Technology powers modern business. However, IT isn’t some magical set-it-and-forget-it resource.
Any IT investment needs to be informed by sound technical knowledge, underpinned with functional tech expertise, and secured against cybercrime from the outset. Tech can go wrong at any time of the day or night, so 24/7 IT support, monitoring, and alerting is also a great investment.
And just as you’d invest money in the right accounting or HR resource, you want to be sure you’re investing in the right IT support too. Yet alas, not all IT support is created equal. Here are 14 red flags indicating that you may need to find better tech support.
You’re Relying Too Much on One Internal Non-Tech Person Who “Knows IT”
This is something we see a lot, especially in smaller businesses who are used to an “all hands to the pump” approach.
Rachel in Marketing may be a bit of a dab hand with computers, but IT isn’t her job. She’s employed to keep your brand afloat, not your tech. And what happens if a critical tech fault arises whilst Rachel is on holiday, off sick, or on evenings and weekends? What happens when you need a solution that’s outside of her knowledge? Creeks and paddles spring to mind…
If this sounds familiar, then you could really do with considering external IT support. Managed service providers are “always-on”, ready and able to fend off tech problems around the clock. They likely also have a plethora of monitoring and alerting tools that can proactively raise the alarm if something goes wrong, too.
Not only will your own “Rachel(s) in Marketing” thank you, they’ll be able to get back to whatever it is they do best – and your company will have highly skilled IT professionals on speed dial for problems large and small. Everyone’s happy!
Tiny Tech Problems are Becoming Productivity-Leeching Behemoths
Tech is there to make us more productive. But when things go wrong, it often does the opposite. If your team always feels like they’re firefighting IT problems and their productivity is being hindered by techy hiccups, something has to give.
Similarly, if you are constantly butting heads with the same problem, and the solution offered by your current IT helpdesk partner (or your internal, non-tech oracle) feels like a sticking plaster over an underlying issue, then it may be time to get another party’s view on things.
It’s situations like these that really illustrate the productivity gains that good external IT support can (and should) provide. The happier and more productive your team, the better your chances of business success!
Your IT Support is Reactive Rather Than Proactive
How many times have you fallen afoul of a wide-scale tech problem or cyber incident, but you’ve only heard about it during or after it has happened? If so, this is a sure-fire sign that something is wrong.
Any MSP will tell you that when it comes to tech, prevention is better than cure! Reliable IT providers will seek to strategically understand your essential business functions and cybersecurity risk factors so they can recommend solutions that keep you productive and secure rather than floundering in firefighting mode!
Managed service providers will also likely maintain security and error alerts/reports so you can move proactively in the face of cyber threats and incoming tech problems.
Service Standards and/or Response Times Have Taken a Hit
Have you noticed that your current IT support partner is taking longer to solve issues, is becoming slow to respond, or is just generally getting a little slapdash?
Before you cut ties with your current IT support provider, take a look at previous email and ticket logs from back when “things were better”. Have response times and solutions genuinely slipped? How well do they respond to critical incidents now compared to “the before times”?
Armed with this information, don’t feel like you have to “grin and bear it” if you are receiving a service that is anything less than stellar. Cut your losses and find a more conscientious provider!
You’re Just Sticking with Your IT Support Partner Because “You’ve Always Used Them”
We get it – change is hard. Especially when you’re choosing another supplier in business. It takes time and effort to find, vet, and decide on change. It’s easy to see why the “path of least resistance” is often to continue as-is.
But if your business has undergone/is undergoing a good deal of change, your ideal IT provider from 3 years ago may not be your ideal IT provider today. If your current relationship with IT is arduous rather than harmonious, a switch in provider may be just what you need.
Your Company is Growing or Changing – And Your Provider Can’t Keep Pace
Any period of company growth, change, or restructure is stressful. Worries arise concerning new premises; reskilling; preserving company culture; and navigating the HR minefield of job changes, promotions, and redundancies. Amid this chaos, it’s not hard to see why IT gets left behind.
A good managed IT support provider should help you proactively keep pace with any periods of rapid change whilst ensuring your tech investments stay cost-effective. If you aren’t getting any of this support – and at a time when you need it most – you might need to switch.
And besides, don’t forget that a growing company is likely to churn out more IT support requests per day, so a smaller IT support partner may not have the resources to keep up.
You’re Trying to do Everything with Free or “Home” Software
We all like something for free. Software providers know this. If your organisation relies on a spot of free cloud storage, free SaaS tools, or software that comes bundled with your operating system, that’s not always a bad thing when used in moderation and with full awareness.
However, if you are letting your team use whatever solutions are convenient for them, you can start drowning in free software: becoming inundated with compatibility issues, losing track of where critical data is stored, and losing your grip on cybersecurity. Software and SaaS stack bloat can become quite the concerning shadow IT problem!
If your current IT support partner isn’t able to help you find centralised, professional-grade solutions that all your departments can agree on (whilst keeping a lid on shadow IT) then get another firm to assist.
You’re Not Confident That You Could Fend Off a Cybersecurity Threat
Cyber security has moved on in leaps and bounds since the days of “slap an antivirus on it and call it good”. With threats getting more and more sophisticated by the day – and potential losses in the millions – cybersecurity is increasingly multifaceted.
There is so much more needed to protect businesses than the simple antimalware and firewalling of yore. Nowadays, businesses should be considering multi-factor authentication; DNS filtration; intrusion prevention systems; gateway security like sandboxing; managed detection and response; data loss prevention; data encryption; passwordless authentication; and more!
We’ll forgive our readers for not having heard of all of the above solutions. But if your current IT support partner hasn’t raised any of them, that’s a bit of a red flag. A good provider should consider all potential avenues of cyber risk and have a plan for every eventuality.
You’re Not Confident in Your Plan of Action Should a (Non-Security) Tech Disaster Strike
Cybercrime may be an ongoing threat, but it’s far from the only kind of tech calamity that can impact an organisation.
For example, what would you do if a company laptop, full of sensitive data, got left on a train by accident? What would you do if you came into work one day to find that a critical backup had failed? Or worse – that a critical backup hadn’t been running for the past month? What’s your plan in case of an accidental data breach?
A proactive provider should flag, solve, or mitigate these kinds of errors before they even take place. Informed by your tech needs, strategy, and levels of risk, they can craft a robust plan of action for most (if not all) eventualities.
You see, managed service providers aren’t just there for after-the-fact, panic-mode IT support, they can be a worthwhile source of proactive disaster planning and advice.
You’re Not Seeing Meaningful Returns from Your IT Investments
IT investments are often seen as a mandatory requirement of doing business, and one where you don’t get much of a direct return. However, the right tech choices can pay you back in countless tangible and intangible ways.
A reliable IT support provider will help you really get under the skin of your current relationship with technology, seeking out places where better tech choices can add value to the business and its bottom line. They should leave no stone unturned to make sure you’re using solutions that work seamlessly for you.
Those with a more consultative approach may even investigate whether you’re chained to any manual/offline tasks that could be automated, whether you’re using any tools with a more productive alternative, or whether you’re overpaying for any solutions you don’t use. Just another way that the right support can pay for itself!
IT is an Unpredictable Factor in Your Organisation
Your company’s technology is supposed to be a reliable workhorse that works for your whole team. So why do so many companies put up with patchy, unpredictable tech?
Poor IT or needlessly menial offline processes can wither productivity, heighten employee stress, and even gnaw away at your profits. If you find yourselves relying on chaotic, manual tasks to bridge a functional gap or you use patchy services that don’t reliably work from one moment to the next, you need an MSP to swoop in and rescue you!
Good IT support partners will look at your current processes and provide strategic advice to make your IT work more reliably; whether that’s through better software, improved automation, or by simply offering 24/7 tech support.
Your IT is Harming Your Competitiveness
Your products and/or services aren’t the only things that keep you competitive – your back-office processes contribute to your competitiveness too. And what runs your back office? IT.
Poor IT takes your team’s focus, time, and energy away from giving customers your best service – all of which, over time, can wither any competitive advantage you may have once had.
Yet when you have the support and expertise to make effective tech investments, you benefit from streamlined processes and snag-free IT that keeps stress levels low, productivity high, and customers happy.
Your IT Just Hasn’t Kept with the Times
Is anyone here still using Windows 7 or macOS Mojave? Unless you have a bloomin’ good reason, you probably shouldn’t be. They aren’t supported anymore, meaning they don’t receive crucial security and functionality updates – potentially leading to slow, insecure computing.
It’s not just operating systems that can fall behind. If you’re still using an old firewall that’s constantly at maximum throughput or your productivity software is out of date, a worthwhile IT partner should help you keep with the times.
You see, modern software and cyber-protections aren’t just for today. They help your business stay future-proofed against ingenious viruses, zero-day threats, and threats that aren’t even on our radar yet.
So if you’re in the market for a new IT support provider, the team at Just Technology Group are here to provide! With no-nonsense helpdesk support, forward-thinking IT consultancy, cyber security solutions, VoIP telephony, and a plethora of managed services on offer, we’re sure there are at least a few ways we can help you out!
Want to learn more about how Just Technology Group today can help you?
Book a consultation call with our lead techies today!