Your company is growing, but is your business technology keeping up? Your current IT services provider and systems may not be sufficient to support your long-term growth. Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind when you evaluate your scalability.
Signs that Your Current Provider Won’t be able to Handle Your Growth
1. The current network already has a lot of problems.
What’s the state of your current network? If you’re plagued by frequent errors, outages and slowdowns, things are only going to get worse as you get bigger. Your provider needs to have a track record of delivering solid performance throughout your contract to prove that they can support you as you scale up.
2. They’re slow and not responsive enough.
How long are you waiting on tickets and service requests? If your current provider takes too long to address problems, you can incur a lot of opportunity costs. Consider what would happen if you had a sudden spike in popularity during a busy season or completely unexpectedly. The tickets would pile up and the system may go down completely.
You would have to wait for techs to come on-site or return phone calls while employees are left without vital work resources and customers are left unserviced. You don’t just lose out on the employee productivity; you also take a reputation hit for your company. When consumers measure their favorite companies by the customer experience, you can’t afford to leave them hanging.
3. They’ve presented no plan for how technology will help you scale.
You can’t scale up without a solid plan in place. If you attempt that, you end up with a lack of cohesion between the systems that are in place. In the long-term, that can lead to major issues as you grow. Your provider should present you with a plan that looks at your current and potential growth potential.
4. They don’t have enough resources and staff to handle your expansion.
Sometimes the provider simply doesn’t have the resources to keep up with the capacity that you need. While they can attempt to hire more people or upgrade their systems, you end up playing catch up. Your own growth is hindered when you have to wait around for your provider, and there’s no guarantee that they can make the adjustment in the timeframe you require.
What Scaling Your Business Technology Should Look Like
If you’re wondering what good business technology scaling looks like in practice, Manawa helped TMF Foods after the company outgrew their current service provider. They were struggling with a slow network and didn’t have sufficient wireless coverage to meet their needs. They also lacked a business IT strategy and a comprehensive security system.
Dan Davies, TMF Foods president, contacted Manawa for a partnership. He appreciated the experience and professionalism that they brought to the table. Manawa created a technology strategy that complemented TMF Foods’ business strategy.
They implemented a line of business application and wireless solution that supports the current and future needs of their client. TMF Foods went from a single server to a multiple building configuration. This partnership has continued for eight years.
The results speak for themselves. TMF Foods has a steady growth rate that is pain-free. The company can move forward at full capacity without worrying about a lack of IT resources. Dan Davies says “There is virtually no downtime. Also, my company embraced the Manawa teams and their workflow methodology. That’s critical — if that hadn’t worked out things might have turned out differently.”
Best Practices for Choosing a Quality Business Technology Scaling Partner
Choosing an IT services provider to support your ongoing business growth can be a daunting prospect. Here are some characteristics to look for when you’re evaluating providers and want to make the best choice for your company.
- Works with larger clients: You want reassurance that your IT provider can keep up with your growth rate. If they’re already working with companies that are larger than you, they have the systems in place that you need.
- Talks about successful scaling projects: Look for case studies that discuss details about the scaling projects they have taken on for other clients. You want to look for information about the results and whether the clients are still with that provider.
- Has familiarity with your industry: When an IT support company has subject-matter knowledge of your industry, they know the challenges that you face and the popular solutions to overcome them. They also have a better idea of the type of growth that you can expect.
- Talks about their work processes: Learn more about their business playbook and what they do when they’re working with clients. You don’t need a step by step guide, but you should have an idea of what they do when you become a client.
- Answers your questions quickly and thoroughly: You shouldn’t be waiting around for someone to answer pre-sales inquiries. When they respond, they should cover everything that you ask with a full explanation.
Your systems and IT services provider should be prepared to grow with you. If you need to partner with a new company, follow this guide to set yourself up for future success. If you want to consult with an IT company with a track record of helping companies grow, call us today.