When it comes to choosing an IT services provider, it’s natural to want to keep costs down. But focusing solely on finding the cheapest option can be a risky approach for your business. While price is certainly a factor, the cheapest provider may not offer the expertise, capabilities and responsiveness your company truly needs.
Let me walk through 5 big reasons why a budget provider might not actually be the right fit:
1. Limited of Experience and Expertise
Oftentimes, cheaper IT companies are newer to the game.. They won’t have as much hands-on experience specifically within your industry. This makes it harder for them to get your unique needs and challenges.
More established partners have the benefit of:
- Institutional knowledge – They’ve seen it all and can apply those learnings to help you.
- Industry expertise – They’re already familiar with regulations and requirements for your sector.
- Access to latest technologies. Your infrastructure benefits from being kept modernized with industry best practices.
- Deeper bench of technical talent. They have certified veteran staff across every specialty – networking, security, systems, cloud, etc.
- Consistency and process maturity. You will gain a smoother onboarding, project delivery, and any ongoing support thanks to institutionalized experience.
Bottom line – technical sophistication and proven expertise should outweigh sheer cost when picking a partner you can count on long-term.
2. Potential Security and Compliance Gaps
Today, with cyber dangers on the rise, picking an IT provider should be a top priority. Unfortunately, cheaper firms frequently cut corners or fail to invest in adequate safeguards. You’re more vulnerable to attacks and data breaches.
During evaluations, ask detailed questions about their security infrastructure such as:
- Data backup rigour. Do they follow industry standards like 3-2-1 backups and testing recovery processes? Cheaper providers may take shortcuts here.
- Proactive threat monitoring. Do they have 24/7 SOC teams on the lookout for developing hazards around the clock? Budget providers lack resources for robust monitoring.
- Incident response processes. Inquire about how quickly they detect and contain ongoing threats. Slower responses can significantly raise breach impacts.
- Specific solutions used. Get the details on endpoint security, firewalls, intrusion detection, encryption standards and more.
- Vague answers are a red flag.
- Compliance expertise. Do they have up-to-date audits and certifications for regulations like HIPAA, PCI DSS, etc? Non-compliance risks major fines.
You want confidence they take security seriously across the board. Don’t let cost outweigh rigorous protections.
3. Limitations in Services Offered
Basic break/fix and network upkeep are table stakes. But modern businesses need partners capable of so much more – like strategically migrating workloads to the cloud, building continuity plans, rolling out new infrastructure, or developing custom applications.
While assessing service catalogs, look for providers that can:
- Architect your cloud strategy and securely migrate legacy systems.
- Create and put to the test business continuity and disaster recovery plans.
- Major IT enhancements require a budget, a roadmap, and project management.
- Design custom software solutions to optimize workflows.
- Act as a CTO/CIO advisor to guide your tech strategy.
- Supply ancillary services like telephony or software development.
A one-stop shop for current and future demands eliminates the need to repeatedly switch providers as you outgrow them.
4. Lack of Scalability
It might be okay for a brand new startup to use cheap IT services. But can they fluidly scale up their services, security, bandwidth, and support as your business rapidly expands? Past a certain point, inflexible partners hinder growth rather than enable it.
For long-term success, you need a provider that can:
- Onboard new users, endpoints, and office locations seamlessly.
- Make sure your security infrastructure keeps up with the growing data and surface area.
- Boost network capacity and implement redundancies to maintain reliability.
- Migrate legacy systems to the cloud in a phased approach.
- Provide on-demand technical resources for special projects.
- Keep an eye on infrastructure so it doesn’t fall behind.
Be wary of cheap providers promising the world. Seek quantifiable examples of them scaling clients smoothly. Growing pains should be minimized, not maximized.
5. Mediocre Responsiveness and Support
Bargain basement prices also correlate closely with overstretched technical teams and inadequate support resources. When outages or issues occur, delayed responses from such providers result in costly downtime and lost productivity.
Carefully inspect their:
- Support tiers – Do they offer 24/7 emergency phone/chat/email access? Cheap providers may severely limit or outsource off-hours support.
- Response time SLAs – Industry averages are 30-60 minutes for most critical incidents. Yet budget providers often take 2-3X longer. Each minute down adds up.
- Ticketing and documentation – Ticketing and documentation – Do they have a good system for submitting and tracking issues? Are there a lot of lost requests and confusion?
- Remote monitoring – Can they detect and start addressing problems proactively before you notice them? Limited monitoring creates delays.
- General communication –Do they keep you updated when things go wrong? Or do you have to continually chase them for info?
Don’t settle for bare bones support just to pinch pennies. The business costs of downtime and inadequate response far outweigh short-term savings.
Cost is one factor in vetting vendors I know. But fixating on rock-bottom prices above all else can really come back to bite you. Find a partner with proven experience, strong security, scalability, and responsive support.
Spend time evaluating contenders based on what’s important to your business, not just upfront costs. A few dollars spared today on the wrong provider can lead to major money, time, and headaches down the road. The right IT fit reduces risk and aligns technology with your growth for the long haul.