Are you happy with your current IT Support partner? Or do you wish they were a bit more responsive, more proactive, and better suited to the needs of your organisation?

If you’re putting up with a sub-standard service from your current IT Support partner, it could be putting your business at risk. Because when it comes to running a successful, efficient and productive business; choosing the right IT Support is vital.

Your IT strategy underpins every aspect of your operations from how you handle customer enquiries to how you monitor results and plan resources. So, if your IT Support partner isn’t actively helping you achieve your business goals, the partnership could be costing you dearly.

Why your choice of IT Support partner matters

When IT issues arise, you need the confidence that they will be dealt with quickly and thoroughly – before they have the chance to have a negative impact on your business. Your IT Support partner, therefore, plays an important role in keeping your operations running efficiently. But if you’ve been with the same IT Support provider for several years, you might see cracks beginning to appear in your relationship with them – or in the service they provide to you.

The risks of poor IT Support

The cost of poor IT Support can cause repercussions throughout your entire business. It’s not just the big IT disasters that can hurt your business. Often, it’s the day-to-day niggles that cost much more. Just a few minutes wasted by each employee on IT issues every day could add up to several days lost over the course of a year, affecting your bottom line.

Read our article: Why IT downtime could cost your business £7,235 per employee (and how to avoid it).

Of course, while it’s relatively easy to work out the cost of lost productivity, it’s much harder to quantify the hidden dangers. Employee stress, security risks and missed business opportunities can all be caused by poor IT Support.

Have you put off making the switch?

Many business owners are reluctant to switch IT Support partner, even when the service they’re receiving doesn’t meet expectations. There’s the worry that moving to a new supplier will be a major upheaval, resulting IT downtime for the business and it may seem safer to stick with a provider you know.

But in reality, if you’re not getting the results you need from your current provider, making the switch could create major benefits for your organisation, over a very short period of time. And when you find the right IT Support partner, they’ll be able to deliver an uninterrupted service with a seamless transition from your previous supplier.

If you think your IT Support partner might be holding your business back, here are the six signs it might be time to switch to a new provider.

Sign 1: You’ve been with the same provider for years, but the shape of your business has changed

Think back to when you first appointed your current IT Support provider. What did your business look like then? Is it very different to the shape and size of your business today?

When choosing an IT Support partner for the first time, many business owners choose a local IT Support partner or select a firm based on a recommendation.

That IT Support company may have served you well when you were smaller, and your technology needs were simpler. But if your business has grown or incorporated new processes with greater reliance on technology, you’ve probably outgrown that particular supplier.

Sign 2: Response times have slipped

If you’ve been with your IT Support partner for several years, it’s worth checking back on your original service-level agreements (SLAs). It may be that your supplier has become complacent and let those initial promises slip. Or perhaps the SLAs you originally agreed are no longer appropriate for your business today.

Sign 3: They’re not proactive

Some IT Support companies only respond when there’s a problem. And even then, they won’t take action until you ask them to. But a good IT Support partner isn’t just there for when things go wrong. Instead, they should be working proactively to help you improve and grow your business.

Your IT Support partner should be working closely with you to develop an ever-evolving IT strategy, responding to changes in technology and informing you of the latest regulations and opportunities to implement best practice.

If you’re paying a monthly retainer to an IT Support partner but rarely hear from them, it’s a big sign that it’s time to switch provider.

Sign 4: The same issues keep recurring

Are you reporting the same issues time and time again? Are staff getting frustrated by the daily niggles that occur when trying to complete everyday tasks? These little issues could be adding up to a big cost for your business.

Reports suggest that the lost productivity caused by IT downtime could cost UK businesses an average of £3.6 million annually – or 545 hours of productivity lost each year. Click here to read more about the costs of IT downtime.

If you find that your IT Support partner is failing to find solutions to your recurring IT problems, it could be a sign that they are not equipped to support your business any longer. Perhaps they lack the skills needed to get to the root of the problem. Or maybe they’re simply looking at quick fixes rather than taking the time to find the best solutions to stop these annoying problems once and for all.

Persistent IT problems can result in many hours of downtime over the course of a year. Even if your IT Support partner fixes the issue quickly, you could be losing hours each day while your team members take a break from their work, report the issue then wait to get back to their original task. By switching IT Support provider, you’ll get a fresh perspective on the issues and solutions to resolve them permanently.

Sign 5: You don’t feel confident in their abilities

If your IT Support partner doesn’t fill you with confidence on a day-to-day basis, chances are they won’t deliver when you need them to step in during a disaster recovery situation.

When you speak to them do you feel reassured and confident that they’ll fix issues quickly? Do you get the feeling they are proactively helping you improve your business? Perhaps you’re already experiencing regular issues but can’t get the answers you need from your current provider. If this is the case, it’s time to switch.

You’re paying not only to have your IT systems monitored and fixed when you need them but also to gain the peace of mind that they are being expertly taken care of. A good IT Support partner should give you the confidence that they’re looking out for your best interests and will be there the minute you need them.

Sign 6: You want to create change in your organisation

Want to grow your business but feel like something’s holding you back? Begin by looking at your IT procedures. A successful business is always evolving, embracing new technologies to keep ahead of the latest trends. And a good IT Support partner should be helping you achieve this. If you don’t feel confident that your current IT Support matches the ambitions of your business, it’s probably time for change.

There are lots of ways IT can create positive change in your business. Here are just a few:

Create flexible working opportunities

Many companies are realising the benefits of offering flexible working options for employees. By allowing people to work from home, job share or work flexible hours, you can become a more attractive employer, helping you to recruit and retain the best talent.

As well as being a great option for employees, flexible working means you can provide a better service to your customers by being available at times when your competitors might be closed for business.

With the right IT systems, you can let staff work from home or on the move, without compromising productivity or security.

Provide enhanced security

As your business grows, it becomes increasingly important to regularly review your IT security procedures. Perhaps you’re handling more sensitive data than before. Or maybe you have more staff with increasingly complex IT requirements. The right IT security procedures will provide the confidence that your business is secure as you grow. Click here to find out more about cyber security strategies.

Increase productivity

There are many IT strategies you can implement to boost productivity within your organisation, without increasing overheads. Finding the right IT Support partner is the first step.

A good IT Support provider will help you use technology to streamline daily activities, automate processes, improve collaboration between teams and minimise downtime.

Create a better working environment

As your business evolves, it becomes even more important to focus on office culture to ensure that everyone is working efficiently together and collaborating well to boost productivity and morale within the business.

Embedding collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams into your organisation can really transform your workplace – creating an environment where employees can communicate, collaborate and share ideas better than ever before.

Changing IT Support provider

If you’ve been putting off changing IT Support partner because you’re concerned about the impact on your business, don’t worry. Changing IT Support provider doesn’t have to be a painful process.

When you find the right IT Support partner, they’ll be able to manage the entire process for you, ensuring a seamless transition from your previous provider. You’ll quickly see the benefits as your new provider brings fresh insights and suggestions that you can implement straightaway.