours offer you private or hybrid cloud alternatives, and have accredited skills on next-generation technologies?  Imagine a car mechanic who hasn’t started getting his/her head around electric cars… hopeless!

  • Do they really understand your business?

Your business is changing all the time, so you need a IT support provider who ‘gets’ what you’re all about.  Not only that, but it’s crucial – if you’re going to be able to rely on dependable IT services to your advantage – that your provider really understands your business objectives.

  • Have you become too big for them to handle?

This test is all about checking whether the loyalty you may feel towards your IT support provider is in any way misplaced.  A long-term relationship – certainly any more than five years – you began with a small IT support provider may have started out promisingly enough, but is that lack of size now in danger of constraining your growth?

  • Are they feeding you lots of ideas to drive more value from IT?

A big warning sign is when your IT support provider is 100% reactive, and never chips in with proactive suggestions for how to improve your business through IT.  Perhaps they are distracted by other priorities in their business?  Perhaps you aren’t big enough to matter enough to them?  Or perhaps they just don’t have the skills and confidence to innovate ?

  • Are their costs fair and transparent?

Can you honestly say you know exactly what you’re paying for from your IT support provider?  IT shouldn’t have to be confusing, but many providers like it that way to obscure the detail of what they actually do (or don’t do) in exchange for that monthly bill.  Make sure you’ve gone into the market recently to benchmark your current provider and its SLA against competitor offerings.

  • Do you value their opinion?

A real acid test.  Do you value their opinion, and if so why?  You should be able to turn to your IT support provider for trusted advice on how to leverage technology to your advantage, save unnecessary costs and avoid waste .  Or consider this: would you ever shout about the great IT support experience you get, to one of your professional peers?

  • Are you reading this article?

Well of course you are.  And what that means is you’ve already thought about ditching your provider for someone else – the seed is planted.  The big question is whether you will act on your instinct and take the practical next steps to finding the right IT support for your current and future business needs.

 

There are many different reasons for reviewing who provides your IT support.  Even if you aren’t dissatisfied with your current provider, it makes good business sense to keep your eyes open to new possibilities.

Whether you need entry-level IT maintenance and support, or fully proactive monitoring with a real-time response SLA, Comtec has the experience and in-house expertise to handle all of your requirements .  Our IT support services range from pre-purchased bundled hours through to a fully outsourced IT service.

Contact us today to discuss your needs and check out our references.