Everything was going great with your IT consultant at first. They were attentive and determined, and they enthusiastically promised to solve all of your business IT problems. Your relationship with your IT consultant seemed perfect: your IT consultant would lasso the moon of business IT for you. And so you left them at it, rightfully turning your attention to your business and workers. That’s the beauty of IT consultants, after all: you can better delegate resources and not have to worry about your IT management–you have an expert on the job.
You started to notice the relationship wasn’t exactly working out when things started falling through the cracks. Sure, one virus slipping-in can be an oversight, but a handful? That’s a problem. Why isn’t your IT consultant protecting you? You trusted them!
Your business should not suffer the consequences of poor IT consulting. Poor IT consulting can be detrimental to your business’s productivity and security, causing big headaches for you and your workers. Effective business IT support is especially crucial to small and mid-sized businesses: this year alone it is projected that 75% of small and mid-sized business will be targeted by hackers and malware. In this dangerous and uncertain world, you need to be able to rely on your IT consultant. Check out this list of scenarios below to know when it is time to dump your old IT consultant and move on to better business IT support.
Scenario 1: Dwayne, the Unofficial IT Guy
You’re part of a small business that doesn’t have an in-house IT department or an outsourced IT department–you’ve got Dwayne, the office’s unofficial IT guy. No one really knows how Dwayne got appointed to the position, not even Dwayne. Dwayne’s actually a part of HR, but Carol from accounting heard that he plays video games on the weekend and that’s pretty much IT, right? It only took Dwayne helping Carol with her email for word to spread: Dwayne’s the IT guy. Now Dwayne is inundated with IT requests from the whole office, and he doesn’t have the training to resolve most of the issues. Dwayne is now providing haphazard IT support to each of your workers, compromising the entire network and infrastructure. To make matters worse, he doesn’t even have time to do his actual job.
Unprofessional IT consulting can cause more damage than you think. Disorganized and unoptimized networks slow productivity and use resources inefficiently. Unprofessional IT consultants do not have the training, skills, or insight to provide your company with a well organized network that always functions at peak-productivity. An IT guy like Dwayne doesn’t have the time to effectively manage your business IT. He doesn’t have the training to successfully protect your data and infrastructure.
Have a Dwayne at your company? Time to get a better IT consultant–a professional IT consultant whose skill and education facilitates the best business IT support possible.
Scenario 2: Trevor and Kat, the IT Department Duo
Your small or mid-sized business has decided to invest in an in-house IT department. Your budget is tight, but you recognize that your attention and resources are best devoted somewhere other than stressing over IT. You’re ready to pass the torch: you want IT guys in-house who can solve all of your business IT needs. You researched, you interviewed, and with your small budget and basic understanding of IT you settled on Trevor and Kat, your new IT Department Duo.
Trevor and Kat both have a formal education in one of the many subsets of IT. Trevor, with his degree in Information Systems, is your programmer and database manager. Trevor is fresh out of school and easily overwhelmed, especially because the entire business relies on him for assistance. Kat is more senior, with some light experience in network engineering. Both Trevor and Kat are kind and conscientious, but they are overworked and often irritable around the office. After all, it is the two of them against the world: the challenging world of business IT. And neither Kat nor Trevor has the time to further their education or gain specialized skills.
Now your business is relying on two overworked and underpaid IT consultants, whose understanding of business IT grows more outdated by the month. Business IT is always progressing and evolving. There’s always new software, applications, viruses, malware, and more to understand–and all of them can have a profound effect on your infrastructure and overall business IT. Trevor and Kat would keep up if they could, but they’re spread thin–and so your business is receiving ineffective IT support from two exhausted and overmatched IT consultants.
Have an IT Department Duo like Trevor and Kat? Time to get a better IT consultant–an IT consultant that is not so limited in their expertise, and an IT consultant who has the energy and insight to keep up with the fast-paced world of business IT.
Scenario 3: Marc the Magnificent
Your business has realized the value of outsourcing your business IT needs. You want an expertly skilled IT consultant. You want an IT consultant who gets the job done. After looking at websites boasting flashy outsourced IT, and sweating a little at the cost, you call up the IT company you like most. They send you Marc the Magnificent.
Marc the Magnificent is truly magnificent–at least, he thinks so. Marc is expertly trained, with an extensive education that makes him simultaneously specialized and adaptable. He starts by conducting a professional network assessment and you’re instantly in love. You’ve never seen such optimization and such organization. Your resources are no longer drained, and all bandwidth bottlenecks have been relieved. Your network has never been so streamlined. With your new flawless infrastructure, a true blessing from Marc the Magnificent, your business has seen a dramatic boost in productivity.
The problem with Marc the Magnificent, unfortunately, is his magnificence and the fact that he is all-too aware of how incredibly magnificent he is. Marc the Magnificent is not exactly a team player: he often has an answer before a question is asked, and regardless of whether he is right or wrong his steadfast opinions never yield. In short, Marc the Magnificent believes he knows all. Marc the Magnificent does not collaborate with you or your staff, and during meetings he slips into condescension. He neglects staff input and ignores all feedback: after all he is Marc the Magnificent, and you and your team are ignorant rabble.
Have a Marc the Magnificent? Time to get a better IT consultant–an IT consultant that actively listens to your IT needs and desires, an IT consultant that collaborates, cooperates, and can adapt their services without sacrificing their professionalism or expertise.
Scenario 4: Hey, Mitch!
Maybe instead of your outsourced IT sending you Marc the Magnificent, you got Mitch. Mitch is a super passive IT consultant. At first, his laid-back nature was part of his charm. When your office is suffering a total data emergency Mitch strolls in, smiles lazily, strikes a few keystrokes, and solves the problem. At first, Mitch’s relaxed nature is soothing–but then Mitch doesn’t adapt when things start falling through the cracks. Mitch isn’t proactive, or even reactive. He’s not a good communicator. Sometimes, Mitch is just downright forgetful.
Now, you have to micromanage Mitch. When he’s around you have to take time away from your own work to keep him on track, to make sure he’s actually tending to the problem. “Hey, Mitch!” Is heard throughout the office when a business IT problem arises. Hey, Mitch! Hey, Mitch! It has become a mantra, a ritual to get Mitch to pay attention, a desperate prayer for effective IT support. Still, Mitch drifts from one IT emergency to the next. He cannot be hurried. He opts for the easier temporary fixes over the more involved assessments that will last. Mitch’s laziness means your security is not up-to-date, and so your business is targeted by malware and suffers severe data loss. And Mitch wanders on, unaffected by the consequences of his absent-minded nature.
Have a Mitch? Time to get a better IT consultant–an IT consultant that provides proactive IT support, an IT Consultant who provides prompt and thorough business IT solutions.
Scenario 5: Emmett (who is real) and Laura at the Help Desk
For your outsourced IT, you got Emmett (who is real). Emmett (who is real) has never once physically entered your office. You’ve actually only corresponded with Emmett (who is real) via email. His email responses are surprisingly prompt for an IT consultant who is always absent. His emails are even thorough, often effectively dictating easy IT solutions that keep larger problems at bay. At first you don’t mind. Eventually Emmett (who is real) will have to come into the office, right?
Well, those larger problems finally arise–and though you call and call Emmett (who is real), he never answers. When you finally get an email from Emmett (who is real) he insists this problem will best be resolved via the Help Desk. When you call the Help Desk, Laura is happy to assist you with your IT emergency. She’s not nearby, otherwise she would drive over and help you herself. Laura is smart and collected, and she gives you comprehensive IT solutions right over the phone. Once the problem is resolved you email Emmett (who is real) to let him know. Of course, he takes credit for the satisfactory resolution. After a while you decide to sidestep Emmett (who is real) altogether and call Laura at the Help Desk first. But Laura at the Help Desk has other clients to attend to. After all, you have your own IT consultant, remember? Part of the reason you pay for an IT consultant is to have an IT specialist devoted to your business IT specifically–an IT specialist who knows your infrastructure and can make more informed decisions than unfamiliar Help Desk personnel.
Have an Emmett (who is real)? Time to get a better IT consultant–an IT consultant who is dedicated to your business, and available when you need them most.
When it comes to IT consulting and business IT support, don’t settle.
The right IT consultant is a professional who is expertly trained and specialized. The right IT consultant has a strong support system that allows them to be fully devoted to your business. The right IT consultant communicates effectively, listens actively, and provides prompt business IT solutions. The right IT consultant is there for you, and addresses each IT problem with proactive solutions. With the right outsourced IT, your business gets a dedicated consultant who can bring innovation and efficiency to your business through their own IT expertise.