Do you have an outsourced IT provider? I often talk about having an outsourced IT provider because choosing one is very important, and building a relationship with one is even more important.
Make Your Relationship Better
Having a good relationship with your outsourced IT provider is extremely important, and underrated. Your IT provider should not be people that come in, fix something and leave. They are a crucial part of your business and should be included in planning meetings, various business decisions, and strategic growth opportunities. Time after time I have seen practices make plans for growth and not included the outsourced IT provider. Let me give you an example:
You want to open a second location. You choose the building, sign the lease, buy the furniture, and you are ready to move. No one told the outsourced IT provider. Here’s what happens next. Your outsourced IT provider is scrambling to get you an internet connection, new PC’s, cabling, vpn connectivity, firewalls, and a phone system! These things take time! We like at least 90 days for planning. Now let me be honest with you, this does not happen all that often,but it DOES happen. Here is another example:
You purchase a great new system to store your x-rays or images. You get a great deal, and they are coming to install it. You inform your outsourced IT provider that they will need some IP addresses. Your outsourced IT provider casually says…”how are you going to back up these images?” To make a long story short, because of the amount of data, your backup plan could cost more than the great deal you just got on that new system. Yes, I have seen this happen!
Tips to building a Better Relationship
1. Included your outsourced IT provider in all your meetings
2. Sit down with them every time they come in, and get an update on the work they performed
3. Bounce ideas off of them. They are excellent at finding technology to meet your needs
4. Grab lunch once a month. It’s always nice to get out of the office where there are no distractions.
5. Ask them questions about your network. The more educated you are, the better you will be able to make crucial decision.
Your outsourced IT provider is your PARTNER. They are an extension of your practice. They are a part of your team. They are intelligent people with a lot more to offer than just fixing PC’s and servers. Build a good relationship with them, and let them know that you welcome their ideas and suggestions. Building a better relationship will help you build a better practice.
Outsourced IT Provider