Your organization’s IT team is crucial to the overall health of your nonprofit. A great IT company can help you reach your goals with precise communication, a collaborative mindset, and by sharing expertise. A disengaged IT company can actually slow down progress towards your goal and hold your organization back from innovating.
Several problems arise when your IT company does not truly listen and understand your needs. If your IT provider offers unclear roles, inconsistent communication, and isn’t engaged in your nonprofit’s mission, you could be operating at well below your capabilities. One or two of these issues may not seem like a big deal, but when combined they can prevent your organization from ever achieving your goals.
Problem #1: Inconsistent Communication
IT support for nonprofits may have the expertise that can prevent cyberattacks, promote employee accountability, and streamline productivity across your organization. Unfortunately, this can be lost when there is a lack of communication between your IT provider and your organization.
Inconsistent communication could be described as reaching out only when it’s convenient for them. For example, instead of proactively serving your needs, they reach out once a month to schedule a software update or make sure employees remember to change their passwords. This communication is disengaged and inconducive to sharing true expertise.
This problem can be solved by using a single point of contact with your managed service provider. Your single point of contact should be committed to going above and beyond your basic needs. For example, whenever there’s a new phishing scam or cloud solution that could help your company, your dedicated technician should reach out to your leadership team and let you know.
It’s also a good idea to work with your managed service provider to run training sessions for employees and help onboard new staff members. This ensures that everyone receives up-to-date knowledge on best security practices and how to operate effectively within your network. Without this shared expertise, new hires could set the wrong permissions on a document or use a weak password that puts the entire nonprofit organization at risk.
Disengaged communication is sending an email to remind employees to change their passwords. Engaged and company-focused communication is training employees on how to create a great password and the best way to remember them securely.
Problem #2: Unclear Roles and Responsibilities
Oftentimes a nonprofit will have a small internal IT team that needs the support of a larger external IT company. If there is not clear and accurate communication between the two departments, problems can arise. For example, if the internal team is unclear about the role of external support, then the two teams could end up working on the same job at the same time. Without a well-communicated and in sync approach, they could be undoing the other’s work. Clear communication would allow the two teams to support each other in different roles.
A healthy relationship for onsite and outside IT support for nonprofits can look like many different things depending on how your organization runs. However, a good example of a collaborative relationship is reactive versus proactive IT strategy. Because the onsite team is at the office, they’re a great resource for reactive break-fix troubleshooting, including fixing passwords, server outages, and more.
In this scenario, the external IT team should be focused on a proactive strategy. They could be in charge of hardware upgrades and running server updates. This type of relationship between the two departments works well as the external group lightens the load on the internal group and vice versa.
Problem #3: Absence of Teamwork Leads to Loss of Innovation
When you work with an expert IT company, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. An engaged IT company can support the internal department via proactive solutions and training for various issues. As a team, they could provide company-wide updates or cross-department training sessions on the latest cybersecurity risks. But it’s difficult to learn as much as you can when there’s a lack of communication and teamwork between your organization and the IT provider.
When IT support for nonprofits isn’t engaged, there comes a loss of innovation. You won’t hear about the latest cloud solution that could make your staff more efficient and you’ll miss out on new ransomware-proof backups. Without proactive, mission-focused support, your office technology will slowly start to fade into the past. An engaged managed IT service can provide you with the appropriate updates to keep your organization on the cutting edge and moving forward.
Without teamwork, your external IT solution won’t be providing the right solutions that are tailored to your needs. You deserve an IT company for nonprofits that is asking about your mission, issues that you’re having, where communication is failing internally, and coming up with solutions.
Problem #4: Slowed Progress towards the Mission
You should be concerned when you start to feel as though your outsourced IT support for nonprofits is barely a presence in your office. If you hear about the latest email phishing scam a week after it happens, your IT company is disengaged and not focused on your mission. If you routinely wait until a laptop crashes before replacing it, then your IT support is not proactively creating a plan to upgrade assets. Over time, this chronic lack of drive from your IT company will wind up slowing down the progress you could be making towards your organization’s goals. Poor communication, expired technology, and a lack of needed expertise creates an office that isn’t just slow and unproductive– but dangerously unsecured as well.
You deserve to move towards your organization’s mission as fast as possible. At Community IT Innovators, we believe in the power of nonprofit organizations to change the world. We believe an engaged IT company for nonprofits can provide the support you need to innovate and communicate to reach your goal that much faster. We strive to stay engaged with every client through prompt communication, accurate network monitoring, and shared expertise.
If you want to find out how we can help you reach your mission, check out our services page.