Does your business “just need someone to call” when there is a problem?
This is a very reactive way to handle IT – but that doesn’t make it wrong! In fact, MOST small businesses live their lives in this model and are none the worse for wear because of it. If you just need someone to call when there is a problem and want to minimize your I.T. costs, then that is perfectly OK!
See, it isn’t necessarily true that one support model is “right”, and one is “wrong.” Rather, it is being sure that you understand what you need and pick a firm that specializes in delivering that specific model.
Remember – no ‘one’ I.T. support firm can be all things to all businesses.
But be fair here – don’t expect a reactive support company (charging reactive support rates) to do proactive things.
Don’t act surprised (or disappointed) when:
- You must tell them what needs to be on a PC each time they set one up (it’s because they don’t have time to develop and test proper documentation)
- You get a virus or ransomware (it’s because they don’t have someone dedicated to deploying and monitoring the myriad of tools needed to protect your business and things slip through)
- It takes them a few times to finally correct an issue (it’s because they don’t have the time to dig into the root cause – or argue why something took so long when the bills get sent out)
- You get a new guy each time (it’s because they must hire more junior staff to keep your rates low and these folks turn over quick)
- You get surprised by support bills or project work (it’s because they don’t have someone dedicated to looking ahead and wait until things get bad before addressing the issues)
Again – if you don’t experience a ‘business ending event’ from any of these inevitable issues that come with a reactive I.T. support company then they are just inconveniences, and probably worth putting up with for the lower direct I.T. support costs.
If this sounds like you, stay tuned for our next post, “I Just Need Someone to Call” for a quick guide to selecting the best reactive I.T. support firm for your business.
But what if I need more than just support?
First, understand that a true Managed Services Provider simply cannot deliver a proactive process for the cost of pay-as-you-go I.T. – these are two completely different worlds.
There is a chasm between a ‘reactive’ support firm and one that is ‘proactive’ – this is easy to spot. Take it from me – EVERYONE you meet with will say the word ‘proactive’ at least a dozen times – I’ll guarantee it!
Want to have some fun? During your interview process, play ‘over-under’ on how many times each presenter says ‘proactive’! Here is where the waters get REAL cloudy, and the most mistakes are made: just because an I.T. support firm SAYS they are proactive doesn’t mean they really ARE and to complicate things being ‘proactive’ can mean a lot of different things.
A good example – most I.T. support companies claim they are ‘proactive’ because they have deployed a set of tools to ‘monitor’ you network. Answer us this – if we get an alert when your server goes down – how is that proactive? You probably knew the instant that we did! Monitoring and alerting tools doesn’t make a vendor proactive – rather, these are tools that simply let your provider know when something has gone wrong.
Or they will claim that their ‘Quarterly Review’ meetings are proactive. How can a meeting focused on ‘reviewing’ results from the past quarter by showing you how many tickets they fixed or which warranties need to be renewed be proactive? Makes ZERO sense!
No worries! We are going to take you through each critical success factor from a Managed Services Provider perspective and tell you how to determine, beyond a shadow of a doubt, which firms can deliver on their promises and which are probably going to let you down, so stay tuned!
Picking an I.T. firm can be tricky, especially with the risks faced by law firms today. Technology Associates has the knowledge and experience needed to help companies navigate stormy I.T. waters with confidence.
If you are in the Law industry, check out our post Choosing An I.T. Provider For Your Law Firm.