How confident are you that your company will have similar technology needs two years from now as it does today?
Most small and mid-size businesses have little certainty around what circumstances they will face in two years’ time. Despite this, there are all sorts of commitments that have to be made over a years-long timeframe. Of course, the biggest for most companies is that a building has to be leased, or a mortgage must be paid on it. In addition, many long-term commitments are technology related.
Some of these longer-term commitments make sense. If you are purchasing computer hardware for your business, you want it to last longer than a couple of years, because constantly replacing it has many downstream effects on your network and can really crush productivity. Similarly, phone systems take a long time to set up, and most companies don’t want to switch phone systems every year or two because there’s not enough benefit to justify the cost and hassle.
In some cases, however, there’s no point in locking yourself into a provider. This is especially true if you don’t know whether they will deliver on their promises or not. For instance, three-year Internet Service Provider (ISP) contracts really make no sense for businesses that need the flexibility to shift providers if a much better solution comes along. The same can be true for Managed IT Service Providers (MSP). Long-term MSP contracts don’t really make sense unless you’ve done business with the MSP for years and know the quality of work you can expect from them. Even if the MSP has the best of intentions, both your circumstances and theirs can change, and you don’t want to be locked into doing business with someone that’s not delivering the results you need.
To minimize risk, executives should always make sure they have knowledge and visibility on technology commitments that run a year or longer, and they should always question whether a term-based commitment makes sense for their company or if it exposes them to unnecessary risk. That’s because, while it’s sometimes beneficial for a company to commit to a specific strategy, it’s often more beneficial for the company asking for the signature on the bottom of the binding contract.
To learn more about how WingSwept can help your company meets its technology objectives, call us at 919.779.0954 or email us at Team_WingSwept@WingSwept.com.