The more experienced your IT provider, the better quality you will receive. Period.
For example, one of our new clients had a previous IT provider that really knew their ERP software. However he didn't know a damn thing about networks, server configuration, desktops, error troubleshooting, web protocols, VPNs or electrical system.
The result: the ERP software was in great shape but everything else was a mess!
The network was slow, servers operated at 15% efficiency, the desktops were full of malware, recurring errors were never fixed and the electrical system was substandard. The ERP publisher could never provide adequate training because he didn't understand web protocols or VPN technology. In short, his ignorance was hurting them.
How can any business expect to be successful when so many core business systems are not working? IT was a constant source of grief, instead of a competitive advantage.
The old IT guy's solution to everything was to buy more equipment. We froze all new equipment purchases and retooled their existing systems for greater efficiency. We eliminated recurring errors and spyware. We brought in an electrician to correct the electrical problems. Using only their existing equipment, we reworked everything.
As far as the ERP is concerned, we let the software publisher handle it. Our client's contract includes all support and maintenance so there really wasn't any reason for us to get involved! The previous IT guy was controling the relationship with the software developer to his own advantage.
In less than 4 months we helped our new customer dramatically improve operations. Not by spending more money, but by squeezing more performance out of what they already have.
Your IT service provider must understand how everything works together. He must understand how to maximize benefits while simultaneously controling costs. And most of all, he must work with other suppliers to maximize the benefit to the customer.
How does your current IT provider stack up?
Read more! Choose from the rest of my "Where's the Cost In...?" series: