If you are wondering what to check for when looking for a good IT service provider, here are 10 common mistakes that some companies make with their clients. Netitude can proudly say we are not guilty of any of these but that’s because we have been around long enough, with the top experts in the field to know how to manage clients’ IT needs effectively.
However, if you are interested in seeing common IT support mistakes – here they are:
- Over specifying solutions.This error boils down to selling a client more than they need in reality. You can look at this in a cynical way – i.e. a money making by insisting on installing technology and solutions that quickly become redundant or don’t add any true value but cost a lot. Alternatively, this could be due to an over enthusiastic approach by an IT expert who simply has not understood or analysed the business needs correctly.
- Under specifying solutions. In some ways this can be worse than the previous error because the solution provided may not take into consideration an allowance for business growth. The business need revolves around performance. IT and business need to flow together, not to be treated as separate entities and this takes a real talent by the provider to integrate the two. If the provider asks a client to repackage the entire solution periodically this may interrupt business flow and ultimately be disruptive.
- Neglecting networks and never visiting the customer sites. This can be down to laziness and not treating a customer as a valued client. Neglecting a network could mean problems begin to grow like weeds in the functionality of the system and if a provider does not bother to check in on a client and look at the set-up periodically they are in danger of missing things.
- Installing old technology. In IT, solutions evolve at pace. It’s important to keep up or a business will miss opportunities. For instance – moving to cloud based solutions is now highly advisable as there are so many benefits. Not doing this or at least advising this as a service provider, would be akin to denying the best service and at worse, potentially damaging business protection and growth for a customer.
- Not talking to customers. Many IT suppliers have an ‘arm’s length’ approach to their customer relationships – only responding if there are urgent questions. It’s crucial for a provider to keep a customer updated on progress of issues and resolutions. This is common courtesy and standard professionalism so why do so many IT suppliers take no apparent interest in their clients after they sign up?
- Not sticking to best practice. It’s one thing to preach to customers what they should do for best practice solutions but another to effectively implement those solutions. For instance, some IT suppliers know they should turn password policies on and explain the reasons why this is necessary to customers but they simply don’t!
- Not using IT! In the IT business you would think that an IT supplier would use IT. However, many smaller IT companies don’t even log tickets or have a helpdesk system.
- Don’t monitor servers and workstations. Monitoring is the most effective way to alert for problems before they cause downtime. If a service provider does not monitor – they will always be late in response to issues and those issues could grow and become worse, or stop business trading altogether.
- Don’t fix the cause, just the symptom. An example of this is when an IT support service spends billable hours removing viruses when a good firewall would prevent the problem altogether. If the IT environment is constantly having problems and grinding to a halt, no matter how responsive the IT support – something is probably amiss in the service. Prevention is always better than cure and this is the case for IT. This is why monitoring (see previous point) is crucial.
- Keep track of licence and supplier information. It is important to have this information to hand when dealing with any issues. A failure to track admin like this by a service provider shows a degree of disorganisation, which could be troubling.