Is my IT provider slacking off? Signs your IT provider is slacking off and how to fix that.
Slacking IT services is no joke. Having a reliable IT provider-partner relationship is essential for business. Everything in a business goes through an IT-controlled network, including financials, legal, sales, marketing, and customer service.
IT is the future, and its impact can leave your business scarred and managing disruptions for years.
Avoid a negative IT provider relationship by choosing a reliable provider. Don’t miss the signs your IT provider might be slacking off until it’s too late. The impacts of poor IT service are far-reaching and lasting.
This guide identifies red flags for IT slacking, its consequences, and tips for choosing an IT provider that meets your business needs.
- What should I look for when choosing an IT provider?
- How can I measure my IT provider’s performance?
- How often should I review my IT provider’s performance?
- How can I communicate my needs to my IT provider effectively?
- What are the consequences of having a slacking IT provider?
What should I look for when choosing an IT provider?
You know when you decide to leave an unfulfilling job, but first, you must find a new job? It’s painful. The waiting, interviewing, and researching businesses over and again. Once you find the new job you want to hold onto it as long as you can! An IT provider-to-business relationship is similar. When it works well, it works. When it doesn’t, the impact on a business can be devastating.
Finding a new IT service provider means researching new providers. You may be reading over reviews, talking to peers, or gathering feedback online. Regardless, ensure it's the right fit before replacing an IT provider, or you'll be looking for one again.
When choosing an IT service provider, look for these traits:
- Growth positioning
- Long-term plans
- Security is a priority
- List of positive customers and duration of the relationship
Look for IT providers who have future offerings already planned. Granted, technology changes quickly but a plan is a good sign. Make sure what is planned meets your anticipated future needs.
Growth includes new features and services along with geographic reach. Adaptability and scalability are critical for a long-term IT provider relationship.
Ensure any new IT providers you consider make security a priority. Security is a high priority for IT and business and a persistent and continuous threat. Make sure your IT partner is qualified and prepared to always manage security at top-tier levels.
The IT service providers you want to choose must be tech-driven and always chasing the latest and older technologies. The ability to work effectively with new technology and older models gives an IT relationship greater depth and breadth. One good tip for any new IT service provider is to describe their tech stack. Find out what they use and how they set it up.
Can they give you a list of clients, both good and bad? Don’t rely only on reviews on a website. Check with business contacts and do a generic search online. What dirt can you dig up on your potential IT service partner? Realistically a few bad apples may exist. Just remember a relationship is a two-way street.
How can I measure my IT provider’s performance?
You can use business metrics and analytics for more than sales. Businesses can also use simple surveys to keep a finger on the pulse of the IT provider's service. Leverage a variety of metrics to measure performance. Take every opportunity to ensure your IT provider relationship functions for your benefit.
Consider creating a report to measure:
- Response time for issues
- How long does it take to get a response to an issue.
- Resolution time
- The time it takes to resolve an issue successfully.
- Issue count by month
- Discover if issues are going up or down.
- Repetitive issues
- Analyze how many times issues re-occur
- Are employees complaining about IT?
- Surveys may be a useful option for keeping tabs on end-user complaints.
- Measure system downtime, uptime, and availability
- Know and track the state of the system continuously
- Keep track of security incidents and failed security threats
- Failed incidents are important to evaluate for the response.
- Successful incidents may point to an issue, if not effectively contained immediately.
- Note when an IT provider account manager contacts you
- Are the conversations focused on how they can help you?
- Are they offering proactive solutions?
- Are the conversations moving your business forward?
Is my IT provider slacking off? You can answer this question with a combination of fact-based metrics, surveys, and quality of communication. If your system is constantly going down or suffering poor performance, it impacts business productivity and revenue. Consistent, quality performance is essential to establish a true working partnership with an IT provider.
Review metrics on performance regularly, meaning weekly or monthly. Monitor critical systems daily. Don’t wait to address poor performance. Regular performance reviews between you and your IT provider help build rapport and trust with effective and consistent communication. Address any issues immediately and directly with your Account Manager. Contact them even if it’s outside the typical review cycle.
What are the consequences of having a slacking IT provider?
Slacking IT results in unhappy end users, reduced employee productivity, loss of business revenue, and a rise in security issues or incidences.
A security breach or data loss can negatively impact a business's reputation for years, if not permanently. Any data loss certainly results in unhappy customers and financial impacts that reduce profits. After all, your customers will blame you for poor system security or speed.
Poor IT systems mean employees cannot get work done. Customers wait for extended periods to get service. Employees constantly apologize or come up with humorous distractions. Morale suffers over time when IT systems work against employees instead of for them. There’s nothing more annoying than missing work deadlines because the system is down or malfunctioning.
Other consequences of IT slacking:
- Poor communication
- Slow response times or inability to resolve issues
- Playing the blame game instead of being accountable for IT failures or mistakes
- Failed new technology implementations
- Billing errors and confusion
- Overspending on ineffective IT management
Keeping the communication lines open is essential on both sides. Don’t simply accept poor performance, contact the provider immediately and work toward a resolution. Understand SLAs and enforce them. Your business relies on optimal system performance to serve customers and generate revenue. A poorly performing system is unacceptable.
Remember employees are valuable. You don’t want poor morale or high turnover resulting from IT slacking. Give employees the technology and performance necessary to complete work on time and with high quality.
How can I communicate my needs to my IT provider effectively?
Communication is a two-way street. Start by defining your business IT needs in detail. Be specific about what you need now and what you anticipate you’ll need in the future, even if it’s in 5 years. Be clear on budget requirements and timelines. Don’t expect an IT provider to guess. Clarity is your friend.
By understanding your needs clearly, IT providers can better ensure they provide the experience and resources to meet them. Clarity on needs also reduces misunderstandings about services provided and costs. Share your system performance requirements so the IT provider can meet them.
Communicate regularly, as in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Schedule meetings that state-specific discussion points. Keep it friendly but pointed to ensure both parties know each other’s expectations now and in the immediate future. Allow IT providers to make new technology suggestions or improvements in an existing infrastructure to increase scalability and disaster response. Discuss options and costs openly so both parties have the same shared understanding.
As partners, collaborate to create clear SLAs with specific objectives. Consider adding SOPs to the mix to ensure procedures are documented accurately. Accurate and precise documentation is crucial to understanding where each partner is and their expectations. Clarity also helps when problems arise that require discussion to figure out a solution.
Need an IT provider that doesn’t slack?
As in any relationship, look for red flags that indicate your IT provider relationship is no longer beneficial. Monitor and report for system availability, uptime, and downtime. Keep a finger on the pulse of how employees interact with IT. Issues in a partnership aren’t typically random but develop over time, so measure the health of your IT relationship regularly.
If you’re IT provider is slacking and you need a reliable partner, check out EndSight.
Endsight is the MSP relationship you’ve been looking for. Every Endsight customer gets an IT Strategist (Technical Account Manager) to help navigate the ins and outs of your IT partnership. Your IT Strategist works with you to meet your expectations, offer new solutions, and discuss future needs. Get your free assessment today and see how Endsight can help.
Burned by a previous IT support provider? Endsight is different! Endsight is the IT provider partner you can trust all day, every day. We’ll keep your business up and running seamlessly and securely. Check out why our clients chose us to help their business.