We've all been there. After hiring a new IT company, destined for what felt like a perfect match, something fell flat.
Or maybe it's the same company you have been using for years and out of the blue things aren't adding up.
Maybe it was a lack of communication or bad timing. Heck, it might even be a mutual feeling between your company and the managed IT service.
Either way, what you do next is crucial to the productivity and longevity of your business.
3 Steps to Evaluating Your IT Company Fit
1. Assess Your Symptoms
How long have you worked with this IT Company? Are the issues/kinks getting worked out, or are they "big picture" problems?
Transitioning from one IT company to another is a larger task than meets the eye. Perhaps, what's bothering you is a bit of transition turbulence. I'd suggest communicating with your IT professional before jumping ship. There’s going to be a learning curve. The first few months can be rough. Results take some patience from your business and the IT company alike.
On the other hand, how has your business grown? Have you outgrown the firm you’re working with? And while you really like your IT team, are they in over their heads at this point? Like getting your first big kid bike as a child. You loved your training wheels, but it might be time to take them off.
The answers to the above questions work as a general assessment of your current IT situation. Ask C-levels and employees how they feel about the current state of IT at your company. Use their answers and your personal experience to help identify if it may be time for a change.
2. Review Your Contract
When was the last time you checked the terms of your agreement?
If you are passed the turbulence phase and have a steady foundation, dig a little deeper. Are your concerns legitimate, or are your expectations unrealistic? Check your contract. Are your expectations within the scope of your contract?
Is your IT company delivering what’s written? If it’s been a few months and things still aren’t meeting your expectations, you shouldn’t put up with bad IT service -- period.
If it gets to this point, what are the terms for cancellation? This can include a notice or even a payout. Do you have cause for early termination? If so, on what grounds and how do you prove it? Get your ducks in a row before you engage in communication with your IT company.
Related: Guide to IT Support Services for Southern California Businesses: Essential Information for Executives Who Want Better Business Results From IT
3. Talk to a Few Other IT Companies
Do some research. What other managed IT service companies are in your area? Setup a couple of meetings to educate yourself on options from other IT service providers.
You are looking for REAL advice. Explain what coverage you have right now, and what you are looking for. Reputable companies won’t be afraid to tell the truth. If your current IT service really is optimal for your needs, they should explain that.
Beware of the better, cheaper, faster pitch. If you feel like you’re being sold to and not having a real conversation, cut the meeting short and move on.
Decide to Stay or Go
Now it's time to weigh your options. After your evaluation process, what conclusion did you come to?
If you decided to stay with your current firm, look at your contract. Are there things you'd like to add? Different options under IT support agreements can cost more. Is it feasible for your company to allocate a bigger budget to IT support? Also, consider if that added feature is a justifiable investment. Consider not only what you need right this moment, but your future goals as well.
If you conclude that it's time to move on, understand the consequences -- positive and negative. Think of the time dedicated to migration or strategic IT planning with the new company. Also, factor the cost, if any, of leaving the old company.
Get down to the fine details of all your options. This will ensure you can make a confident decision for your business’s future.
Related: Ask an IT Guy: How to Review Your Internet and Phone Contract
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