First question to ask yourself - are you choosing an it support company or a technology provider?
If you are an experienced businessman or woman, I am sure you will agree with the statement that ‘businesses (either small or large) and technical issues are negatively related’. And despite their nature and relations, technical problems are inevitable. So, as a business owner how do you handle this situation?
Like most companies, I presume your desire is to use whoever happens to be the most tech-savvy in your company to handle the situation. But is this the best option out there?
Let us be direct, the answer to that question is no! Put in another way, what would you think of a commander who has four (4) soldiers in a battle against 10 men but instead of adopting a sensible strategy to win, he sends one of them away to collect some equipment that won’t be available five (5) days after the war is over? Similarly, restricting one or more of your best employee (s) to handle technology problems while they should be working with the rest of their team to achieving your business goals. If they were an IT expert, they would be doing this for a living.
So, what must you do instead? Bear in mind that your IT problems should be taken care proactively wherever possible, but not by your unskilled employees. You should consider working with a trusted and valued IT provide and outsource your IT needs. Realistically, outsourcing your IT needs relieves you of the burden and worry to allow you to focus on your business.
But does that mean you can simply go with the cheapest, closest or friend of a friend?
In most cases no! It is recommended you always consider what is the best fit for your business while choosing an IT support provider.
Timeless IMS has enlisted 5 concepts you must look out for when choosing an IT support company or a technology provider.
1. Terms of agreement
Understand what you are getting and signing up to. As long you understand what you get, need and want you can set your expectations accordingly.
If all you want is a quick fix then avoid long-term contracts and opt for a company with a month by month basis, or slightly beyond that; This way you will be able to opt-out of their services in case their services are not good enough or there is a change in your business strategy and needs.
Long term commitments work if your expectations are to plan and work with technology within your business. This allows better planning and strategic decision making.
2. Effective and efficient management
Every technology support company works differently. These companies all have different forms of operational processes. For instance, some IT companies won’t attend site until there is a problem, such as broken printers, email errors, login issues, etc. The key point here is whether you are getting a proactive or reactive service and whether the service is an effective one.
An effective and efficient managed IT solution will solve problems proactively. The reactive break/fix model may cost less to administer but can be far more disruptive to the business operations. Proactive support to a business should also encapsulate proactive scheduled periodic account meetings with your company, where they will advise and provide information about the right types of technology to put in place to achieve your long-term business objectives.
3. Experienced, certified and on-going training
Experienced suppliers, who can demonstrate long term client relationships, excellent customer service and technical knowledge will give their clients confidence is supporting their technology.
IT Support companies that are inexperienced or do not demonstrate the culture within should best be avoided. Likewise working with an IT Support company that has certifications and skilled engineers should provide you with confidence.
A supplier that provides ongoing training across all aspects of the business demonstrates core qualities no company should be without. Motivated employees, a strong culture within the business, excellent communication skills and effective habits demonstrated within the business should give you a resounding level of confidence and security and confirm you have chosen the right supplier (read partner) to work alongside the business.
4. Data Security Gurus
In today’s business world, cybersecurity threats or security breaches happen on daily basis. It is a topic not to be taken lightly and any company that has had a breach will tell you what an unpleasant, stressful and can damage the business by reputational loss.
Working with a trusted provider manages the risk and uncertainty a business faces daily with cybersecurity threats. A detailed plan on HOW, WHAT, and WHY related subscription cybersecurity services are installed and managed will give you peace of mind
5. Realistic Response Times
Make sure your contract with any IT company has realistic response times (SLAs).
What does this mean? You should ensure the SLAs (Service level agreement) between your company and the provider include realistic timeframes to ensure that any issues your company experiences are resolved in the expected timescales. You should agree what you expect for your business to operate properly, and any disruptions are managed accordingly.
SLAs are defined by response times as well as fix times, make sure you understand the differences and are happy with what they are.
Any company that offers guaranteed fix times should be scrutinized to make sure that these SLAs can be achieved. You should also consider the right investments in your technology to reduce response times or align your expectations to operate your business.
IT Providers are not wizards, they can work with and provide technology solutions that can accommodate your business, just be prepared to invest in order to meet your expectations of your technology solutions.
What should you do?
It is important to work with a trusted, experienced and proactive technology company, to help achieve your business needs. Among several IT companies you may opt for, Timeless IMS provides a holistic managed services approach, working with clients to support and evolve their technology needs.
Our philosophy embodies the messaging; ‘Your business growth. Accelerated by technology.’
We are looking for business owners with a growth mindset that want to continue their growth by using our managed technology roadmap.
If you’ve decided to make the jump, and you needed a more insightful strategy on how to achieve your business aims and objectives, please get in touch with us today.