It’s not news to acknowledge change can be difficult, especially for an organization where it could affect a lot of your people. Yet, if there’s an IT problem plaguing the company and you’ve tried to find an alternative solution, what are the obstacles holding you back from changing your IT provider?
Overcoming the Obstacles
Inertia is hard to overcome. Humans have endless rationalizations to justify inaction.
Having worked with hundreds of clients over the years, we’ve heard many different reasons that hold people back from planning to change their IT provider. Here are the more common ones we’re hearing along with some thoughts to help you over the decision hump:
“We feel loyal to our current IT provider”
There’s an understandable emotional commitment to your current IT provider. Breaking up is hard to do. Assuming you’ve had a conversation with your current provider and the situation hasn’t sufficiently improved, what will change by waiting?
“It’s not a priority right now.”
So, it was a priority and now it’s not. What’s different today? And what’s the cost of not deciding to change your IT provider? Don’t overestimate what’s involved with making a change. An experienced IT provider will be able to minimize your effort and the impact on your team.
“A new IT provider won’t know our environment.”
Most providers possess a solid working knowledge of many different IT environments. The difference is in their ability to assess your IT situation quickly, fully, and consistently service your team. With strong documentation protocols and a process-driven approach, a reliable IT provider can quickly become familiar with your environment.
“It’s our busy season.”
Changing IT providers will always involve some level disruption. This is where a solid onboarding process can make all the difference. A good process will minimize both your effort and any disruption for your team. There is no better time to change than your “busy season.” This is precisely when you need your IT to function at a high level.
“We had a bad experience the last time we changed IT providers.”
Again, we find this is often a result of a weak onboarding experience. When you start with a shaky beginning, it can be hard to recover. Ask your considered provider how they manage the onboarding process. Do they have a detailed checklist? Is there a point person assigned to ensure the process goes smoothly?
“The price of other alternatives is too high/outside my budget.”
First impressions can often be deceiving when comparing prices. We often find companies underestimate what they truly spend on IT outside their monthly fee such as time and material costs for things that break or certain licensing costs. Also, make sure you understand what services and protections may be lacking in your current package that may account for the difference. Those lacking services may also be part of the source of your current discontent.
“The costs to switch right now are too high.”
Switching IT providers may entail some additional cost upfront, especially if your contract contains early termination fees. If your current IT provider knows you are extremely dissatisfied, the chances are their staff may be frustrated as well. They may let you negotiate that amount down or forgive it outright to maintain a modicum of goodwill.
“We plan on returning to (or leaving) the office soon, now’s not the time.”
The uncertainty created by COVID disruptions have posed some real challenges. If you’re facing service issues with your current IT provider or not getting the strategic advice to effectively plan your technology needs in these uncertain times, now is a good time to make a change. A reliable IT partner will help you navigate at least that layer of uncertainty.
“It feels risky to make a change right now.”
What’s the risk you’re sensing? If it’s financial, we’ve addressed some of those above. If it’s cultural, have you met with the people at your preferred IT provider to see if there’s good chemistry? Is their service team structured so more than one person is intimately familiar with your business?
Ask to meet some of those who would be assigned to your account. Have you talked to their current clients that may be like your business? Again, what’s the risk of not deciding to change your IT provider?
“I’m not sure what I’m getting, and I don’t see what’s different between providers.”
While most IT providers pretty much say the same things and offer similar service packages, there’s often a wide range between the promise and reality. This is where experience, a deep bench and a process-driven approach can deliver consistently high levels of service – from the help desk to strategic guidance. Perform the due diligence by asking your potential IT providers for some type of proof and their customers for validation.
“My boss is unaware of all our IT problems.”
This is a more common source of inaction than you might think. Yet, this could be a ticking time bomb for your career, especially if a major collapse of your network or a serious cybersecurity breach occurs. Make the business case by presenting the issues, the risks of not changing, your proposed solution and the benefits to gain their support. Proactive almost always beats reactive.
Now’s the Time to Decide
You made the decision to start looking at alternatives and then to start discussions with perspective IT providers. Your gut is telling you a change is needed but you’re still wavering. As we said in another post, not deciding is usually a bad decision.
Confront what’s holding you back, then decide to decide, act, and free yourself from the burden of not deciding.