When searching for an IT Support Service in Essex, the options available are excellent. But what do you really need from your IT partner and how and why do you go about the process of change? We wanted a business owner’s perspective on what triggers the decision to change and their experience of the process.
As an IT Consultancy Services Provider, we know that IT plays a crucial role in the smooth running of any business. This is dependent not only on the solutions used but, more importantly, the partners who support you and your business.
We reached out to fifty business owners and asked them for their experience. They ranged in size from small to medium and covered multiple industries. To the 25 who responded, we asked them what their processes were. We also wanted to understand how they reached a final decision on who to partner with and have summarised the top answers in this article.
Why did our contributors last change their IT Support Partner and why? The answers ranged from “changing every 3 years because of their business processes” to “can’t remember and don’t have the time to worry about it”. One answer that stuck out, the feeling they had either outgrown their current provider or vice versa – a symptom I believe could be caused by poor communication.
How did they search for IT support providers to approach? After all there are hundreds of companies who are “local” and you need to start the process somewhere. Unsurprisingly, Google came out top on the search criteria, but this was followed very closely by businesses seeking advice and experience from their network.
How many companies did they then approach for the next stage of the selection process? Surprisingly this was quite high. In one case a business sent out contact to over 10 IT companies! The biggest surprise for the business owner was only receiving 4 responses!
Once this initial selection had been made, how did they filter their potential suitors following 1st contact. Was there any specific criteria to help them manage this stage? Even in today’s current “normal”, location still played a deciding role at this stage with a perceived safety net by having a potentially quicker on-site response.
How many meetings, online or on site, did they hold with each potential candidate partner before further narrowing down their choice? This averaged two meetings and often involved a visit to the providers offices to see how they operated.
When it got down to that final crunch decision, we wanted to know if our respondents kept the status quo or changed IT provider. We asked what the main reasons were for choosing their IT partner and were they pleased with the outcome.
A great result to see was, given the opportunity to refresh their supplier relationship, around 25% of businesses (6 out of the 25 surveyed) retained their existing provider.
This is a small data set. However, the process for all respondents followed a similar path with variations in approach and criteria. I am sure some of these will resonate with most business owners. Several things that are clear from the data include the popularity of Google! Also the number of potential suppliers approached averaged around three, which was expected.
Other key considerations included location, which may reflect on a desire to work with local partners or simply from habit. Price was a factor with 36% of businesses stating as their number one reason. This was not as high as I thought it may be, given the current climate.
All respondents noted how time consuming the process is and the hidden cost of change. The majority identified IT as being mission critical to their business, more so in todays fluctuating environment.
Thank you to those who took part in this month’s survey without whom this article would not have been possible.
If you would be willing to take part in our next survey topic “Cyber Fraud”, please contact Stephanie McKenzie by email firstname.lastname@example.org
My CTO Ltd is an IT consultancy service provider based in Essex, providing IT consultant services in Essex, London and Home Counties. We Advise, Design, Supply, Implement & Support your IT infrastructure.
Please note that where multiple answers were provided the main answer was used to collate this data.