What to do if you feel trapped by your IT provider
I want to share some stories with you about business owners I have spoken to who have felt trapped and intimidated by their IT providers.
It’s important to start by saying that the vast majority of IT providers that I know are fantastic and true professionals who always do a great job for their clients.
But, as with every industry, you do get the bad apples. The stories that I’m going to share are all things I have experienced first hand during the last 12 months. And, if I have experienced these things, the chances are that a business owner reading this blog is currently experiencing the same problems so I hope this blog helps.
The first example is a business owner that I spoke to about nine months ago. They were getting horrendous service from the IT consultant that they employed which had resulted in an increase in IT problems which was starting to seriously affect the business.
The problem was the business owner felt intimidated by the IT consultant who had previously insinuated that if the business moved to another IT provider, then they wouldn’t be able to keep their website or email system.
Refusal to share
I recently spoke to another business that used an external IT consultant. He’d designed the business’s IT network and supported them for years and years.
Unfortunately this meant that all the information about the network, their websites, cloud services and telecoms was in his head and that’s where the information was going to stay because he refused to share it with anyone.
Remember: your IT belongs to you
In both examples, the IT consultant used tactics like trying to bamboozle the business owners with technical jargon. The business owners weren’t technology experts, so they didn’t know quite what to believe and they felt trapped.
IT and technology are such fundamental parts of any firm that being in this situation put both businesses in a risky position. If the information is inside someone else’s head then that could have a huge impact on your business.
So there’s one thing I want to make very clear to any business owners who might be reading this in the same situation: your business IT system and your data belong to you. You should be able to freely move providers if you so wish without feeling intimidated or at risk of losing your IT systems.
As an example, let’s take a look at a cloud tool like Microsoft 365.
Microsoft is clear that as a business, you own the data. They only host it for you and your IT partner of choice only helps you with support for it.
Neither Microsoft or the IT provider have any ownership. And this is the case with all your IT systems and technology.
If you’re struggling with your IT provider, there is no simple formula to help you with this problem overnight. Every case really is different.
But if you are one of those people who feel trapped, then the only thing I can say is that there are usually ways and means to deal with any situation.
The most important thing is to reach out to a reputable IT provider in your area who will be able to help you deal with this issue.
If you would like advice on any issues raised here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.