We recognize the risks associated with choosing an IT management partner. You’re making a substantial financial and business investment. You aren’t looking for just any provider, you want a long-term business partner you can trust.
But it’s nearly impossible to fully assess any business partner before you start working with them. Hypothetical questions can only get you so far. The provider can tell you whatever they want.
That’s why we give every new client 90 days to test us out.
After 90 days, you have a good sense of the company, the consultants and technicians you’ll work with, and whether you can trust the provider with keeping the IT systems powering your daily business operations running smoothly.
Not all managed IT services providers are willing to offer this kind of “test drive.”
That increases the pressure on your vetting process. We wanted to relieve some of this stress and have outlined the 5 steps you should follow to find a trustworthy provider.
5 Steps To Finding an IT Management Provider You Can Trust
1. Ask: What’s your revenue split between product sales and services sales?
Countless organizations come to us with near identical stories.
The partnership was okay in the beginning. Then the upsells for overpriced tools and products started. Proposals for new projects and devices cropped up in every conversation. It didn’t feel strategic or tied to business goals – it just felt like needless expenditures.
Before you start working with an IT services company, ask for the breakdown between product and service sales. If what they bring in from products is high, that indicates their current clients hear a lot of product pitches, and you will too.
Obfuscation on this point will be easy to spot.
Either they will give you the split or they won’t. Don’t let potential partners be evasive on more technical questions.
2. Listen for answers in plain English
Technical questions do not require technical answers. As you evaluate providers, slip in IT-focused questions, even if you are not an “IT person.” If the expert cannot, or will not, give you a plain English answer, that’s a red flag.
Jargon and overly complex answers are code.
Phrases like “Well that’s because your subnet needs to be 22 bit and it’s actually 24 bit and …” really mean, “I don’t know and I’m going to bury you in such technical language that you’ll be scared to ask follow-up questions.”
“Let me research and get back to you” is always the better answer.
Being willing to say “Hey, I don’t know, but I’ll find out” is not a sign of weakness. Even experts don’t always have an immediate answer.
As long as they look into the matter and follow up, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out” is the answer you want to hear, not a bunch of acronyms.
3. Verify their actions back up what they claim as core values
Anyone can write out a catchy slogan about company values. Setting out and adhering to principles is different.
An outsider may not know what we mean by “Honesty first, regardless of the consequences.” Hopefully, they’d ask and discover that this is how we define trust.
We always tell clients the truth, even if it is detrimental to our revenue or bottom line.
Our clients hear fewer upsells and fairer quotes because we act with their best interests in mind, like the company that asked us for 2 identical projects.
After hearing what needed to be done, we gave the client a different option. We offered to scope out and complete 1 project first to see what resources it actually uses. Then create a quote for the second.
Most managed service providers would have sold them the second project.
We figured the second project would cost less since we’d be able to apply what we learned from project 1. In fact, the first project was so easy, we told the company we’d take care of project 2 as part of their regular monthly services.
We don’t view this as a loss.
For us, long-term trust is more valuable than whatever we’d charge the client.
4. Check references and find out what their current clients really think
Talk to the IT management company’s current clients and include questions that directly address trust issues, like:
- When they make recommendations does it seem self-serving?
- Do you constantly question their motivations?
- Are they giving you information to make fully formed decisions?
Tip: Exceptional providers help you gauge risk.
Whenever you get a recommendation from your partner, they should also share the pros, cons, and risks of not following through. This gives you everything you need to make an informed decision.
5. Trust your gut
You’re exploring different managed IT services for a reason. Do not ignore your gut. Get a second opinion from an expert. Go to someone you trust and explain what’s happening.
If they confirm your suspicions, it’s time to find a new IT management company.
Get an Honest Evaluation of Your IT Services
Call us and get an honest evaluation of your current IT services. You can trust it will not be a self-serving conversation, because that’s not how we work with organizations.
We’re even willing to turn away new business
Our strongest client relationships are with organizations that value our robust cybersecurity services, strategic IT consultants, business technology planning, and fully managed IT solutions.
If that’s not what a company wants, we tell them we are not their best choice. Then we help them find help desk support.
This is the kind of honesty we will bring to a conversation with you about your current IT services.
It’s a no-obligation call. You’ll talk, we’ll listen and provide an unbiased perspective on your current IT services.