Many businesses struggle with knowing when and how to change IT suppliers. Finding the right choice involves knowing the factors to consider and how the transition will work.
“I think I have outgrown my current IT supplier.”
You may have started using a freelance IT professional or a small IT company several years ago when your needs were more basic. Now that your business has grown, you’re questioning whether your current IT supplier has the expertise and tools to handle your needs.
Any business that is dependent on technology needs more than an IT “repair” person. Ask yourself if your existing IT infrastructure is suitable to meet your business objectives, if you’ve had a complete security audit recently, if you’re compliant with the latest regulations, and if you are backing up your data and have an IT disaster recovery plan. If your current supplier is not talking to you about these important topics, then you probably need a new one.
Your IT supplier should be able to react quickly but also be proactive, helping you avoid problems in the first place. Current IT solutions include cloud solutions, business continuity, VoIP phone service, and 24/7 assistance. Most importantly, you need an IT supplier with a depth of IT expertise who is willing to give you advice.
“I don’t think my current IT supplier has the latest technologies.”
If your IT supplier waits for you to have a problem before coming out to fix it, this supplier is not using the latest technologies to help keep your system up and running. Reacting to problems is important, but your current IT provider should be suggesting ways to help you avoid downtime in the first place. A supplier not affiliated with a bigger organization and attempting to stay on top of changes in technology independently is most likely not up to speed on the latest offerings.
“I don’t know where to find a new IT supplier, and I’m concerned about a transition plan.”
Changing suppliers can be difficult. Often the best suppliers come from referrals, and you will likely find your next IT supplier through similar means. Consider your options, do your research, talk to people you know and trust, and try to align yourself with the right information and resources.
When considering a potential IT supplier, be sure to ask them to develop a transition plan, which will help you understand how they will get up to speed on your current IT system and your future needs in order to ensure a smooth transition. A company should be willing to give you a no-cost, comprehensive current-system assessment.
Alex Lachine is the general manager of TeamLogic IT, a Markham-based IT management and solutions company serving businesses nationwide.