Manged IT Services: Finding the Right Provider
Your business can benefit a lot from working with an IT Services provider. However, you need to avoid several key mistakes when choosing an extension to 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
1 – INSISTING ON THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY
Many advertisers want to trick you into believing that the latest technology will resolve all your issues. While the newest virtualisation or cloud offerings can boost operations in many companies, they might not suit your business.
Carefully consider the results your IT Services Provider will help you achieve and determine if the investment enables you to fulfil them. Your provider shouldn’t confuse you with state-of-the-art features – they should guide you and allow for seamless integration. They should also clearly explain why they have chosen a particular product/vendor solution to address your issues.
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 and deal with any issues that arise.
Constant monitoring and availability can help ensure you can detect IT issues early, and alert the relevant people to the situation.
Furthermore, your IT Services Provider should offer simple access to their support services. You should be able to contact them via email, phone, and chat for instant guidance.
3 – NEGLECTING THE SECURITY ASPECT
Disregarding the security features of your IT Services Provider might be the most severe mistake. Teams with improper defence mechanisms can’t shield your system from cyber attackers, increasing the risk of losing data and access to resources.
To avoid this, look for Service Providers that can protect you from malware and other threats. They also need to prioritise protecting your business’s confidential data, like trade secrets and customer information.
When it comes to specific security measures, your provider should have features that prevent data intrusions instantly upon detection. The list includes phishing attacks and simulations, web content filtering, DNS security, endpoint protection, mobile device management, and advanced firewall protection.
In addition, responsible teams should eliminate any network intrusions before they compromise your system. Access to your systems should be on a “Zero Trust” model, making VPN, Network, and Wireless users essentially prove who they say they are, and not allow them access to the system until done so.
4 – FORGETTING THE COST
Many IT companies operate under pay-as-you-go pricing schemes. Although this helps you minimise upfront investment, adopting a large number of technologies simultaneously without considering the recurring costs could cripple your finances.
Research your providers thoroughly and draft your budget with professional assistance. These steps can prevent considerable frustration down the line.
5 – NOT DETERMINING SCALABILITY
One of the biggest impediments to growing your company is choosing a service 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.
6 – OPTING FOR A NON-RESPONSIVE SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT
Service level agreements (SLAs) hold IT Service Providers accountable for their services. It establishes standards for responsibilities, quality, scope, and delivery time in writing. Without it, you’ll have no way of ensuring transparent collaboration.
When selecting your IT Services Provider, find one with a responsive agreement. It can help guarantee the SLA scales with their services while rendering continual improvement.
7 – LACK OF TEAM TRAINING AND FEEDBACK
The story doesn’t end once you’ve found and partnered with a trustworthy 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 companies 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 these new technologies.
So, conduct questionnaires and other forms of feedback collection to determine and address any weaknesses.
8 – IGNORING EXPERIENCES WITH PREVIOUS CLIENTS
Choosing an IT Services 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, analyse 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 service 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, we can show you a way out.
Let’s arrange a quick, 10-15-minute no-obligation chat. We can discuss more ways on how to find the right IT Services Provider for you and ensure you get your money’s worth.
Article used with permission from The Technology Press.