5 Ways to Check If Your IT Support Company Is the Right Fit for Your Business Needs
Information technology is important to a business. In fact, it’s easy to argue that the importance of IT is growing. Leaders are recognising this, Spiceworks’ 2020 State of IT report found that 44% of businesses are planning to grow IT expenditure in 2020, compared to 38% in 2019.
Merely throwing cash at IT is not enough, however. When evaluating options for IT support, London companies much seek out the right IT partner – a partner that can support your business in times of difficulty, and a partner that helps your business make the most of its technology investments.
In this article, we present five core areas you should look at when evaluating your existing IT support partner, or as you choose your next technology support partner.
Does your IT provider offer advice beyond service and repair?
Today’s technology environment is far more complex than in the past, as there is an incredible pace of change. Previously cutting-edge tech such as the cloud, software-as-a-service, and IoT is now commonplace, but the best implementations are still being discovered.
Yes, your company may have a terrific solution in place, but if your IT provider simply maintains what’s currently in place, you could easily end up missing out on a wave of technological change. The result? Your competitors take advantage of new business models, lower costs, and happier customers long before you do.
That’s why you need to ensure that your IT provider is not just a provider of fixes and repairs, but also a trusted advisor that understands your business. It enables your technology partner to help your company stay ahead of the technology curve, harnessing tech trends in ways that boost revenue and reduce costs.
What does your IT company’s client profile look like?
Every company has unique technology requirements, depending on the sector in which they operate. As we suggested, today’s technology environment is increasingly complex – and so are the best-of-breed implementations.
Your technology partner must understand the leading concerns and pain points for companies that operate in your field of business. If you operate in healthcare, it’s best to seek an IT provider that has a track record of helping healthcare companies. Similarly, if you operate in the hospitality sector you should seek out a technology partner that can advise you on the best tech solutions in your field.
Can your IT support company handle business growth?
Most companies strive to grow as quickly as they can, and it’s important to understand that service partners which were suitable at one point in time may no longer be able to meet increasingly complex technology requirements.
As your business grows, you might find that your IT outsourcing provider struggles to handle the amount of work coming its way. Furthermore, large businesses have enterprise-scale technology requirements that can be difficult to meet if your IT provider is used to dealing with smaller businesses.
It’s worth taking a forward-looking approach: changing IT support companies can be a long and challenging process. It is better to consider making a change before you find that your business has outgrown its current IT support company.
Examine your support company’s management and processes
Not every business gets to experience fuss-free technology provisioning year in year out, but many companies enjoy the benefits of technology with few glitches – or problems with their IT support company.
However, issues can crop up and the cost of technology failure can be incredibly high. Can you rely on your support provider to help you when you need it most? It’s worth establishing exactly what the processes and procedures are when there’s a real crisis.
Evaluate agreed response times, for example, and consider getting a service level agreement (SLA). Size up your provider and find out whether there are constant changes in management and staffing.
Also, evaluate the internal processes to deal with disputes and service gaps, alongside the procedures for switching providers: the last thing you want is your IT outsourcing partner holding you hostage when it’s time to go.
Look for compliance and security brawns and accreditation
Finally, today’s technology solutions are increasingly at risk due to countless cybersecurity threats. In fact, the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport’s 2019 Cyber Security Breaches Survey found that 32% of respondents reported a cybersecurity breach.
Your IT support provider is your most important line of defence. Effectively guarding against cyber threats is a broad and complex task that few businesses can undertake on their own, and which many IT support providers struggle with too.
Look out for accreditation and qualifications that indicate your IT provider has the necessary knowledge to guard against cyber threats – ISO 27001 accreditation is a good example. Also, consider how your technology partner deals with cybersecurity: are they proactive, regularly battle-testing your defences, or do they desperately try to fix problems after the damage is done?
Don’t forget about compliance, particularly where your company deals with personally identifiable data or confidential data such as healthcare records. Does your IT provider understand your compliance obligations, and can they assist you to meet these?
Is it time to switch?
When considering IT support London based companies must never underestimate how crucial IT is to their operations and why good advice is essential. If your current provider falls short in just one of the above areas, not to mention multiple areas, you should seriously consider switching to a provider that can deliver across the board.
Technology provisioning is simply too important to get wrong, and the risks of a shortfall in tech support are significant: your business could lose money and customers, and suffer reputational damage. Furthermore, you could miss out on essential technology trends that will shape your industry.
Considering a switch? Talk to us at HTL to see how we can help.
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