Every office needs a person with significant IT understanding to provide support to employees and to make sure that the office, email platform, wifi network, and any other system your business uses are in place and working correctly. Finding this IT partner can be challenging, as you need to make sure the company you engage with has an understanding of your business and what you do. They need to be willing to maintain your systems and identify improvements that can make a difference to your staff and business.
Finding the right IT partner can be confusing. There are many companies offering 'IT support', 'Managed Services', 'Network Support' etc.. The term 'IT' convers a wide skill sets, and it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what you need . Here are some tips to help you find the right company when looking for an IT partner to support your office.
Do they Understand the Business’ Goals and Vision?
The first step to finding the right IT partner is to make sure you are working with a company that understands your business goals and vision. For example, if you have are selling marketing services online, you need an IT partner who can help you set up an excellent email provider, automate follow-ups and reminders, allow you to track sales in an effective way and most importantly, help with troubleshooting when needed. Engaging with an organisation which does not understand your goals and visions may confuse the rest of the team, and most importantly, it might make you waste time as you will be trying out irrelevant tools or systems your IT specialist wrongly thought could help.
Are they Friendly and Approachable?
There is a general misconception that IT specialists are 'geeks' or solitary introverts. Whilst its true that the profession probably has more than its fair share of itnteresting characters, the ability to communicate effectively is just as important as in any other profession. You need to make sure that the focal point in your IT partner is friendly and approachable as possible. This is important as they will be in contact with every single person in the company, helping them install software or troubleshoot issues. You want your employees to feel comfortable asking your IT support contact for help. Having to deal with an unpleasant personality can be a decisive factor when deciding to report an issue or error or not, so make sure your employees are comfortable with your IT partner, this will help get issues resolved quickly.
Are they Qualified?
More important than being friendly, you need to make sure your that not only can your IT partner provide the services you need, but also the support people assigned to your organisation are qualified and have the skills you need to support your office. Make sure they have the relevant credentials and experience that prove they can do the job. Engaging with a company that talks the talk but, does not have the people to walk the walk can be catastrophic for your business!
While the suggestions above may seem seem straight-forward, they are really important considerations. Engaging an IT partner is a key business decision, and the likelihood is that it will be a long partnership. So take your time, ask questions, and if you can't get answers in plain english walk away. Is there such a thing as the perfect "IT partner". What do you think are the key attributes of the perfect IT partner?