As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You have to create and set the company culture, lead the organization, make sure accounting is accurate, make sure HR is humming along and employees are happy, ensure your operations are running smoothly, ensure customer service is leading to satisfied customers, manage sales and marketing efforts that deliver the revenue to meet goals, and make sure IT systems are aligned to business goals and reduce business risk.
What if IT isn’t aligned to business goals, and it is apparent that IT just isn’t working? During a recent meeting with a prospective client, that was exactly what we found. Their outsourced Managed IT Services vendor was struggling with keeping up with the demand for IT support, there were frequent outages, and end users were struggling to get their work done because of IT issues. This resulted in a lot of pain and lost revenue for this prospective client. They asked how they should approach the situation. I gave them these 4 tips.
Tip 1 – Review Your Existing Managed IT Services Scope of Work
I had the prospective client send me a copy of their latest Managed IT Services monthly bill and a copy of their agreement. After reviewing, it became obvious that the scope of work was insufficient for the prospective client’s needs. This is a common scenario, especially if they are paying less than what other similar companies for paying for IT outsourcing Managed IT Services. Underpaying is a recipe for getting completely reactive IT support that leaves you frustrated and dissatisfied. In this case, the prospective client should have been spending approximately $5,000/mo for full IT outsourcing, but instead they were only paying $2,500 for a limited scope of work that didn’t fully cover their needs.
Tip 2 – Have an Open & Honest Conversation with Your Managed IT Provider About Your Needs
I suggested to the prospective client that they have a heart to heart conversation with their current Managed IT Services Provider before considering making a change. Let’s face it, changing IT providers is a hassle, and we don’t recommend it unless you’ve reached the point of no return. You have to make sure that the scope of work covers your requirements. If you’re expecting full IT outsourcing, and their scope of work doesn’t cover that, you have to find out if they can cover it, and if they can cover it, then what is their proposed scope of work and updated monthly pricing. Make sure to fully vet their proposed scope of work.
Tip 3 – Get at Least 1 Competitive Proposal for Managed IT Services that Meet Your Needs
Your current IT provider has been underperforming, or they’ve been working under a scope of work that didn’t meet your requirements. It’s time to get at least 1 competitive proposal for Managed IT Services. Compare the scope of work and pricing with what your current Managed IT Provider is proposing. Review the contracts, call references, and fully vet both options. Then make an educated decision.
Tip 4 – Give Your Managed IT Provider Access to Your Executive Team
Now that you’ve got a new Managed IT Provider (or a renewed relationship and updated scope of work with your existing Managed IT Provider), it’s important that they have access to your executive team. This should result in better alignment of technology with your business requirements, de-hassled employees, and better IT results.
Reach out to us here at Fulcrum Group if we can help you have those difficult conversations about IT.