Top 10 Indications that You Need a New IT Provider

Perhaps you’re hearing your employees grumbling about IT more and more. If they are grumbling, that means they are encountering IT related problems that keep them from doing their jobs. Lost hours waiting for IT fixes means lost revenue and slower company growth.

There are many challenging factors facing successful businesses today, whether it’s competition, government regulations, supply chain issues or a host of other issues you must defeat. IT cannot be allowed to be one of them. Ever.

How many of these 10 indications apply to you?

1. You’re calling them too much
If you and your staff are constantly on the phone with IT problems, that’s a sure indication that your IT company is not doing a good job. Truly Proactive IT keeps those calls to a minimum. Even if they perform what many call ‘24/7’ remote monitoring (many claim this, but do not do it), what good does that do if they’re still just watching things break down on your end? Network forecasting spots potential logjams and recurring issues and prevents most of them. They WILL happen, as Operating Systems often do not play well with the software programs you use, but a good Managed Service Provider (MSP) can drastically stem that tide.

At IT Support LA, we know that predictive maintenance saves us money by keeping the hours our technicians spend on your system to a minimum. That means not constantly scrambling to address easily preventable problems. We in turn pass those savings on to our customers. Better Service at a Lower Price. Look up ‘Win/Win’ in the dictionary. Our picture is there.

2.The waiting game
Response time is a critical factor. Whether onsite assistance or remote repair is required, response needs to be fast, the repairs quick, and the solution permanent. You call, no live person answers, so you have to leave your IT Provider a message and wait. Wait for a call back – sometimes not even the same day – and once you get ahold of them, you have to wait for them to solve the issue. If your network is down, your business grinds to a halt. Even if it’s just one workstation, that’s one of your ‘soldiers’ who is not on the front lines.

IT Support LA Guarantees our response time for all Managed Services Clients: IN WRITING, with a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.

3. New faces – always new faces
When a different tech either arrives at your office or is on the phone from Help Desk, they all too often need to familiarize themselves with your system. Another time and money waster for both you and your IT provider. This can be a sign of high turnover, which could be an indication that you are dealing with a badly managed IT company.

IT Support LA dedicates both a Primary Technician and Backup Tech for both onsite and Help Desk assistance. Familiar faces, familiar voices – and they are already familiar with your system and your staff.

4. Budgeting Nightmare
Many companies sell prepackaged plans, where the lower priced plans have plenty of billable ‘add-ons’ or ‘extras’ , and these add up in a heartbeat. If they offer a set number of hours for remote and onsite technical assistance, you are bound to exceed it – and be billed anywhere from $100 to $175 for each hour you go over. If you are on an IT plan that is NOT truly ‘all-inclusive, your month-to-month IT costs vary – sometimes greatly, it keeps you in the dark about what you’re really spending for your IT Support.

IT Support LA offers a low-cost, truly All-Inclusive plan, so you always know what you’re getting for what you’re paying. Unlimited Help Desk, and unlimited onsite as well as every other service you will ever need.

5. Poor Communication
If your IT company makes you call them to find out what’s going on – either with a specific issue or about the state of your system in general, this keeps you on the downside. You should be aware of all forecast. For example, what you should hear is “At the rate your server is storing data, it will reach maximum capacity by ‘X’ date and need an upgrade.” Except that for a bad IT company, ‘X’ date arrives, your network shuts down, and they say, “Oh, well that’s because you need a new server” (and you will stay down until that hardware arrives – and it won’t be overnight).

Also, when techs throw ‘Geek Speak’ at you, they are really trying to get you to shut up and stop asking questions – THEY are the experts, and they want you to know that.

At IT Support LA, we will inform you well in advance of anything that is looming that could negatively affect your network’s performance – no surprises. From the CEO to the hardware setup specialists, and all technicians in between, we speak to you in Plain English. You will always understand what we are doing – and why.

6. You have simply outgrown them
This revelation involves many of the others here, and we have been the recipient of many thriving businesses who have outgrown their IT provider’s meager resources. That doesn’t necessarily mean the old IT is bad, it just is. A small, skeleton IT company shows this in many ways – from a lack of bandwidth to keep up with your remote repairs, to a lack of manpower able to respond in person. One has to wonder: If that IT company is so good, why aren’t they growing?

Since our founding in 2002, IT Support LA has anticipated our growth and added qualified staff to allow us to work at no more than 80% of our capabilities at any given time. In March of 2020, with the sudden and rapid deployment of our clients’ workers from the office to home, we had the manpower ‘padding’ that allowed us to ensure that all remote connections were set up quickly, reliably, and most importantly, securely. COVID was a surprise, but we overcame it. We are never caught with our pants down. We don’t want to see that and, rest assured, our clients don’t want to see it either.

7. A disaster is truly a disaster
The above comments about COVID are an excellent example of this. Every business, and their IT providers are subject to nature’s (and man’s) nasty little surprises. Fires, which have severely affected California for the past few years– including several in our own backyard, earthquakes, and in some areas, even floods, DO NOT call in advance and book a reservation – they just show up. If your IT company has not known what to do in the face of a catastrophe, you are dealing with people who ignored Ben Franklin’s advice: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Upon taking on any new client, IT Support LA produces Disaster Recovery Plans for all matters dealing with the network, and specifically, reliably backed up data, with ongoing testing for accurate data retrieval. We will have you back up and running before the other guys even begin figuring out what to do.

8. Other bad surprises
By this we mean ‘surprises’ that your IT provider should have seen coming. Usually of a man-made nature, this shows you which IT providers are truly Proactive  – a word many carelessly toss around without actually understanding it. This overlaps with #5 above – knowing the network’s capacity and impending obsolescence of its components, but let’s talk about RANSOMWARE. We always say that “It’s not a matter of IF, but of WHEN”. It will happen, sooner or later. Even with best Next Generation Firewalls, AV and Spam Filtering, an untrained worker can click a bad link or attachment in an email, and the malware encrypts the data until a ransom is paid. Do you know if you are prepared to wipe your system clean and reinstall everything, including your reliably backed up data, without missing a step?

At IT Support LA, we get several calls a month from both companies that have been victimized by Ransomware, AND IT guys whose clients have been hit, but who are clueless about what to do. Since its emergence in force a few years ago, and the quantum leap this malware has taken in 2020, we have become experts at the highest level of protection, including user training, but more importantly, the quick resolution of an attack.

9. Do you even KNOW if you have a Disaster Recovery Plan?
This goes hand in hand with poor communication, but also with fundamental competence. No matter the cause or nature of the disaster, every business needs reliable, multiple backups. This is THE major component of any Disaster Recovery plan. If you do not know if such a plan is in place for your company, this is yet another indication that your IT provider has dropped the ball – if they ever even held it in the first place.

IT Support LA not only establishes a reliably Disaster Recovery Plan, but it is part of our policy of transparent, plain-English communication that we make sure you not only know there is a plan, but also what will happen in the event of a disaster. It’s bad enough to endure a calamity, but nerves are calmed when you know the situation is in hand and are aware of the steps and timeline ahead.

10. You don’t know what your IT company does for you.
You have the core nature of your business to attend to, but it is important for your own peace of mind that everything your IT provider is doing for you is spelled out IN WRITING, in the form of a comprehensive Service Level Agreement (SLA). Upon the start of your relationship, you should sit down and go over the SLA in detail with your new provider – demand amendments or corrections to make it more clear if need be, but don’t just take the SLA and shove it in a file cabinet and forget about it. A good IT company WANTS you to understand the SLA, so no issues can arise that have not been addressed.

IT Support LA not only provides a clear, comprehensive Service Level Agreement, but we require acknowledgement that the SLA has been discussed and any questions answered. This is for both our, and the client’s peace of mind. Everything is on the table.

The BIG difference between our agreements and those of other IT providers is that ours is not a ‘hard’ contract. Most providers require a contract of anywhere from 1 year up to 5 years. Our agreement is month-to-month. You can fire us whenever you want. We have to be good.

About IT Support LA
We embody each and every aspect of the Top MSP. Our methodologies are iron-clad, yet adaptive to your environment. We are entering our 19th year serving the Greater Los Angeles and Ventura County areas. We have continuously scaled our growth to ensure no ‘growing pains’, and our technicians are never finished with ‘school’ – the IT landscape, as well as the nature of Cyber Crime changes constantly, and we maintain that if those who are not a step ahead are far behind.

It is just this philosophy that has made our company award-winning:

  • 2 Years awarded Best IT by the Small Business Expo
  • Awarded 2nd best company of any type in the US by the Small Business Expo
  • Awarded Best IT in California by Channel Futures
  • 3 years listed as one of the Top 501 MSPs in the World by Channel Futures