How to NOT Get BSed By Your IT Company

It’s often pretty hard to know whether you are being BSed by a service company that presumably makes its living off of when things fall apart in your office—especially when those “things” are important and somewhat elusive technologies, like IT security and infrastructure. How does a business owner know when the sales guy isn’t just selling him on the same thing that has failed him countless times before? Or that he isn’t signing up for a service-based system rooted in a conflict of interest wherein the guy he hires is motivated only to put out fires?

Not sure of the difference between an “IT firefighter” and an IT business consultant? It’s really very simple—one has your business’ success as a top priority, and one does not.

When deciding if your IT guy is BSing you, consider his motivation and his company mission.

Professional IT Company

You want to be on the lookout for an IT team that has a philosophy based on business continuity and partnership—where they have a stake in your operation being up-and-running as often as possible, and your continued success marks THEIR continued success. You want your IT team to take pride in the fact that they don’t have to deal with catastrophes because they have set things up to not fail.

Of course, when the inevitable data disaster does happen, you want your IT team to take it personally—and respond quickly with vigilance, efficiency, and innovation.

A Reputable IT Business Consultant Has a Vested Interest In Preventing Data Disasters Before They Happen

Sure, every decent IT company should have data disaster response as part of its service offerings—but it goes beyond that. You have to look at their motivation for responding in the first place. Is putting out fires the main way these guys market themselves and how they earn their money?

Since the biggest difference between a strategic IT business consultant and a typical “IT Guy” is that one has your business continuity as its highest priority and the other is usually motivated to make money from a business’ complex IT failures, it makes sense that you want to look to hire someone with the former company offerings. And it also makes sense to avoid those who are motivated to profit from your failure like the plague.

How Can You Be Sure Your IT Company Wants to Set You Up For Success and Not Failure?

  1. Check local references and experiences from fellow local business owners. Ask them how often their IT team makes firefighting visits, and what the reasoning behind those visits has been. Was this a new IT team just getting started with a new business? Or are these issues ongoing and evidence of repeated IT failures and a system that simply isn’t working?
  2. Check social media. You can tell a lot about a company personality and their business philosophy by paying attention to what they post about online. If their Facebook page is loaded with stories of disaster and there’s rarely a mention of any IT success or business continuity planning, it might be wise to dig a bit deeper into their overall company mission before hiring them.
  3. Visit their office. If they welcome visitors, this is a great way to check the company blood pressure. Does the office present itself as a low stress, organized environment? Or does it seem more like a crowded newsroom the day before publication? You want to hire a team that runs its office like they’d run your IT—streamlined, efficient, and in control.

A reputable IT business consultant will always have your ultimate business success as its primary goal, so they have a vested interest in protecting IT infrastructure BEFORE it falls apart and over the long haul. If you need assistance with establishing a solid business continuity plan so that you can stay productive and profitable even in the face of a disaster, Centerpoint IT can help. Contact us at (404) 781-0200 or send us an email at for more information.