Below is a quick overview of the things you should be looking for in the company you hire to handle your IT needs.
1. Technical Expertise and Strong Communications Skills: Your IT partner should include people who utilize IT in a cost-effective way to solve your business problems, and must be able to bridge the communications gap that often exists between IT and the CEO’s office.
2. An Awareness of Your Budget &Resources: IT Partners are proving increasingly essential, but should not come with crippling expense. Fixed fees that include support go a long way towards a first class IT infrastructure and sticking to a budget saves money in the long run.
3. An Advocate Who Cuts Through the Hype: Software and hardware companies continuously release new products and certainly make them sound great. A true IT partner will let you know what you actually need, don’t need, and how to maximize the products you already own.
4. A Long-Term Planner, Implementer & Strategist: Well thought out and planned IT becomes a valuable business tool for sales, operations, security and more. Your IT partner needs to understand your needs of today as well as help plan for the future in an orderly and cost-effective way.
5. An Industry Watcher Who Maps Tech Advances to Your Needs: This is a double-pronged attack: your partner must not only keep abreast of all technology developments that may affect your business, but also work with you to understand the changing needs of your business as market conditions evolve.
6. A Keen Ability to Prevent, Troubleshoot & Solve Problems: Proper monitoring, back-up and protection provided by a well-trained staff will sharply reduce the number of problems that occur, but when they do, your IT partner must have the expertise to solve these problems quickly and without interrupting your business.
7. An Interest in Handling All Your Technology Needs: You do not want to work with a company that “cherry-picks” the work they want to do then leaves you on your own to figure out the rest…or turns you over to a 3rd party and washed their hands of it. You need a partner that takes responsibility for IT from beginning to end.
Finding the right IT partner is critical as technology is constantly changing with new developments that can propel your business forward. You need a team with the right engineers, support technicians, and executive personnel who can not only help yu with the needs of today, but help you plan for the future.