If you’ve had your IT partner for a long time, you may feel some sort of obligation to them. But as you start to grow, if you outgrow your IT provider, at some point you need to make a change. Because what happens when you outgrow the expertise or bandwidth of a provider is your business starts to suffer? How? In the form of increased IT Support wait times, poor resolution times, failed backups or dinosaur IT security. Can you really afford to be behind the curve just because you have been with a provider for awhile? If you’re wondering what could potentially happen as you shop other IT partners, here are some of the very worst case scenarios when you switch IT companies that we’ve seen as true colors have come out of the competition:

  1. They’ll threaten legal action.
    Losing a client is hard for a small business, and not every business owner handles that with grace. If you’re inside a contract with your IT provider, it’s important to look closely at the contract and understand what your obligations are. We have contracts with our clients than can span 1, 3 or 5 years. If a client is unhappy, we always do our best to fix it, but never force a client to stay in the contract or threaten legal action. However, there are some companies that will threaten legal action immediately to scare you out of switching. Here’s my two cents on that: Do you really want to stay with a company that operates that way? Sure, a contract is a contract. But what type of relationship will you have moving forward with a company that wanted to sue you over staying with them when they likely weren’t serving you properly to begin with? It’s a sticky situation, but we’ve seen it before.
  2. They’ll charge exorbitant off boarding fees.
    When you sign contracts with new IT partners, take time to understand what ending the relationship looks like. You want to peace of mind to know that if the time ever come when you want to split ways that that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. In a desperate attempt to save your account, some companies try to charge substantial off boarding fees to lock you in. While we do agree that there are actions that need to be taken with a client wants to leave, we never charge exorbitant off boarding fees. Know that if you are working with a small provider that this is something we’ve seen before, so prepare properly or ask for the appropriate credentials so that you have access should anything happen.
  3. They’ll go completely MIA.
    Probably one of the scariest things that can happen when you want to switch up providers is they’ll go completely MIA. They are uncooperative for providing credentials for transfer, become unresponsive for support requests and make things as difficult as possible for the new vendor. While this can make transitions more difficult, it’s all the more affirmation that you should make a change.

Ask yourself something – if I’m worried about how my IT provider is going to respond to me looking for a new vendor, should I really be working with that vendor to begin with? Losing business hurts, and losing clients hurts. We’ve all been there. But you cannot continue to avoid technology innovation and compromise efficiency within your organization just because you’re afraid to make a change.

Don’t be afraid to make a change if you’ve outgrown your current provider. With a little preparation and diligence, you can avoid these situations and make the transition go as smoothly as possible.