Severing business relationships can be awkward and tricky. We all want to give our partners and providers the benefit of the doubt without letting an IT partner hold back our advancement.
Problems can crop up from time to time in any relationship. But, if an IT partner or managed service provider relationship seems to be off course, it is time for a frank conversation. Hopefully, you can work through the challenges. If you cannot, it is time to explore other options.
But what are the distinct warning signs of an IT partnership that is not worth repairing? Read below, as we dive into five specific red flags, you should keep an eye on.
1. Your IT Partner is Not Trustworthy
IT partners typically have unfettered access to your email and your data. Hence, they must faithfully maintain your privacy and your confidence. Outsourced IT should assist with employee terminations, internal investigations, and legal discoveries without the conflicted loyalties of internal IT.
All IT partners claim to be trustworthy. But the truth is that some IT “professionals” read client emails, gossip about secrets, obscure their mistakes, and outright lie. If your IT partner is less than trustworthy, even in small matters, it is time to look elsewhere.
2. Your IT Provider Shows Little Interest in Your Business
You spend the time to make sure your team knows your purpose, mission, and objectives because it matters. We recommend the same with your IT provider. Invite them over to discuss your operations, your goals, and your key challenges. They should jump at the chance. If not, well, then you do not have a partner, you have a vendor.
3. The Service Model Will Not Scale with Your Business
If you are frustrated, waiting hours or even days for help with critical issues, the IT support model doesn’t match your needs. Smaller businesses may appreciate an IT provider who uses a “small team” approach. However, multi-location companies with more than fifty users typically need a more robust and accountable IT operating model.
Your existing IT service provider may have been perfect for your past needs. The critical question is, will their service delivery model scale with your growth plans?
4. Critical IT Functions Lacks Validation
In the early days, Managed IT Service Providers grew their business through “free assessments” that revealed neglect like failed backups, unpatched systems, security holes, and outdated antivirus. The pitch was simple; this stuff needs to be managed!
Beware, however, trading one risk for another. Does the safety of your business still rely on individual effort, even if that effort is outsourced? In today’s world, your IT partner must have in place accountability and oversight for significant risk factors like security, confidentiality, and privacy. These are the risks that could undermine your organization.
5. You Dread Meeting with your IT Provider
Your IT account representatives should have vital recommendations about your IT. If you avoid meeting with them, perhaps because it often turns into a sales pitch, you may be missing out on critical information. Eventually, that will bite you.
Try asking for a different rep. If that does not work, try another provider.
Maybe one of these warning signs is palatable and can be improved over time, contributing to a successful partnership. But if these red flags start piling up, it’s time for you to find a more suitable IT partner.