Your business can benefit a lot from working with an IT provider. However, you need to avoid several key mistakes when choosing your team.
Time spent on trying to figure out the technology you use in your business can be costly. While doing that, you can’t focus on your business needs, which can then result in poor customer satisfaction.
This is where IT providers come into play.
They enable you to outsource hardware and computing-related services, such as managed IT security and cloud computing. IT providers can also provide a robust IT infrastructure so that you can direct your attention to revenue-generating activities.
While there are numerous IT providers to choose from, not all of them may accommodate your business’s specific needs. And integrating with the wrong team can raise your spending due to irrelevant services, recurring security issues, data backup problems, and downtime.
Therefore, you need to be extra careful when selecting your team. The only way to avoid disappointment is to avoid these eight common mistakes when looking for the right IT provider.
THE EIGHT MISTAKES
MISTAKE #1 – INSISTING ON THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGY
Many advertisers want to trick you into believing that the latest technology will resolve all your issues. While the newest virtualization or cloud offerings can boost operations in many enterprises, they might not suit your business.
Hence, don’t let the hype surrounding new products dazzle you.
Carefully consider the results your IT provider will help you achieve and determine if the investment enables you to fulfill them. Your provider shouldn’t confuse you with state-of-the-art features – they should guide you and allow for seamless integration.
MISTAKE #2 – FAILURE TO CONSIDER THE RESPONSE TIMES
Determining the response times of your prospective IT providers is essential. You need to ask them how long they usually take to reply to queries and resolve problems. Be sure to gauge their onsite support efficiency, too.
Not inquiring about their availability is another grave error. Your IT team should provide round-the-clock services, including specialists that will monitor your system.
Constant monitoring and availability can help ensure you can detect IT issues early. With this, the provider can immediately administer patches and updates to safeguard against disasters.
Furthermore, your IT provider should offer simple access to their desk support. You should be able to contact them via multiple channels (email, client portal, desktop widget) and calling should always be an option.
MISTAKE #3 – NEGLECTING THE SECURITY ASPECT
Disregarding the security features of your IT provider might be the most severe mistake. Teams with improper defense mechanisms can’t shield your system from cyber attackers, increasing the risk of losing data and access to resources.
To avoid this, look for IT providers that can protect you from malware and other threats. They also need to prioritize protecting your business’s confidential data, like trade secrets and customer information. Ask any potential IT providers if their service plans follow a particular security framework. The NIST Cyber Security Framework is quickly becoming the most widely recognized and respected framework in the United States for small and medium businesses.
When it comes to specific security measures, your IT provider should have features that prevent data intrusions instantly upon detection. The list includes phishing attacks simulations, web content filtering, DNS security, endpoint protection, mobile device management, and dark web protection.
MISTAKE #4 – FORGETTING THE BUDGET
Many IT companies operate under pay-as-you-go pricing schemes. Although this helps you minimize upfront investment, adopting many technologies simultaneously without considering the recurring costs can cripple your finances.
Thus, think twice before signing on the dotted line.
Research your providers thoroughly and draft your budget with professional assistance. These steps can prevent considerable frustration down the line.
MISTAKE #5 – NOT DETERMINING SCALABILITY
One of the biggest impediments to growing your company is choosing an IT provider with poor scalability.
By contrast, scalable IT teams allow your business to evolve and grow. They can continually extend their services to accommodate your company’s goals, even if these goals change.
MISTAKE #6 – NOT UNDERSTANDING HOW YOUR SERVICE REQUESTS ARE BEING PROCESSED
Understanding how an IT provider triages incoming service requests and knowing average response times is critical. If requests are emailed in, how is this mailbox being monitored? What is the triage process? What are the average response times? Do I have a resource if the response is not meeting my expectations?
MISTAKE #7 – LACK OF TEAM TRAINING AND FEEDBACK
The story doesn’t end once you’ve found and partnered with a trustworthy IT provider. New technologies won’t magically increase your bottom line and decrease outputs.
To accomplish your goal, your employees will still need to understand how to use your new tech solutions. But bear in mind that not every team member may be able to grasp new tools easily. Some may even prefer the existing platforms.
Fortunately, you can hire IT experts to train them. These professionals should simplify any complex steps and advise your staff on making the most of your new investment.
Also, some enterprises set up regular training but fail to monitor their team’s performance. This is a huge mistake, as it keeps you from assessing your employee’s response to new technologies.
So, conduct questionnaires and other forms of feedback collection to determine and address any weaknesses.
MISTAKE #8 – IGNORING EXPERIENCES WITH PREVIOUS CLIENTS
Choosing an IT provider is similar to buying standard products and services. Failure to check user reviews can lead to disappointment.
To get a clear picture of your IT team’s capabilities, analyze their current and previous clients from similar industries. Look for reviews, testimonials, and ask the provider for a list of projects and references.
After doing your due diligence, you should be able to tell whether an IT provider is an ideal match for your company.
However, keep in mind that every IT team is different. For instance, they might be well-versed in the healthcare industry but have no experience working with retailers. That’s why as mentioned, stick to IT providers servicing your industry to get the best results.
FIND THE RIGHT FIT
Nobody wants to end up with a poor IT provider that can’t deliver great results, leaves your company open to cyberattacks, and causes other vulnerabilities. Your investment goes down the drain, and your operations suffer.
Luckily, here at GreenLoop, we can show you a way out.
Let’s arrange a quick, 10-15-minute obligation-free chat. We can discuss more ways on how to find the right IT provider for you and ensure you get your money’s worth.
Portions of this Article used with permission from The Technology Press.