For businesses, technology is a double-edged sword. The right systems and software, when up-to-date, secure, and smartly introduced, can boost the efficiency of your day-to-day operations, deliver accurate customer data, reduce waste, boost sales and cut costs.
On the other hand, such unprecedented levels of reliance on technology don’t come without risks. According to recent estimates, for 25% of businesses, a single hour of downtime leads to losses greater than $300,000 and, for small businesses, a software malfunction or human error can cost over $10,000 and significant reputation damage.
So, if you are wondering whether you should invest a portion of your budget in business IT support, the answer is a big yes!
But finding the right provider for your business’s needs isn’t always easy, and choosing among the many options out there can feel overwhelming.
In this guide by Netwave, you’ll learn how to avoid common pitfalls when choosing a business IT support provider and choose a company you can trust.
Start by looking for the traits below!
Before meeting with different IT support companies, make sure to spend time assessing the unique IT needs of your organisation.
Some of the aspects to look into include the type of software you use, how niche your operations are, and how reliant your business is on certain hardware or software. This analysis will give you a better idea of what to look for in a business IT support provider.
Pro tip - While assessing your current business needs is important, don’t forget to look at your future goals, both in terms of IT adoption and growth. This will help you choose an IT team that is able to support your long-term strategy.
While there is certainly no shortage of business IT support providers out there, not all teams are created equal. And, even more importantly, not all of them will have the skills and expertise needed to meet your business’s needs.
If you are not an IT expert, it might be challenging to assess a company’s expertise. Luckily, there are some telltale signs to look for that will tell you how expert a certain team or expert are.
Start by looking at the services they provide. They should at least have data privacy, SAP, JAVA, cloud computing, data recovery, and information security skills. Additionally, you may ask to see some of their accreditations, which might include AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), and project management or Scrum certifications.
Depending on the industry you operate in, you might have specific IT needs. For example, healthcare facilities, clinics, and legal firms often deal with significant data protection challenges, while retail businesses might require expert assistance for their eCommerce store.
To ensure that your chosen business IT support provider has the skills needed to resolve specific issues, review their experience in your specific niche or industry.
Today, most of the IT support you need to maintain your infrastructure healthy and functioning can be delivered virtually. Nonetheless, some issues cannot be resolved remotely!
For example, if the cause of downtime is malfunctioning hardware, you might not be able to access the support you need when working with an entirely remote team. To ensure that you’ll always have access to the support needed, consider choosing a business IT support provider that can deliver on-site assistance - and, within minutes or hours!
Pro tip - You should never wait to experience a problem to discover that the response times of your IT team are too long! Make sure to assess their standards during your initial consultation to avoid unpleasant surprises in a moment of need.
As a business owner, you know how important sticking to a strict budget is for the success of your business. However, investing in the right services can be just as critical for the well-being of your organisation!
That is why, when looking for a business IT support provider, you should look beyond the price tag and seek a provider who offers the best value for money.
Some indicators that you are dealing with a professional company include flexible pricing plans and tailored It support packages.
A professional business IT support provider will know that each business is unique. In turn, the services, solutions, and strategies they might have applied to previous clients or projects might not work well for your needs and goals.
That is why you should look for a team committed to spending time with you and your organisation, observing how each software or hardware is used and learning more about your business’ culture. This is a sign that you are working with a professional IT support provider ready to listen to your suggestions and able to adjust their suggestions to your needs.
While you’ll want an IT expert with excellent technical knowledge by your side, their hard skills are not the only trait to look for. Indeed, during an emergency or downtime period, working with an expert who addresses the issue from a holistic viewpoint and is able to understand the business impact of such an episode can be invaluable.
What’s more, an IT expert who understands the ins and outs of running a business will be able to proactively guide you in the adoption of new technologies and systems that actually make sense for your business goals.
Thanks to predetermined packages, business IT support providers have made it incredibly easy for clients to pick and choose the best plan for their needs. However, in some cases, you might not get what you are paying for - and, the chances are that you’ll only find out during an emergency!
Instead, consider asking prospective partners what their response times are, whether you’ll be able to talk to an IT expert upon calling them, and if they will assign you a dedicated account manager. Make sure you are entirely satisfied with their offer before going ahead and purchasing a certain plan or package.
If you are struggling to find a professional you can trust, consider learning more about a company’s standards and services through the online reviews left by previous customers.
Pro tip - While Google reviews are usually a great starting point, don’t forget that they are not verified. Instead, consider checking the feedback left by other customers on sites such as Trustpilot.
While your business IT support partner will not directly be part of your in-house team, your hiring process should be similar to the one you would apply to an in-house talent! Besides assessing the IT team’s skills and expertise, spend time investigating their values and mission and make sure they are in line with your business’s own vision and ethics.
This simple strategy will make communication more open and efficient - which is critical to the success of any IT project!
If you're still experiencing issues or a technical fault is beyond you, reach out to an expert that can assist with the issue.
Our team have a combined 50 years of experience in the IT and computing industry and we can troubleshoot home or enterprise computing issues as well as design and implement new IT systems to make your life easier. Click here to reach out to us or call an expert on 02 6533 1060. We roam between Forster, Tuncurry, Taree, Hallidays Pt and surrounding areas.