As an entrepreneur and business owner, you understand there are many aspects of running your own business successfully. Running in the background of all successful businesses – and often, now in the foreground of your operations – is technology.
Depending on the type of business you have and the needs, you may be using tech in a variety of ways, both internally and customer-facing. But no matter the circumstance, you want to use it to your full advantage.
For example, if you regularly need to harbor client information within your digital systems, you must ensure data safety precautions are put into place. Data loss or theft can be cataclysmic to any business, large or small. That’s why it’s often best for UK SMEs to hire an IT consultancy in London like Computers In The City that can help keep your company’s data cyber safe.
Additionally, IT partners offer ongoing support for all your tech needs, such as IT office relocation, cloud support, and business advice from an IT perspective to ensure you’re getting the most from your implemented tech. With access to the right tools, your company’s success can skyrocket by using technology efficiently and effectively. By outsourcing your IT, you’ll save the company time, receive extensive expertise from professionals, and avoid significant issues before they can happen.
How can you ensure you’re choosing the best IT team for your business?
This article details the process step-by-step so you can find your perfect match.
Step 1: Research IT Companies by Niche
Most businesses need IT support companies, regardless of size. With a variety of industries seeking professional IT help, IT companies often specialize in particular areas to meet their needs. With vast experience within a particular field, they have seen the same situations and issues arise again and again – and know how to fix or prevent them from ever happening to you. They may be able to suggest strategies you’d never consider or think of. Additionally, they should understand legalities relating to IT and your type of business.
Step 2: Consider the Size of Prospective IT Firms
If you have a business on the larger side, ensure that you pay attention to the size of any prospective IT company. If they don’t have enough engineers or help desk staff, this may make it difficult to resolve emergency issues in your future.
Step 3: Understand What’s Included (and What Isn’t) in an SLA
First, you want to think about accessibility. Is the support team available 24/7? How long will it take for them to get back to you or resolve your issue? A great IT company will give you a guaranteed resolution time, depending on the problem. You’ll also need to know how they can communicate with you, such as by phone, email, or their own instant messaging platform.
Most importantly, you should also know their full list of services via their service level agreement (SLA), and if they provide packages that offer different combinations of those services to meet your needs. It’s important to not only check the pricing of these packages but how similar packages from other companies compare. Some may come with exclusive specialized software that’s quite valuable or useful to your particular business needs.
Step 4: Find Client Testimonials
For almost any outsourced service, turning towards testimonials is key when considering who to hire. With a service as important as IT, it’s important to know you can trust the company and that they will do everything they say.
Don’t just take their word for it – take their clients’ word for it.
If needed, ask if you can speak directly with one of the clients they serve. This way you can ask all the questions you have and be confident that you’re getting an accurate answer. It also shows that the IT support company in question has established its name and built a loyal client base.
Step 5: Consider Location
While remote IT help is absolutely required these days, you might want to see if there’s a fantastic IT company near you geographically. Put simply, it’s nice to meet in person for the initial set-up and for any follow-up meetings; putting a familiar face to a company helps build trust. Also, it’s easier for nearby IT firms to find local third-party vendors for you that are already within their network, such as internet providers.
Despite close proximity to your business, your IT support company should be well-versed in remote work, too. This is important for the current pandemic situation that has forced many to work from home. It’s also useful when employees are working after hours or traveling.
Step 6: Meet the Team and Ask Questions
If you can, meet in person. If not, an online video chat meeting will suffice. The important part is that you get a feel for what it will be like to work together. You’ll be able to tell if they’re attentive and considerate. They should be patient with your questions and answer them in a way you can easily understand. This is a good test of communication. IT companies are there to translate jargon and unintelligible techy stuff so you can make better business decisions around technology.
Step 7: Ensure Your IT Partner is Adaptable
IT support workers should essentially be your business advisors who specialize in IT-related matters. This means they ask about – and account for – your future business goals and plans. As IT business consultants, they can grow with you as your company expands. The best IT companies keep up to date with modern technology to always offer you the latest greatest for your needs.
Choosing Your Best IT Support Team
With so many IT support companies to choose from, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. However, by following the above steps you can quickly begin to narrow it down.
Most of your research will be straightforward, such as looking at an IT firm’s location and size, while others may take a bit more digging to understand, like knowing what services you can receive and how other clients felt a particular IT company measured up.
In the end, much of it will come down to your intuition.
Remember: IT providers should act as your business consultants. If you feel they can meet your needs – and even surpass them to take your business to the next level – you’ve found the right one!