07 Mar My IT Support is a One Man Band – is there a better way ?
There is no doubt, having your company’s IT supported is a really good thing – and if it is supported by a single person then this is certainly better than nothing.
There are many benefits to a one-man-band IT support guy:
- You and your staff really get to know him/her – and the relationship can really grow when they grow to understand you and your business, and the IT solutions it needs.
- You know you can call their mobile there is a good chance you will get through to them straight away (assuming they are not otherwise engaged.)
We work with several organisations who were previously supported by a one-man-band (*OMB*), and nearly all had good experiences – especially in the early days.
However, there are limitations – and there are areas of weakness – and all of which our customers eventually came to realise:
- What happens when the OMB gets too many customers for him to be able to provide your required level of support ?* It can’t be easy trying to provide the required level of attention when there are so many plates to spin.And it is very frustrating when staff have to wait several days for something very simple.
- What happens when they are ill ?* It can’t be easy for them knowing their customers need help when they are lying in bed with a horrible cold. Again, very frustrating when you can’t get the support when you need it.
- What happens when they need to take a holiday ?* Surely they can’t relax knowing customers are going unsupported. IT has become business critical for many businesses in today’s world – and to have periods f no support is simply too risky for many.
- What happens when their customers need solutions that the OMB has never experienced ?* Unfortunately we have seen solutions implemented by previous OMB that are simply not the right ones. Inappropriate solutions affect the effectiveness of your staff – and your business.
All this said, many stick with their one-man-band because they fear moving to an alternate provider may jeopardise what they currently have. For many, there is some obvious trepidation on how to move to a better solution – there is definitely a “better the devil you know” fear. But moving IT support provider couldn’t be easier – especially when the new company will handle everything for you. Also, if you choose a company without any contractual tie-ins, you have the reassurance of no long term commitment.
The other fear for businesses looking to move away from a one man band is they could lose the personal touch with a new company. This is certainly a risk – especially with the larger IT support companies who have 100s customers – there is a very definite risk of you becoming just a number – and have to wait for the SLAs to determine when your support is due.
Perhaps surprisingly, we have found that sometimes the One Man Band support companies are relieved when their customers move to a larger, more capable provider – probably due to the anxiety of not always being available – not being able to provide quick enough support – and the concern about not providing the right solutions.
We have found the very best relationships businesses can enjoy regarding their IT is when the business owner appreciates the benefits IT delivers for their organisation (IT is just a tool in essence – but a very powerful, all encompassing tool). With this sort of attitude, businesses can maximise the potential high quality IT infrastructure and how it can empower staff. This is undoubtedly even more prevalent with the recent changes to many’s working scenarios – and the working from home or hybrid model.
So, whilst we may be biased on this matter (and not without good reason) we believe the ideal partner for many SMBs is to have an IT support partner big enough to have the multiple people to support your business, but small enough to maintain a strong relationship, and to help your business develop and constantly improve its IT provision.
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