Should you break up with your IT partner? 6 signs that your IT relationship is unfixable

written by Priscila BernardesAug 1, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Relationships in all facets of our lives require work, including professional ones. However, recognising and breaking off professional relationships, such as those with your IT support, is not as easy. 

Experience tells us that, often, companies will only realise that their IT relationship should have ended long after it is beyond repair, leading to unproductive downtime, additional costs, and overall staff unhappiness. 

Our advice? Don't grin and bear it for 3-5 years until you can raise the idea and find a new IT provider, as the cost will only amplify.  

The reality is: it is hard to break up with an IT provider, but it is ok to admit that the relationship isn't working for your business. The good news? It has never been easier to find and IT provider that can take your business to the next level! 

So, if you are finding yourself on the fence, this post is likely to be the wakeup call you have been waiting for. We have compiled the top 6 signs that show that it is time to say good bye, and these are:

1. There is no business and IT alignment

The most powerful aspect of technology is its ability to progress your business through aligning your IT with your business goals. On the other hand, the opposite of this is implementing technology for the sake of technology.  

So, how do you know if your business and IT support are not aligned?  

  • You haven’t discussed your business goals with your IT provider in a long time, or you feel          that your business direction isn’t taken into account in how you are getting IT support, and            recommendations. 
  • Crucial systems needed to assist in achieving your strategic goals are not functioning                  optimally, or are not in place at all. 
  • The day-to-day basic functioning requirements of your IT are not being met.  

2. Your IT service is too slow, too expensive and too inflexible, especially in terms of innovation 

You have recognised there is an issue with your IT as it is always breaking, and the time it takes to have it fixed is simply too long, causing loss of productivity in the business. 

Your IT provider will likely suggest that updating and innovating your technology is too expensive, making you feel stuck. 

You know your IT needs to be performing better, however the advice you are receiving suggests that making a change is either too difficult or costly. 

So you carry on with your tail between your legs, using your broken IT… sounds familiar? 

There’s nothing right with this situation.  

To add up, innovation is now required to keep your business relevant and competitive, no matter what industry you are in. New, more advanced technologies are coming out all the time, and your IT provider should be advising you on any that would help your business meet its goals, as well as being capable of implementing these technologies, or recommend a party that can implement them for you. 

3. The relationship is viewed as a trade engagement, rather than a partnership 

Gone are the days where your IT provider just keeps your lights on, they need to be providing technology that gives your business leverage.   

Business and IT are now intertwined, and the relationship has changed to reflect this. The most successful relationships are now partnerships based on outcomes.  

However, to make this partnership successful, you also have to uphold your side of the deal!  

The right IT provider will become frustrated and won’t be able to provide a good service unless provided with the inputs they need to make your IT function optimally. This includes having a transparent view into your business, which naturally includes your company accepting IT’s integral role in business, reflected in actively adopting the new systems. 

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4. It feels like you are getting band-aid solutions repeatedly 

When you rely on IT support, you will know that there is a BIG difference between fixing problems, and preventing them from occurring (again!).  

A good IT provider should always aim to fix problems as well as look for solutions to stop these problems from happening again.  

This works in two ways: 

a) It reduces downtime by fixing the particular issue for good 

b) It reduces the time the IT provider spends fixing reoccurring problems, allowing them to spend their time working to improve the IT systems and making IT work ‘smarter’ for your business.  

5. There is no pricing transparency  

Many IT contracts are drafted to leave you feeling like this: 

Not only do you not understand what you are paying for, but you don’t understand what you are responsible for.  

This happens when the pricing model is too hard to understand or has grey areas. All in all, understanding what your IT provider covers becomes a lot of admin work!  

A good IT provider outlines their responsibilities clearly, as well as giving quotes for any work that lies outside of their obligations (in advance). This means no more surprise costs, which in turn gives you more control over IT expenses.  

6. The trust is gone 

At the end of the day, like any relationship, when the trust is gone, the relationship is gone too.  

If you are experiencing any one of the points above, then most likely the trust is gone as well. With IT playing an increasing role in businesses, it is important to have a partnership based on trust.  

Technology is now an integral factor in business growth and performance. Having a trusted partnership with your IT support is now more important than ever. If you are feeling like your business needs are not being meet, or you don’t feel supported by your IT provider, it would be a good time to start exploring your support options!  

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About Priscila Bernardes

Passionate about relationship building, Priscila leads Lancom’s customer experience and growth initiatives. With an Executive MBA and a decade of IT experience, Priscila loves challenging the status quo and finding innovative ways to service our clients, while sharing what she is learning with the community.