When an organisation first looks for external IT support and advice the person given the task of solving the problem will almost certainly not fully understand the underlying issues. This is scarcely surprising since we cannot ‘see’ what is going wrong and in any event the connectivity requirements behind an apparently simple configuration of computers, routers and servers can be extremely complex.

A request to a potential IT support company might typically be along the lines of “… our emails won’t synchronise properly…” or “…the network keeps crashing whenever we try to print a document from this particular laptop…”. All too often the response, instead of being a few sentences in plain English, comes back in the form of a very long and complex series of ‘explanations and suggested next steps’ that will almost inevitably be expensive and require the agreement of an obligatory 12 month contract prior to any remedial work being done.

If you are lucky the immediate problem will be solved and your organisation will receive clear, sensible and reliable support over the course of that contract. On the other hand, it is equally likely that something else goes wrong a few months later that will require further investigation by the IT support team and, who knows, yet more investment in equipment and/or additional software.