Monday, 11 November 2019

The 8 Warning Signs that Indicate You Need to Switch Your IT Provider

There are many reasons why a managed service provider can fall short. And there are an equal number of reasons why you shouldn’t put up with poor service.

Change can be scary – but changing IT support partner needn’t be. In fact, sticking with the devil you know can be a lot worse! We look at some of the signs that indicate it’s time to change your MSP.

There are many reasons why a managed service provider can fall short. And there are an equal number of reasons why you shouldn’t put up with poor service.

If any of these warning signs sound familiar, perhaps it is time to consider whether you need to switch to a new IT Support partner, also now commonly called an MSP (Managed Service Provider).

#1. Slow response times

Sometimes it can be too easy to fall into the mindset of “this is the way it is”.

If the issues your team are raising aren’t getting a reasonable response or are lingering without resolution, you need to speak with your current provider to raise your concerns. If they don’t respond proactively, perhaps it is time to switch to a partner who will.

#2. Ticket numbers are growing

This is a symptom of slow response times due to lack of efficiency, skills or even accountability. If you notice this problem, you shouldn’t let it continue. Things really could and should be better.

#3. You experience recurring instances of the same issue

When a problem keeps cropping up time after time, it is clear that your IT provider isn’t addressing the underlying causes. It is always worth pursuing this with them; what are they doing to identify the root cause?

If they can’t produce evidence to show how the issue is being investigated or addressed, then this is another sign it’s time to look for a new IT partner.

#4. Poor communication

Any good relationship is based on good communication. And IT isn’t alchemy. Find a partner who is on the same wavelength as you and who takes the time to explain issues in a way you and your team can understand; clearly and concisely and without jargon.

Good communication with your MSP will help you identify areas for improvement, plan continuous improvement practices as well as helping your supplier to gain insight on your concerns. Without it both your supplier and your business are going to underperform.

Communication should strengthen your relationship and ensure both parties get the most out of it. It should also be proactive and not you continually looking for answers to your business needs

#5. Unplanned outages

Unplanned outages are a major headache. When so much of our operations depend on IT, outages can also be exceedingly costly.

Of course, some unplanned outages may be out of your supplier’s control – if the road outside your office is dug up and damages your internet connection, for example.

Don’t let that put you off asking questions though. Always talk to your IT partner to find out what caused the problem and what could have been done to prevent it. The answers your supplier gives to these questions will tell you a lot.

If outages are happening on a regular basis, or with little explanation, it’s a clear indication that it is time to look for a supplier upon whom you can depend.

#6. An incident happened, but wasn’t handled well

Let’s consider the previous example; disruption to telecoms ground your business to a halt. How did your supplier respond? Did they proactively approach you and discuss ways to resolve the issue? Did they switch you over to a backup service quickly? If no backup service exists, did they talk to you about ways to beef up resilience?

Yes, things happen. But if they aren’t managed well and solutions proactively sought, then this is a huge indication that your current supplier isn’t up to scratch.

#7. You’ve outgrown them

Perhaps there isn’t the depth of support you need, or perhaps the supplier is missing expertise in a key business or technology area for you. There’s no shame in admitting that your business growth has outstripped theirs – and now it is time to look for a supplier who has the expertise and depth of support you require.

#8. You’re doing their work for them

This problem is a surprisingly common one that creeps up slowly with time.

Is your team is picking up the slack for your IT partner? We looked at the issue of staff diverting their time to jobs you’re paying your MSP to do in an earlier blog. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for staff to create work arounds to mitigate the impact of a poorly performing supplier, try to remedy them themselves or just put up with it not working.

When this happens, it can be hard for senior management to see the impact the supplier’s poor performance is having on the business and morale.

The best way to avoid this problem is to regularly seek feedback from team members about your suppliers’ performance.

Ensuring your team do their day jobs, rather than the jobs your IT supplier should be doing, will not only free them to do the work they want to do but it will have a positive impact on your business performance. If your current supplier isn’t enabling this, talk to one who will.

Do any of these symptoms ring true to you? If so, we’ve put together a free guide which will give you some things to consider if you’re looking to make things better.