Working with an IT provider can skyrocket your business’s efficiency and productivity. But don’t rush into signing a contract with the first IT provider you meet, check out these 7 points to see if they are a right fit for you.

As a business owner, you understand that time is money, and spending time trying to figure out the technology you use can take a lot of time. Are you ready to take time away from your business needs? How will it affect your efficiency and effectiveness? Your customer service? Your revenue?

This is where IT providers come in.

IT providers can provide a robust IT infrastructure so that you can direct your attention to revenue-generating activities. Let them worry over your hardware and software while you give them 100% to make the company even more profitable!

While there are numerous IT providers to choose from, some of them may not be best suited for your business and its specific needs. And integrating with the wrong team can lead to a myriad of problems. Raising your spending due to irrelevant services, recurring security issues, data backup problems, and lots of downtimes.

Therefore, you need to be extra selective when choosing an IT provider. Here, I present you with the 7 most common mistakes in choosing an IT provider.

THE 7 MISTAKES

#1 – NOT ASKING ABOUT RESPONSE TIME

Determining the response time of your prospective IT providers is essential. The first thing you should do is to ask them how long it usually takes to get a reply from them. Be sure to track their onsite support efficiency, too.

Also, asking about their availability won’t hurt. Your ideal IT team should provide round-the-clock services, including specialists that will monitor your system.

All that will ensure you that your IT provider can detect issues early and act quickly by immediately applying patches and updates to safeguard against disasters.

By the way, how easy is it for you to contact them? You should be able to talk to your IT provider via email, phone, chat or even by visiting their office.

#2 – NEGLECTING SECURITY

Choosing an IT provider with outdated and ineffective security measures might be the most severe mistake you can make. IT teams with improper defense mechanisms can’t shield neither you nor their own system from cyber-attacks, increasing the risk of losing data and access to resources.

To avoid this, look for IT providers with enough skills and experience to protect you from malware and other cyber threats.

Your ideal IT provider should have features that prevent data intrusions instantly upon detection or at least stop attackers dead in their tracks within minutes. Such features include phishing attacks simulations, mobile device management, DNS security, endpoint protection, web content filtering, and dark web monitoring.

In addition, making sure they abide by security compliance and government regulations, it is quite a big sign of their competency and trustworthiness.

#3 – FORGETTING ABOUT YOUR BUDGET

Many IT companies operate under pay-as-you-go pricing schemes. This is not a bad thing by itself, it helps you minimize upfront investment. But adopting a large number of technologies simultaneously without considering the recurring costs can cripple your finances.

Ask about all the costs and fees associated with your IT providers’ service and draft your budget accordingly. Do some math now because you may not have an option to renegotiate it later.

#4 – NOT READING SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT

Service level agreements (SLAs) do one thing, they hold IT providers accountable for their services. They establish responsibilities, scope, quality, and delivery time of services provided in writing. Without it, you are just playing with fire, and if you get burned there would be no one to blame but you.

#5 – NEGLECTING SCALABILITY

Imagine this, you are a fast-growing company with revenue streams growing exponentially but you are locked in a long-term contract with an IT provider with poor scalability. You shot your company in the foot!

Scalable IT teams allow your business to evolve and grow as fast as it needs or wants. They will be able to continually support your company in its goals, even if these goals change.

#6 – INSISTING ON ONLY THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGY

Big Tech companies want to trick you into believing that their latest technology will resolve all your issues. And it’s only somewhat true. The newest virtualization or cloud offerings may in fact boost operations in many enterprises, making some businesses perform better than ever before. But they may not be suited for business of your size or be way out of your budget.

Hence, don’t follow the hype surrounding new products.

Carefully consider the results your IT provider will help you achieve and determine if the investment to achieve them is worth it. Your provider shouldn’t confuse you with fancy features you don’t understand– they should guide you and allow for seamless integration.

#7 – LACK OF TEAM TRAINING AND FEEDBACK

You found a trustworthy IT provider, great, but that’s just the beginning. New software and hardware they installed for you won’t magically increase your bottom line by itself.

To get the ball rolling, your employees will still need to be trained in how to use your new tech wonders. Not every team member is a quick learner, and some may even be opposed to learning new technologies preferring the existing platforms.

Your newly hired IT provider should be able to help you with that. These professionals should simplify any complex steps making the transition as seamless as possible.

Make sure to set up regular training and monitor your team’s performance. Conduct questionnaires and other forms of feedback collection to assess your employees’ responses to your new tech.

FIND THE RIGHT FIT

Nobody wants to end up with a bad IT provider that can’t deliver the results they promised, that leaves your company open to cyberattacks or causes other vulnerabilities. Your operations are getting worse and worse and you’re paying for it!

Pay attention to the 7 points we outlined in this blog, although they won’t 100% safeguard you from bad experiences with IT providers, they certainly will give you a general idea of how to differentiate a good IT provider from a bad one.

EB Solution is an Ontario-based IT Service Provider offering a range of cybersecurity, business continuity, and disaster recovery solutions for small and medium businesses in Toronto. Let’s set up a 10-15-minute chat to see if we can be the right IT provider for you.

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