Like everyone has always told us, relationships are not easy, no matter who they are with. As we enter the workforce, we come to realize this advice unfortunately includes our professional relationships.
Yes, professional relationships require work, however, it’s important to be able to identify when a relationship is no longer working or is beyond repair, and it’s time to (amicably) part ways.
*Cue tiny violin here*
Bringing it back to a subject we know well, your partnership with your IT Provider is included. In fact, this relationship is crucial to get ‘right’ as they have the ability to alter your businesses future. They have the insights to suggest and implement technology resources that enable you to work smarter, taking you to the next level by giving you competitive advantage. Note how we use the term partnership, as opposed to transactional relationship.
As difficult as it is to break up with your IT provider, it’s important to keep in mind that these relationships cost. Big time. If your partner is not strategically aligning your technology solutions with your future business goals, you can add opportunity cost to your total as well.
If you are on the fence about whether your relationship with your IT partner is working, this post will hopefully be the push you need to see your situation clearer. Without further ado, here are the 5signs your relationship with your IT partner is beyond repair:
1. You are getting band-aid solutions rather than the implementation of preventative measures
Being reactive rather than proactive is nearsighted. Simply fixing what breaks in IT is not enough – band-aid solutions are short term solutions. Value is fostered when your IT company digs deeper and prevents these issues from reoccurring, allowing you both to focus on generating more value from the technologies you currently have, and implementing technology that will help grow your business.
Working towards preventive solutions rather than quick fixes works in your favour by:
a) Reducing future downtime from the reoccurrence of the same IT issue
b) Reduces the IT providers resources spent on fixing reoccurring problems, allowing them to focus on planning (and implementing) your strategic technological future.
2. Your IT is not aligned with your business strategy and growth plans
To get the most bang for your buck, your IT needs to be to be strategically aligned with your business growth plans. If it is not, you are leaving value on the table that your industry leaders are taking and benefiting from.
IT allows you to implement smart solutions to your business challenges, as well as leverage the resources you have to stretch your growth potential to maximum capacity.
However, some providers don’t have the resources available to implement innovative solutions in a controlled, cost effective, and timely manner. So, if your IT provider is rebutting your suggestions to update and innovate your IT solutions, you have exceeded their capacity to serve your business and it’s time to look elsewhere!
3. Your IT service is slow, expensive, inflexible, and there is no price transparency!
Tying into the previous point, a tell-tale sign that your relationship with your IT provider is no longer efficient is your diminishing ROI.
Your IT is lackluster – it’s expensive just to keep your businesses technology up and running. Fixing the frequent issues is slow, and generating change is almost impossible. Your business is growing, and it’s constantly evolving needs require an IT Partner who can keep up and adapt to these changes.
Worst of all, you don’t know what you’re actually paying for, there is no transparency in the price structure – the terms and conditions of your agreement is a nightmare to understand. Your monthly bill is always a surprise.
If you take the time to explore your options, you might be surprised to know that this is not the industry standard anymore!
3. Innovation is virtually non-existent
…Both in your business and their own.
If your IT provider is not innovative within their own businesses, how can you expect them to implement innovative and strategic IT solutions into yours?
If you don’t feel like you are pushing the boundaries of the current technologies on offer for businesses, you aren’t getting the maximum effect out the resources available to your business.
Innovation is important to every business in an era of digital transformation. It keeps you both relevant and competitive, regardless of industry.
4. Your relationship is based on transactions, rather than partnership alignment
Nowadays, IT Providers are no longer viewed as a required payment to keep your business’ systems working each day. The relationship with a provider is now viewed as a partnership where both parties are working together towards a common goal – your business growth.
Partnerships are value-packed, mutually dependable, and choc-full of trust.
How do you know if you have partnership alignment? You have regular conversations around your business goals along with having an IT strategy that is being implemented and updated by your IT Provider.
Signs you are not in alignment? Basic daily IT functioning requirements are not up to operational requirements, and critical systems needed to achieve business goals are not in place.
At the crux of every relationship, is trust. It’s intuitive yet irreplaceable. Unfortunately, once it’s broken it is often lost. If you can relate to any one of the points above, most likely you are also feeling a lack of trust in your current IT Provider.
If you don’t feel supported by your IT Provider, don’t be afraid to start exploring your partnership options. You never know, your perfect partner might be right in front of you all along!