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Informal Small Business Relationship Survey

Pull up a chair by the fireplace, it’s time to talk relationships.  🙂

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Over the years, I’ve seen a fairly consistent set of conditions in small businesses and not for profit organizations that makes me wonder about the relationship status of small businesses to their IT providers. I’ve consistently witnessed businesses with IT infrastructure that is either failing them, and/or putting them at significant risk from a security perspective, and I often wonder what led to this? Office management frequently has no substantive information about why certain decisions were taken, who authorized certain purchases, or even what the Admin password to their own file server is. I’ve seen offices that routinely change the tapes for their data backup drive without realizing that nightly backups haven’t been successfully running for over 6 months. The tapes are empty. Yikes!

As an IT consultant, I always try to make sure my customers understand what they are buying, why they need it, how it should be maintained and of course what kind of financial and operational commitment is needed. Then I document this for the client as well, so that the sands of time do not wash away the decisions and maintenance requirements.

1. How is your relationship with your IT/IS service provider? Good/Bad/Indifferent?
2. Do you think your business is getting the full attention of your provider?
3. What should your provider be doing better to service your business?
4. Are you shopping for an IT service provider, if so, why?
5. Does your provider schedule annual, semi-annual or quarterly complimentary CIO visits with you?
6. If you have a great relationship, what is it that they do for your business that keeps you satisfied?

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