10 Warning Signs That You’re Using The Wrong IT-Provider
Your IT-provider is an important relationship in your business. They keep your business healthy and running safe.
You trust that they have your best interests at heart… but that’s not always the case.
Just like in every area of business, some IT-providers deliver good service. And some don’t – with terrifying consequences threatening the safety of your business.
The truth is that sometimes your IT-provider is just not right for you.
Sometimes you’re just not a good fit.
If you’re not a technology expert, it can be tricky to figure out when that’s the case.
You might suspect that you’re receiving sub-par service, but are not entirely sure. It’s hard to see whether the service your IT-provider is providing is good or not.
But there are some things that your IT-providers should never do.
If any of the things below happen to you should seriously consider switching IT-providers. These are big red flags that your business is at risk.
Here are 10 warning signs that you are using the wrong IT-provider:
Warning Sign #1: You Keep Having The Same IT-Problems
The easiest thing to look for is whether you keep on having the same IT-problems over and over again.
Your IT-provider should be solving your IT-problems. After all, that’s what you’re paying them for in the first place.
Downtime, breakage, or other recurring tech problems should be happening less and less often. Easily preventable problems shouldn’t occur anymore at all.
New problems may still pop up every now and then. But you shouldn’t be having any recurring issues. Your IT-provider should have implemented solutions that prevent them from happening ever again.
If the same issues keep popping up over and over again, that’s a clear sign that your IT-provider is not taking care of your technology for you.
Warning Sign #2: Your IT-Provider Is Not Responsive
When you have a problem, you want to get it fixed immediately so you can get back to business. You want your IT-provider to respond quickly and fix your problems as soon as they can.
If that’s not happening, something is wrong.
There is no excuse for your IT-responder to not be responsive. They should always be available, and if they’re not – they should get back to you quickly.
It should never take weeks for them to call you back.
Don’t put up with an IT-provider who leaves you hanging and takes FOREVER to respond to an issue.
We know our clients value responsiveness. That’s why we have internal Service Level Agreements that guarantee that we respond to messages and solve problems as soon as possible.
A good IT-provider will have something similar in place.
If your IT-provider doesn’t adhere to their Service Level Agreements and leave you hanging when you need them the most, that’s unacceptable.
Warning Sign #3: The Staff Is Inexperienced Or Unprofessional
Your technology is a crucial part of your business. So when you run into a problem, you want to be helped by professionals.
Your IT-provider should provide you with qualified experts to take care of your problems for you. Their staff has to be trained, educated and experienced.
On top of that, they need to be friendly and have a personality that goes well with your company culture.
So does your IT-provider keep on sending inexperienced or unfriendly staff over help you out? Then there’s a big problem.
Warning Sign #4: Your IT-Provider Doesn’t Give You Full Access
Although your IT-provider manages your systems, they don’t own them. You do.
When asked, they should provide you with full access to all your systems. A good IT-provider will give you access to everything – all your administrator passwords, all the documentation and all the tools that you need.
Is your provider reluctant to hand this over to you? Then something might be seriously wrong.
There is no valid reason for them to withhold this from you. If they’re not willing to provide you with all the access you want, then they’re effectively holding your business ransom.
You don’t want that to happen.
Warning Sign #5: Their Documentation Is Bad
At some point, you might run into a problem that requires you to have a specific piece of information to get it fixed.
If you don’t have that on file, you might waste a lot of time or money to get it taken care of.
That’s why your IT-provider should keep good documentation of all your networks and information.
The documentation of your technology is important. It contains all the crucial info you need to operate and run your systems, and to deal with your vendors.
This includes account information of all your vendors, circuit providers, internet providers and cloud providers. It also contains licenses to all your software, and up-to-date network diagrams and sheets tracking your assets.
When asked, your IT-provider should be able to provide you with this.
If they can’t do that, that’s a warning sign.
Warning Sign #6: They Are Billing You Incorrectly.
The bills your IT-provider sends you should accurately reflect the work they’ve done for you.
Always check what’s on your bills. Are the hours correct? Did they actually supply you with the equipment they billed you for?
Bottom-line: you should be billed for what you get, and not a penny more.
Incorrect billing is a tell-tale sign that something suspicious is going on.
Warning Sign #7: They Want You To Spend Money Unnecessarily
Although sometimes you might have a big technology expense, you shouldn’t be spending money unnecessarily. And your IT-provider shouldn’t push you to do so.
Most technology problems can be fixed without spending big.
You don’t always need to replace things to fix them. You do not need to get the most expensive solutions, or constantly have the latest equipment.
There are many good solutions that might work perfectly for you that don’t cost a lot of money
Does your IT-provider constantly want you to replace everything and spend a ton of money doing so?
Then maybe they’re just trying to fill their pockets.
Warning Sign #8: They Make You Dependent On Them For Everything
Some IT-providers make you dependent on them for managing your systems.
Why do they do this?
They try to “lock you in” so you need them to take care of your IT forever. They paint you into a corner, so you can’t get away.
A good IT-provider will never do that. They make your technology portable, so you can walk away from them whenever you want to.
Warning Sign #9: They’ll Make You Use Obscure Solutions
Most of the technology problems you face in your business are not unique. Other companies have to deal with the same problems. And often, there’s a good solution for that problem that’s widely used.
These industry-leading tools are usually the best. They have the most functionality and support, and have been proven to work well by countless other people.
Your IT-provider should be aware of what these are. And these are solutions they should recommend to you, if they’re right for your particular situation.
If your IT-provider frequently recommends solutions that aren’t widely used, you might have a problem.
They could be recommending the wrong tools and services, which can get you into trouble later.
Warning Sign #10: They’re Behind On The Latest Developments In Technology.
Technology moves fast.
Things are constantly changing in the world of technology. Trends change and new developments alter the landscape.
Before you know it, old solutions become obsolete, and yesterday’s best practices become today’s ancient technology.
Your IT-provider should be aware of this and keep you ahead of the curve.
They should keep you up-to-date on the latest developments. They should reach out to you periodically with new industry information, opportunities and threats.
When they recommend new solutions to you, they should recommend one that’s on the forefront of technology – not lagging behind.
If you’re not regularly briefed on the latest developments, or use old solutions that are not on the forefront of technology, something could be wrong.
Make Sure Your IT-Provider Is Right For You
Your IT-provider maintains a vital part of your business. Without your technology working, your business grinds to a halt.
So if your IT-provider violates any of these 10 warning signs, you should seriously consider changing IT-providers.
These warning signs are just what’s visible on the surface. If they already do these things wrong – what else might they do wrong? What’s wrong behind the scenes?
These problems often are indicators of bigger problems that you aren’t aware of.
Your business might be at risk.
If your IT-provider is taking shortcuts here, they might also take shortcuts in taking care of your technology, with the worst possible consequences.
Luckily, there are plenty of IT-providers that have your best interests at heart and deliver quality service.
We’re one of them.
We always act in the best interest of your clients and come up with the best solutions that help them eliminate downtime and run their business more smoothly.
If you have any more questions, or any doubts about your current IT-provider, feel free to contact us. We’ll be happy to help.