rsz_1cavemanI have been working with IT consultants all over the country for the last 14 years and it always surprises me how backward thinking the majority of these IT providers are in the fast paced IT industry.

Now I refer to most of these bad behaving firms as Cavemen…

Check out the 9 ways you can tell if your IT Provider is a Caveman and see how your current computer consultant measures up!

1. Your IT provider might be a Caveman if they refuse to ever give you the username and password to your own severs. When your IT provider withholds this information from you, there are a bunch of things that you won’t be able to do. If your web server is down, the process of fixing it will take longer than it should especially when you are capable of fixing the problem yourself. Without the login details to your server, you will have to wait for your IT provider to get it back up and running. Apart from preventing you from performing remediation work, you also won’t be able to update or make changes to your website anytime you need to.

2. Your IT provider might be a Caveman if it fails to properly document your network so you remain in the dark about your critical settings and remain beholden to them. Network documentation is basically the blueprint of how a network is set up and how its components interact with each other. It is useful for when network-related problems occur. Because with it, one can quickly understand how a particular network is configured, reducing the amount of time needed to fix the problem. But this is not the only thing it is useful for, it also plays a key role in an IT infrastructure in terms of expansion. Cavemen not only fail to get this valuable information right, they only use it when a problem occurs.

3. Your IT provider might be a Caveman if they fail to give you state-of-the-art remote desktop access that would make your company more productive and profitable. Simply put, remote desktop access lets you access your server or use a particular computer even if you are in a different location. It allows you to finish an office project at home beyond work hours, or fix a computer even if you are miles away from it. Companies could benefit from this because they would no longer be limited by the 9-5 standard business hours, in fact, they can operate up to 24 hours a day — should they want to.

4. Your IT provider might be a Caveman if they assign a specific “IT Liaison” to be the only one to communicate help desk requests, which will cause massive lost productive and hidden costs. As an owner of an online business, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. When a problem — that prevents your business from functioning efficiently — arises, you want to get that problem fixed right away. If you can’t fix it yourself, you get in touch with your IT provider’s help desk. The process in itself can take some time, even if you’re directly communicating with the help desk. Add a go-between IT personnel to that, and the waiting time to get answers will take significantly longer.

5. Your IT provider might be a Caveman if they offer a slow response help desk that causes you to wait 20 minutes or more before a tech ever calls back. This is closely related to the above point. In the event that, say, a server-related issue occurs, time is of the essence. You need to get your site back on track as quickly as possible. The longer your site is down, the more you lose potential customers and income. As they say, “customer service is the backbone of a business”. IT Cavemen may not fully understand what the concept means.

6. Your IT provider might be a Caveman if they claim to do everything to keep your network up but fail to include state-of-the-art disaster recovery and business continuity in their flat fee. Of course, that costs extra! These two are very important to a business because they allow a business to continue to operate as well as recover its IT infrastructure when a disaster occurs — be it natural or man-made. Furthermore, they also help in mitigating the risk of disaster. “Real” IT providers provide you with a proper disaster recovery plan in conjunction with a business continuity plan without charging you extra.

7. Your IT provider might be a Caveman if they still charge you based on blocks-of-time or straight billable hours; both create an environment where down time, lost productivity, and hidden cost can thrive. What you want is an IT provider that charges you with a set, fixed annual fee so that you avail yourself of a continuous service. In other words, they’re always there to help you whenever a problem arises.

8. Your IT provider might be a Caveman if they fail to keep you updated on all the technology changes that could impact your business – like cloud computing. If they are not informing you about the latest innovations in technology, then perhaps they are not up-to-date themselves. Cloud computing is the way of the future, but it’s already happening in the present. If your IT provider hasn’t told you about it yet, then you’re missing the opportunity to help your business reduce capital expenditure, become more productive, and become great!

9. Your IT provider is especially a Caveman if they keep repeating steps one through nine and expect you to remain loyal. It is surprising to see why such providers still exist, chances are high though, that they’ll eventually go the way of the dinosaurs — total extinction.

So why settle for a Caveman when you can hire an IT provider that lives in the now!