Information technology, or IT, is at the heart of all business operations. Whether you specialize in education, healthcare, retail, marketing, or other, the implementation and management of your technology and data is essential to the livelihood of your business.
For your business to grow, so must your IT solutions.
How do you determine if you’ve outgrown your current IT provider?
Whether you pay for one-off support, rely on an internal IT team, or “figure it out” as you go, the first step in understanding if you’ve outgrown your IT provider is to assess your current situation.
Conduct a SWOT analysis.
Identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of your current IT environment. Incorporate feedback from across your entire organization. After all, a marketing executive likely has different frustrations and wants than a sales associate. Be specific and honest in your evaluation, so you understand where you are and where you need to go.
Pay attention to red flags.
While every business’s needs are different, there are universal warning signs that should signal when your current IT solution and provider are no longer meeting your IT needs.
If you answer yes to any of these questions, chances are it’s time to consider outsourcing your IT services to a more qualified partner:
- When issues arise, do they take forever to resolve?
- Do you run into the same problems time and time again?
- Do you encounter regular system breakdowns, like email and server outages, computer crashes, and network viruses?
- Are you uncertain about the security of your data and your customer’s data?
- Are you spending time troubleshooting IT issues when you could be focusing on growing your business?
If your current IT provider isn’t enough, take action!
All too often we become complacent in our technology, even after it begins to fail us. If you’ve determined it’s time to take your IT solutions to the next level, start by finding an IT expert that is right for you.
Outsourcing your technology needs to the right third party provider can give you piece of mind, a competitive advantage, and save you time and money.
Finding the right partner doesn’t have to be overwhelming; you just need to know what to look for.
What to look for when outsourcing your IT services
Many outsourced IT services are stationed overseas, leaving clients without access to local support or onsite maintenance teams. Time zone differences, conflicting hours of operation, and skeleton crews can leave you without the support you need. If crisis strikes, or you need an in-person meeting or on-site training, you’ll be happy you have a partner that’s nearby.
Be wary of one-size-fits-all IT solutions. Your IT provider should work hand-in-hand with you to develop a plan to reach your industry, technology, and financial goals. A customer-specific program addresses the areas of your business that matter most, improves your operations, and shields against threats unique to your business. Without a custom solution, you’ll end up wasting precious time and money.
Ensure your outsourced IT provider is serious about security. Whether it’s establishing and maintaining security policies, training your team, or ensuring security compliance, your IT partner must advocate for the security of your company. A qualified IT provider will automate and streamline the detection and prevention of issues, like malware and backup failures, before they become critical.
Proactive, not reactive
Find a strategic IT provider dedicated to short and long-term planning. While it’s important to solve your immediate needs, you also need a long-term plan to anticipate problems and scale your business. Your plan must include proactive maintenance, disaster monitoring, and testing to maximize uptime, plan for the future, and guard against the unexpected.
Even when your team is off, you need an outsourced IT service that’s available 24/7, 365 days a year. To guarantee you’ll receive the support you require, draft a service level agreement (SLA) that outlines guaranteed response times, points of contact, and after-hours and emergency support policies.
Technology innovations are constantly emerging. Your IT provider should understand the latest technology tools, trends, and solutions, so they can advise and educate you on strategies that will help your business remain competitive, agile, and prosperous. Whether it’s replacing traditional IT hardware and software services with a cloud-based solution, or rolling out a cutting-edge data management center, an innovative IT partner will make sure you are right where you need to be.
An experienced team of IT professionals can help you formulate a budget, taking into account goals, and saving you time, resources and money. Make sure your pricing agreement is flexible and fair. A quality provider understands that your needs and wants will change as your business evolves and will work with you on a plan that meets your present and future goals. Avoid arrangements with vague language, limited transparency, heavy penalties, and one-off service fees.
Your IT solutions must grow right along with your business. If you’ve outgrown your current IT provider, it might be time to consider an outsourced IT service. However, don’t jump in without properly vetting your options. After all, a quality partner is a local and customizable solution that’s innovative, security-minded, and easy on the wallet!
At Detroit IT, we’ve been providing managed services and computer and network support to Metro Detroit and Southeast Michigan since 1997. We have the best people working with the right processes to deliver the best business IT solutions to our clients.
Interested in learning more about how our outsourced IT support can help your company? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 248.530.1001.