Better Communication = Better Technology Solutions
How often are you in touch with your IT firm?
Only when there is a technology emergency? Every few months when you add a new team member and need a computer?
Intermittent communication with your IT firm is not enough
Many businesses are dissatisfied with their IT provider because they feel they lack the ability to deliver strategic recommendations.
Strategic recommendations for business technology begin with open communication between you and your IT firm. And open communication can’t happen when you only talk with your IT firm when things go wrong.
Monthly meetings are a critical part in building a successful technology relationship.
Monthly meetings between the executive team and the technology vendor improves customer satisfaction and makes ROI more apparent.
Four Reasons Why Monthly Meetings With Your IT Provider Are Important
1. Infrequent communication leads to band-aid technology fixes,
IT teams are most successful when they can look at both big picture organizational goals and small technology details.
When IT teams are only called upon to put out fires or make ad hoc fixes, the big picture gets lost.
This results in band-aid patches that fix the immediate issue, but don’t take future variables into consideration. When things change in your organization and this “quick fix” no longer works, you have to pay again for yet another fix.
Small expenses here and there add up. This leaves you vexed at your technology costs and dissatisfied with your vendor.
2. Regular meetings can help lower your overall technology cost
Monthly meetings help managed IT services firms see the big picture and plan for the future of your company.
Meetings help your IT firm know your business, your people, how you use technology, and what your goals are. With this information, your IT firm can help your firm make a strategic plan and cost-benefit decisions that will help you meet your goals.
Whereas small fixes can add to your technology bill, a strategic technology plan can lower your technology costs.
3. Make a strategic future plan for your business technology
Is your goal to grow? To downsize? To open another office hundreds of miles away?
Monthly meetings with your managed services provider can help your IT team plan ahead to accommodate your business plans.
For example, if you have plans to open another office within the next year, it may make less sense to invest in a costly server and more sense to move to the cloud.
Informing your IT team with your plans last minute will result in an incomplete picture and rushed decisions that might not support you in the long run.
4. You get to know your IT team
Your IT provider shouldn’t feel like a ghost team. They shouldn’t be people who come in, fix your problem, and slip away unnoticed.
The technicians and managers of your IT team should be
people you know, like, and trust.
Monthly meetings help you build a relationship with your IT provider. But don’t limit your IT provider’s role to “vendor”. Consider your IT service provider part of your executive team. Invite them to understand your goals, challenges, and budget. With this understanding they can make suggestions that will position technology to meet your long-term business objectives.
Monthly Meeting Agenda -
What to Expect
The agenda of your monthly meeting should change based on your goals. But here are some things you should expect and ask for during each strategy session.
- Technology Review - Get on the same page with your IT provider about what technology you are using, how it is working, and what you might need to do differently.
- Business Goals - Your business goals are at the heart of your technology strategy. Talking business goals makes sure your IT infrastructure, security solutions, etc. will support your business now and in the future. You should share long term and short term goals for your business.
- Budget - Keep an open dialogue about your current and future technology budget. Your MSP needs to know your budget to prioritize projects and make valid suggestions.
- Your Satisfaction - Each month, your MSP should ask for feedback to measure your satisfaction with their service. Customer satisfaction surveys are important for MSPs to continually deliver exceptional customer service.
- Service Delivery Analysis - Your MSP should be open with numbers that prove you are receiving quality customer service. Statistics like average issue resolution time and maximum issue resolution time help measure MSP service success.
- Next Steps - By close of each meeting, make sure you are clear on what your MSP will do next, what’s on your plate, and how your business will change.
Schedule a Monthly Meeting With Your Managed Services Provider
Monthly meetings should be something driven by your MSP. If monthly meetings aren’t part of your IT service agreement, ask for them to be part of it.
Monthly meetings are an important way for you to measure the ROI of your managed services provider. But monthly meetings are in the best interest of your MSP because it helps them build a better relationship with you.