Why You Shouldn’t DIY Your IT
Imagine for a moment that you are the owner of a small flower shop. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more and more of your customers have been ordering flowers by using your website. You rely on your website to get the addresses for flower delivery, to send custom messages with each arrangement, and to process payment properly.
You arrive at the shop on the morning of Mother’s Day, prepared for one of your busiest business days, only to find that your computer is updating. “I don’t have time for this,” you think, and turn off the computer, thinking this will make it restart more quickly.
Unbeknownst to you, restarting your computer in the middle of an update causes much bigger problems. You soon find that you are missing important files like your spreadsheet of monthly expenses. Now, you have to start your expenses report from scratch and you’ve missed most of the orders for one of your busiest days. In addition, you’ve wasted several hours of your morning trying to fix the issue without any results.
What could you have done to save your files, your computer, and your time? You could have called your IT company before rebooting the computer.
Why You Should Call Your IT Company First
Reason #1- Your IT Company Can Determine Root Cause
Albert Einstein said, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and 1 resolving it.” This quote expresses how difficult it can often be to get to the real root of a problem. That’s why IT companies follow a specific problem-solving process that helps them determine the root cause of technical problems.
Many of ADVYON’s IT experts reported that our customers are often trying to solve the wrong issue. For example, one common complaint our technicians receive is “my email isn’t working.” This issue can be caused by many factors. When a client tries to solve this issue on their own, they will often immediately jump to delete and reinstall their email. However, this step may still not resolve the issue.
In more than one instance, the IT team has determined that the person whose email isn’t working has simply clicked the “work offline” button without realizing. Now their email appears to be incapable of sending or receiving emails because it is not connected to the internet. Furthermore this issue would not be fixed by deleting and reinstalling the email and you may waste workdays for one or more employees by trying to fix the wrong issue.
Let’s return to our flower shop example. If you were to call your IT company about your issues restoring the flower shop’s spreadsheet, they would ask you a series of questions to determine the root cause of the issue. Some of the typical questions in troubleshooting include, “When did this problem begin?” How many people is the issue affecting?” and most importantly to this issue, “What changes have been made to the computer recently?” When you explain that your computer was updating the previous morning and that you turned it off, your technician will know right away that this was the root cause of the deleted file. Now that you know the reason the file is missing, it will be much easier to come up with a solution for restoring the information.
Reason #2- Your IT Company has a Deep Knowledge Base and Tools
Another compelling reason to call your IT company before trying to fix the issue yourself is simply that they are the experts in the field. Often your IT company has access to knowledge and resources that you won’t find by simply searching the Web. People commonly search for solutions for their IT problems online. We often believe search engines give us the same answer that our IT company would. However, there are several reasons this is not the case.
First, IT professionals have proven solutions that can be accessed either by a knowledge database or by asking their coworkers. At ADVYON, we’ve documented over 30 common problems and their solutions for our customers to access at https://advyon.com/support/. This is only a small sample of solutions that our technicians are considering every time they solve an issue. We also encourage collaboration between our IT professionals to get the best solution. As CEO Brian Anderson said, “There’s often no ‘right’ way to solve an issue. There may be ways that are faster, but there is no one right way.” If one of our technicians couldn’t solve an issue using their preferred method, someone else is likely to have an idea. While forums may try to achieve the same collaboration online, it is more likely that you will find confusing, conflicting answers to your questions than if you ask a team of professionals all working together.
Second, your IT company brings an outside perspective to the issue. Sometimes you may be so accustomed to living with an issue that you haven’t even thought to address it. Technician Jon Masula remarked that often when he arrives at a client’s workplace, he discovers issues beyond what the client called him to address. Many businesses are so used to issues that they say, “Oh, we just live with this,” or “I have a work-around for this.” Our technicians bring an outside perspective to identify these types of issues and a better, more efficient way to solve them. This can save time and future issues for your business.
Your IT company has access to several tools which can help them solve the issue. In our flower shop example, your IT company may have several different ideas about how to restore the file. However, testing these ideas could cause problems on the actual machine. So, they will use tools like Sandbox or Wireshark to test possible solutions without changing anything on your machine. This process allows technicians to be 100% sure that the solution they recommend will work. These tools save you time and effort while allowing the IT professionals to more quickly solve the issue. Then they can use remote access software to apply the solution while you’re at lunch so that you don’t lose any more business.
Why Do Businesses Resist Calling their IT Company?
With these reasons in mind, it seems more people should be calling their IT company as their first step. So what’s stopping them? Businesses don’t call their IT company before attempting to fix an issue because the way most IT companies work does not encourage calls. Most IT companies charge by the hour for their services. This not only discourages the company from calling and therefore spending more money, but also discourages the technicians from giving their best effort. An hourly model asks a technician to fix the problem as soon as possible. The first solution may not always be the best solution. In the long term, this can be inefficient. The technician may have to return several times for the same issue, which is frustrating for both parties.
ADVYON CEO, Brian Anderson explains that ADVYON’s IT services are created to counteract this popular model. We use a “customer centric, MSP model.” The managed services provider (MSP) provides ongoing support at a customer’s place of business for any network, application, and infrastructure security. This model focuses more on building long-lasting relationships with our clients.
An hourly model does not encourage relationships because it is built on the understanding that any interactions with an IT technician will likely be a one-time exchange similar to an interaction with the checkout clerk at the grocery store. Furthermore, by the hourly model’s standards, if everything is going “well,” you won’t hear from your IT company. We check up on our customers even if we haven’t heard any issues from them recently.
Your IT company can be a valuable resource. Rather than spending a whole day trying to Google your way through an issue, you have the knowledge and tools of an entire professional team at your fingertips. Your IT company can help you determine the root cause of your issue and test to find the best solution while you continue the important work of running your business. If hourly rates make calling your IT company impossible, we recommend checking our ADVYON or a similar managed services provider in your area so you can build a long-lasting relationship with your IT company. We certainly think it makes a difference!