As your business has grown through the years, chances are that your needs from your IT support provider have grown in all areas as well, from finance and human resources, to sales, operations and technology.
In the area of computers and technology, you may have started with the help of a freelance expert, buying help as needed. Sometimes it’s the proverbial nephew or brother-in-law who is “good with computers.” Other times it’s a local one- or two-employee IT vendor who knew how to do what you needed, ie., set up an email server or back up files.
No matter how you got where you are, now you find that your business technology needs have grown. That old model isn’t working anymore. Yesterday’s IT support may have worked before smartphones, cloud computing, and remote workers but today you find yourself thinking you might need a much wider range of support expertise.
Here are five signs to help you determine if you have outgrown your existing IT provider.
Do you have an email server?
If you answered, “Yes,” it’s a good indication that you have outgrown your current IT operations model.
Gone are the days when you needed your own in-house email server, software and related technical support. Today, cloud email services are the model businesses of every size use – from small and medium sized businesses to global enterprises.
One huge benefit of this change is the end of costly monthly backups, software upgrades, lost emails and downtime.
With the cloud solutions like Microsoft® 365™ or other cloud-based email, you can enjoy the same email features and tools of a Fortune 500. This new model also supports productivity for all your employees, including remote and mobile workers. To use email and tools, all you need is a connection to the Internet.
If your current IT vendor still has you on an email server, it’s a good sign you may need to look for a new support model.
Service and support are vital to keep your IT systems up and running. When you have a problem or need a question answered, you need it now.
With the complexity of computers, software, networks and the cloud, it’s not unusual to have questions or issues often. To evaluate responsiveness, consider these questions:
As a business today, you can’t afford downtime. If your current IT provider responds slowly or works on a reactive model of IT support, that’s another good sign.
If your desktop or server software is old, approaching end-of-life, or getting support for any of it is hard, your IT vendor should be guiding you toward updated or even new software.
We often behave as if ‘no news is good news’ when it comes to computers. If things seem to be running well, then everybody’s happy. But the complexity and interconnectivity requirements of today’s computer software and systems demands regular attention to maintain secured operations.
With the prevalence of hacking attacks on small and medium-sized businesses, you can’t afford to have your systems go for any period of time without patches and software and security updates.
If your software typically remains until end-of-life or software and security updates do not happen regularly, that’s another sign.
It might seem like these two should be unique signs. In reality, they are connected.
Not too long ago, it made sense to be cautious about using the cloud as a business technology. Today, those issues are solved.
In the case of security, for example, a reputable cloud vendor will likely have better security than most in-house or small IT vendor solutions.
Bandwidth is no longer a problem either. Many cloud applications run better than on-premise server-based applications. Plus, cloud applications require less hardware and employee time to manage and support.
Cloud hosted solutions today only need an internet connection. This makes them another ideal way to support remote and mobile workers, breaking down the traditional barrier of geography, making it possible for you to bring in top talent from anywhere in the world.
If your IT vendor is not actively moving some of your applications to the cloud, it’s a sign.
First, look at your goals. Consider these benefits of outsourcing your information technology:
Next, evaluate their services. Look at:
We’ve been helping businesses scale their technology and grow for decades. Have questions? Contact us and let’s see how we can help.