Six signs that it’s time to change IT consultants

Are things just not working out between you and your IT consultant? We all know that breaking up is hard to do. But eventually, enough is enough.

Is it time to break the news to your IT consultant that it’s over and you are ready to find someone new? Here are six ways you can know for sure.

1. They have a day job

If your consultant isn’t available during the day–you know, that time most of us affectionately call “work”–then they aren’t doing you much good. Even in non-emergency situations, there are going to be times when you need them there along with your staff.

That’s not to say they can’t work at night, too. There are definitely times they will have to work late nights. Experienced IT professionals know that there are times when sleep is a privilege, not a right.

2. They look like slobs

Just because someone works on computers and servers, it doesn’t follow that they have permission to look less than professional. We’ve all seen the type. Why let them in your office by choice?

Naturally, suits won’t always be appropriate because IT consultants may be going from a board meeting to crawling under a desk on a moment’s notice. At a minimum, wearing a collared shirt and a nice pair of jeans isn’t much to ask.

Smelling nice never killed anyone, either.

3. They make you feel stupid

One of the ways IT consultants back people into corners is by talking over their heads. So what if you don’t know an IDE from a SATA or haven’t even heard of a SCSI? If you knew these things, you wouldn’t need a consultant in the first place.

In your core business, you no doubt use terminology the IT crowd has never heard before, either. You don’t make them feel stupid because of that, so neither should they make you feel inadequate.

4. They are always selling you things

A lot of people who call themselves consultants are really just salesmen getting an inside angle for free. All consultants have to sell parts or software from time to time, but that’s not what got them into the business.

If the solution always seems to mean buying something newer, bigger or faster, you’d better think twice about who you are dealing with. There’s a good chance that new server won’t fix the problem and you are probably paying too much for it.

5. They can’t communicate effectively and in a friendly way

IT pros aren’t typically social mavens. That doesn’t mean they have a license to be rude.

Some people are phone people, some are email people, some are in-person people. Most people aren’t good at all of them. But a good consultant should be able to handle at least one of those.

6. It’s always your fault

Does it seem like every time something goes wrong that your IT person says it was something you did wrong? This often reflects a lack of knowledge; not on your part but on the so-called expert’s part.

Sure, people make mistakes with computers. But computers also mess up plenty on their own. If your IT consultant is making you scared to use your own equipment, then it’s safe to say you can do a lot better.


If those six signs sound way too familiar to you, it’s time to take your IT consultant aside and say, “Listen, we need to talk. It’s not me; it’s you. It’s definitely you.”

It’s often hard to do but just be firm and direct. And don’t worry… there are plenty of fish in the sea.

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