In today's fast-paced business environment, technology is the backbone of most operations. The smooth functioning of your business often hinges on the reliability and future plans of your IT company. This becomes even more pressing when your business heavily relies on technology services for its day-to-day operations.

For quite some time, we had partnered with a vendor renowned for their exceptional data backup solutions. Their innovative product consistently placed them at the forefront of the business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) industry. Our relationship was a model of excellence—seamless communication, prompt issue resolution, and unwavering support that bolstered our business growth. Their expertise and reliability were integral to our operations, providing us with peace of mind and a solid foundation upon which we could build and expand our services.

However, a cloud formed over this partnership when we learned of the vendor's acquisition by a corporate behemoth. Initially, we were assured that the product's integrity and services would remain unchanged. These reassurances provided some comfort, but the reality a year later painted a different picture. The familiar faces we had relied on had dispersed, leaving behind an impersonal entity. The personal touch and dedicated support we once enjoyed were replaced by a more bureaucratic and less responsive approach. This shift eroded our loyalty and left us considering alternatives, though none could yet match the unique capabilities we had grown accustomed to.

The IT industry, particularly over the last couple of years, has seen a surge in mergers and acquisitions, a trend that is a hot topic at industry trade shows. These conferences often coach Managed Service Providers (MSPs) on how to prepare their company for sale to maximize profit. The harsh truth is that you might find yourself stuck in a contract with a company you didn’t choose, one whose direction and service quality fall short of your expectations.

Understanding the implications of such industry trends is crucial. When MSPs are coached on maximizing their sale value, their focus might shift from customer satisfaction to profit optimization. This shift can result in reduced service quality, as the new owners prioritize financial returns over maintaining robust customer relationships. This reality underscores the importance of staying informed and proactive about the long-term strategies of your IT providers.

Have you ever asked your current IT provider about their long-term strategy? They might not openly disclose intentions of selling, but subtle indicators can betray underlying motives. Signs like coaxing clients into longer contracts, turning planning meetings into sales pitches, or difficulty in reaching key contacts can hint at an impending exit strategy. These signs are red flags that should prompt a deeper investigation into the provider's future plans and stability.

Our concerns reflect experiences similar to SymTec’s with our data backup partner—a decline in service quality and personalized attention. To new owners, you may no longer be a valued partner but merely a revenue source to be optimized. This shift in perspective can lead to a degradation in the level of service and support you receive, impacting your business operations and overall satisfaction.

As you approach the renewal of your IT contract, be vigilant for these signs. Assess the current state of your IT partnership and consider whether your provider's future goals align with your own business needs. If you are in the market for a new IT provider, consider their long-term goals. Conduct thorough research, ask probing questions, and seek out references to ensure that the provider will be a steadfast IT partner for years to come.

Choosing an IT provider is more than just a business decision; it’s a strategic partnership that can significantly impact your business's future. Ensure that your chosen provider is as committed to your success as you are, and be prepared to navigate the potential pitfalls  of mergers and acquisitions that can leave you with an unselected IT provider. By taking a proactive and informed approach, you can safeguard your business against the uncertainties and challenges that come with changes in the IT landscape. The right IT partner will not only support your current needs but also help you navigate future technological advancements and business growth.