Finding an IT Support Who’s Your Partner

There are a multitude of factors that go into choosing an IT support vendor. Aside from the fact that most professionals tasked with the job of finding an IT partner don’t have the technical expertise to talk the talk, choosing a vendor requires careful consideration of strategic factors to ensure that you work with a provider that is right for you.

If your business or organization is ready to outsource IT support or you need to switch vendors, it’s important to choose a provider that will partner with you.

Here are the factors you should look for:

Expertise

If you’re a healthcare organization, you’ll need an IT support partner with expertise in healthcare regulations and HIPAA compliance. If you specialize in retail, you’ll need a support team that knows the ins and outs of data security.

Be sure to ask the right questions, such as whether the vendor can share references of clients in your industry and what certifications they hold. You’ll also want to know that a team of professionals is at your disposal. For example, if your main point of contact goes on vacation, will there be another consultant managing your project who is up to speed?

Location

At first glance, having a local IT support provider makes sense. However, with digital advancements, it’s really not necessary to look only locally.

Once the vendor completes your IT setup (which does require an in-person visit), all of the monitoring and support can be effectively done via a remote team.

While you may find an IT vendor who meets all of your criteria within a one-hour radius of your business, being able to expand your search beyond the “local walls” gives you access to a much broader range of companies with more expertise, years in business, and a broader range of services  –  all factors you can use to your advantage.

Check out which 5 IT security threats can harm your business at any moment – and what you can do to stop it.

Responsiveness and productivity

The bottom line is, if your IT support partner can’t get to your problem quickly, your team can’t get work done. If your team isn’t working, productivity goes way down, and your company loses revenue. Therefore, your IT support team is your company’s first line of defense against an unproductive workforce.

Ask the vendor about its rate of responsiveness, and be sure to talk to references about how quickly the support team is able to respond to issues, and then remedy them.

Speaks your language

Chances are, you are not well versed in IT-speak. But that’s OK. You shouldn’t feel like you have to earn an IT degree to be able to hire an IT support partner.

The vendor with whom you work should speak YOUR language, not the other way around. Look for a partner that will translate complicated and complex IT requirements into layman’s terms, and actively seek your input along the way.

Vision

The best IT partner is the one that will effectively serve your needs today and help you prepare for what’s coming tomorrow. A long-term IT plan is essential for your company’s success.

Be sure that your IT vendor talks to you about infrastructure improvements, prioritizes these projects, and is continuously ramping up your IT security.

Personalized

Your IT support provider should thoroughly understand your business and learn your long-term plans in order to select and implement the best technology solutions to meet your needs. While the latest IT craze may be moving the business’ operations to the cloud, that decision may not be suitable for your business.

Your IT provider should come up with a strategic IT support plan that’s strategic to your business  –  not the trends.

Choose your IT support vendor carefully. Consider the expertise, location, responsiveness, vision, personalized plan and language before landing on the best choice.

Where does your business struggle with IT support procedures, response times or strategic plans?

 

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