Key Points in This Article
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s time to rethink your business partnerships. Is your relationship with your IT provider solid or a little rocky? If you don’t love your IT company as you did when you first met, reconsider your relationship today. Your IT company should leave you feeling happy, supported, and confident in everything it does.
IT support is not a one-size-fits-all. Your technology infrastructure is unique to your business needs. You deserve an IT company that knows how your company operates and tailors their services to help your business thrive. If you’ve stopped feeling that spark from your IT support team, it’s a surefire sign that the IT company has become complacent and the relationship has run its course. Like any healthy relationship, your IT provider should spend time building trust and a solid rapport with you. Read on to discover the things to look for in a good IT company, but first…
Hiring an in-house expert team can get extremely expensive. An outsourced IT provider can be the solution your business needs to improve its operations. With managed IT services, you have a team that looks after your company’s IT needs. Conversely, co-managed IT providers liaise with existing in-house staff offering IT systems maintenance, remote monitoring services, network monitoring, etc.
Cost-wise, co-managed IT services are less expensive than managed IT. Managed IT services are ideal if you need a provider to take full responsibility for your IT infrastructure. Managed IT services are beneficial for businesses that don’t have a professional IT system in place. They can be available 24 hours a day to take care of all your IT needs, so you can focus on scaling your business.
Both managed and co-managed IT services have their advantages and disadvantages. The best option depends on your business’s operational needs and budget. Co-managed IT services may be the perfect option if you want a high level of support on a budget. For services available 24 hours a day to help with the IT infrastructure needs outside of regular business hours, choose managed IT services. Here is what to look for in an IT company.
No relationship should ever be one-sided. If you are the one doing all the work, what’s the point of keeping your existing IT company? If your IT provider is not paying attention to your needs and providing the services you require to succeed, it’s time to let go. A support team that deserves your business will have the following qualities;
1. THEY KNOW ALL YOUR IT NEEDS
No two companies are the same. Your business is unique; your IT service provider must recognize this because cookie-cutter IT services won’t cut it. Your IT team must pay attention to your unique business needs, including compliance requirements to be met.
You want an IT provider with experience serving similar enterprises of the same size in your niche industry. The company should have a proven track record of helping businesses address related IT concerns and challenges.
2. REGULATORY AND COMPLIANCE-DRIVEN IT PROVIDER
Compliance has become a day-to-day responsibility because regulations continue to increase in number and complexity. A good IT provider should demonstrate how they’ll monitor your IT environment and proactively address potential issues from a compliance perspective. They should also provide supporting documentation of their compliance.
3. RELIABLE SUPPORT
To get a clear definition of what support means to a potential IT provider, examine their support processes, their systems, and the personnel they use to offer it. Ensure their availability options meet your company’s needs to minimize business disruption.
4. CLOUD EXPERTISE
Nearly every firm today relies on a combination of private and public clouds, including premise-based technology to some degree. An IT company should have the tools to monitor and address complex IT issues in multiple cloud platforms. The provider should be a certified expert exclusively managing workloads on the cloud.
Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all for IT solutions and support, even for an IT company specializing in your niche industry. As such, the provider should be able to tailor and adapt their solution for your business needs if necessary. You shouldn’t change how you operate to fit in with the needs of a managed IT provider. If this happens, it’s time to consider other options.
6. FAVORABLE SERVICE-LEVEL AGREEMENTS (SLAs)
Most business SLAs generally favor the provider. This should not be the case with your IT provider. Ensure their SLA terms, including their scope of services, performance requirements, and partnership termination, do not put you at a disadvantage.
7. STRATEGIC PARTNER; NOT CUSTOMER
Your relationship with your IT company is too important to rely solely on price tags when making an onboarding decision. Note that the right provider will deliver competitive advantages and show a genuine interest in your business’s success. They’ll be accessible when needed and take the time to understand your challenges, effectively customizing their support accordingly. All the qualities mentioned above happen when you’re viewed as a strategic partner, not a vendor-customer.
Technology is ever-evolving. Advancements in connectivity, hardware, and software now deliver efficiencies we couldn’t have imagined decades ago. Whether you’re a small- or mid-sized business, how you manage your networks can define your company’s success. Ensure the IT provider you partner with is readily available and has remote monitoring experience managing hybrid work environments and cloud-based remote workplaces. Do your due diligence and find a managed IT service provider who understands your business and employs a proactive approach that goes beyond troubleshooting services.