Why It Might Be Time to Break Up With An IT Vendor

You can’t operate a business in the 21st century without a tech stack. Creating and maintaining this collection of tech assets is a job in and of itself, which is why many enterprises turn to IT managed service providers to assist in finding the vendors and solutions that work best for them.

Keep in mind, however, that the hectic nature of the IT landscape can lead to complacency when it comes to monitoring and managing your vendors. It can be easier to stick with a known entity than challenge whether you’re still receiving the required value. And while you may be loyal to a current IT vendor, they may fail to deliver the services you deserve.

Here are a few key reasons it might be time to move on from your current IT support system, along with suggestions for finding a better vendor-agnostic approach to improve your future IT vendor selection process.

A Lack of a Partnership Is a Red Flag

Key to a good partnership is understanding what your responsibilities are versus what the vendor is being tasked with. Assuming there is no confusion about those duties, you can examine whether the partnership is working for you.

In a tech-driven world, the value of personalizing a business interaction is multiplying. If you’ve been with a tech vendor for a decade or more and found they’re not meeting with you regularly to build a trusting professional relationship, that’s a red flag.

An IT services vendor should never be unresponsive, consistently late, lack expert advice, or fail to come through on their commitments. Their job isn’t to farm out generic solutions. Each component of your tech stack must uniquely meet the needs of your organization, or it isn’t doing you any good.

A good IT vendor should be proactively involved in the business they’re representing. They must continue to build and maintain a solid relationship with you to ensure they understand your operations and goals. If they’re not…it’s time to look elsewhere.

Increased Costs Can Be a Sign

Why It Might Be Time to Break Up with an IT Vendor You don’t want to penny-pinch when addressing IT concerns. But there’s still a happy medium between a good price and quality service. The issue with an ongoing business partnership is that higher costs can slowly become a problem without you even noticing—the classic frog in a boiling pot scenario.

If your IT vendor repeatedly raises prices, you may want to compare rates with alternative options. To be clear, it’s normal for IT costs to increase at times, but it should be a rare occurrence.

In addition, an IT vendor who is comfortable raising costs might spring surprise expenses on you without notice. This is especially true in an unstable economy with a looming recession. If your IT vendor costs are becoming uncomfortably high, make sure you understand why the costs are increasing (ask the vendor!) Otherwise, it may be time to look at other options.

Poor Service Is the Best Litmus Test

Partnerships and costs are easy indicators of an insufficient provider. But there’s another factor that trumps all others: quality of service. If you’re working with a vendor and can’t count on them to deliver on their responsibilities, that is grounds for you to move on to a more reliable partner.

Has your IT vendor made mistakes in their invoicing? Missed key implementation dates? Have they been acquired by another company? Are they struggling with management issues, either internally or with your own management team? Not meeting Service Level Agreements? Flat-out ignoring your calls? Or do you just feel as if they don’t “get you” anymore? Time to move on.

The biggest litmus test is comparing your IT vendor’s impact with your organization’s objectives. Is your vendor helping you meet your business goals? If the answer is no, you know what to do.

How to Research Other Vendors to Build the Right Relationships

If you want to make a good IT vendor selection, you can’t just start cycling through different vendors in the hopes that one of them will work out. Instead, you want to work with a reputable managed services provider (like vCom) that has a well-established track record of success and, critically, is vendor-agnostic.

The last thing you likely want is for your tech stack to suffer because someone you count on for advice is incentivized toward a certain tool. A good MS firm matches tech assets with client needs and doesn’t play favorites. You want a partner that will adapt to your organizational needs over time. When it comes to certain IT commodities like mobile devices, DIA lines, and broadband, organizations should consider working with an aggregator that offers wholesale pricing and doesn’t require lengthy contracts that lock you into a service, regardless of its quality.

Working with a tech-focused lifecycle management firm like vCom Solutions can help you discover which vendors meet these specific criteria.

Making the Switch the Right Way

Why It Might Be Time to Break Up with an IT Vendor Changing vendors can be a complex process in the short term, but it is often a necessary step to obtain long-term savings and sustainable efficiency.

You can soften the transition if you identify the right vendor before breaking up with your current partner. In some cases, the breakup can be gradual as you transition services from one provider to the next. You want to select a quality candidate based on your needs (not their offer) and consider how they can work with you long-term.

Taking the right steps will allow you to switch with minimal impact on your day-to-day operations (and avoid potential penalties) and finally begin to experience the benefits of a healthy IT vendor relationship.