According to House of Commons library, the total number of private sector businesses in the UK is estimated to be 5.7 million in 2018, and they are all SME’s (small and medium-sized enterprises). They constitute over 99% of all the business.
Any business keeping fewer than 250 employees is an SME.
And there are around 8,000 large business houses with more than 250 employees in the UK. They account for just 0.1% of businesses but 40% of employment and 48% of turnover.
The percentage of micro-businesses with 0-9 employees is estimated at around 5.4 million in the UK.
According to the latest survey in 2017, more than 3,50,000 business died, with, 86,000 of those business deaths occuring in London. And that itself constitutes 14%.
We can count a whole lot of different reasons for a business to fail. IT support may be one of them.
A fractured IT support process can lead to catastrophic consequences, even for an established business.
We felt a need to summarise those light and strong signals of a fractured IT support process for micro-businesses & SMEs
Sign of a Support Process Failure
- Getting Support is not easy
- Support tickets are pending
- Customers are feeling uncomfortable during interactions
- The support team is using the scripted language
- Delayed resolution of tickets
- The support person is doing hit-and-try during a remote session
- Support representative is not easily reachable
- Support persons are unfamiliar with your industry
- Poor communication skills
- Lack of Mac knowledge.
- Business is running with outdated equipment
- Lack of security
- No provision of data backup in place
- Poorly set-up Monitoring System.
Pro-active maintenance failure
- Unexpected downtime
- No flexibility of 24/7 support solution and availability.
Sign of a stale process
- Monotonous IVR systems as well as dull hold tones while reaching them
- Ignoring end client comments
- Slow Response time
- Lack of monitoring
- IT provider is cheap but not cheerful
- Delay in the resolution of tickets
- Pending ticket queues
Recommended steps to solve
For the monitory concerns micro-businesses face day in and day out, the best option is to review the cost factor with the existing IT provider and compare with other IT support companies.
If you observe the cost difference is in between 10-20%, you can consider changing the existing IT support provider.
However, if it is above 20%, then a wise decision will be to discuss improvements with your existing IT support provider.
However the math we are suggesting above does not apply to SMEs. As you may recall, any firm with less than 250 employees is considered an SME.
And, for SMEs, efficiency does matter as much as cost-cutting. Keeping in mind that perspective, the figures are different.
Even if savings are in between 20—25% (again, a considerable amount) with your existing provider, management should give precedence to the existing IT support provider and discuss all the current issues company is facing.
Changing IT support is viable and proves to be successful only if handled professionally.
A company should look to avoid surprises at all costs, meaning due-diligence is essential.
Compare the pros and cons of new and existing IT service provider.
However, if you have decided to change your existing IT support provider, you may want to consider following the below path:
Pros and Cons of existing IT support provider
Main points to check in IT support SLA
Below are a few essential points to consider before signing a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with your IT support provider.
- Check for pro-active services and details in the contract
- Criteria to support in emergency and out of hours
- Duration and renewal of the contract
- The overall cost to company and rate parity with competitors
- Experience of the IT support provider
- Proposal & contract presentation
- The inclusion of digital assets apart from hardware
- Support process details
- Clear defining of supported and non-supported things
- Audit of existing IT infrastructure.
Changing your existing IT support provider is a big commitment. Informed decisions should be taken avoiding surprises at all cost.
The cost to the company is a primary factor before proceeding in that direction.
Cost factor alone may influence your decision whether to keep or terminate the services of your existing IT support provider unless it is essential, wherein the conditions in which neither the cost nor the efficiency is coming at par.
Independent IT consultant
If you are planning to change your IT support provider, as per a standard procedure, it is advisable to consider an independent IT consultation & audit.
That will help you to secure the information concealed until now so that you can make informed decisions.