We recently met with a client who had an onsite support person for years, we left after our first visit wondering what value this person really provided for this client. We found old equipment cobbled together with work-arounds, dated and non-disaster tested backups, no documentation and frustrated users who were nervous about the integrity of their data and network. Translation-you should frequently review the benefits of onsite vs. outsourced support. We give the former onsite support person credit for keeping things running all these years, however, sometimes a review is in order to see what baseline you have and what features are missing out on.
Some things to consider with your current support provider:
- How old is your equipment?
- How old are your backups?
- Are you having workflow problems due to your IT?
- Are you able to do all the things you see others doing without excuses coming from your provider?
If your equipment is more than five years old, you’re gambling and quite honestly experiencing a huge opportunity cost with this old equipment. Newer hardware/operating systems are faster, more stable and more secure than what was out five years ago. And the TCO (total cost of ownership) can actually be less with newer equipment. No one wants to spend the money, we get that, but what’s your time worth and what business opportunities are you missing?
Without a backup, will your business be able to survive if you have a hardware failure, theft or fire? Many people are backing up, but they don’t test it’s reliability or even know when the last successful one was. How about offsite/cloud storage? Are you doing that…you should be in case you experience theft or a fire. Keeping all your ‘eggs in a basket’ can teach dangerous lessons.
Minor hiccups with your technology can turn seconds/minutes/hours into days when added up over a year. Simply tolerating problems isn’t a good solution, problems should be fixed so you can get back to work.
We hear clients say, “we can’t do that.” We say, “yes you can, everyone else is!” If your current provider is stuck on technologies they are comfortable with, maybe it’s time to mix it up and have a fresh face look at things. Our feeling is, if your current provider is doing their job, they shouldn’t be resistant to change or having someone else come in and check their work and make suggestions. We all can use a little feedback to keep us on our toes!