As a business leader, selecting IT consulting and support services for your organization is one of the most impactful decisions you’ll make. The technology partner you choose will be a close advisor for your organization’s present and future technology needs. Rapid changes in technology, the scale and complexity of cyberattacks, growing compliance requirements and changing business needs are all challenges that IT can help overcome.
Selecting the right IT service helps streamline operations, minimize security risks and significantly reduce research, development and deployment time for critical IT projects.
5 To-Do’s When Evaluating IT Service Partners
1. Identify Your Own Technology Needs
The first step in selecting an IT service partner for your business is to know what you need, or think you need. When conceiving your roadmap, you need to know where you are (establish your current state), where you want to be (ideal future state), and if you have the resources and assets available to complete the journey. Similarly, when planning to employ IT consulting and support services, you need to ask the following questions:
- Where is your organization with respect to IT and digital transformation?
- Where does your organization want to be with respect to IT in three years, five years?
- What are the expected outcomes from IT?
- How much of an investment in IT is your organization planning to make in the long- and short-term?
Having clarity of your organization’s needs and your desired approach to technology is the first step in selecting a service partner. Coming to the table prepared with your requirements (as best you can) and mission helps set expectations and ensures that you get into a mutually beneficial relationship and not simply throne into a sales cycle.
2. Seek Professional Experience
Even though most IT service partners are willing to jump into a new challenge, a good partner will have the necessary experience for your industry. For example, if you run an accounting firm, a service partner who has experience in your industry may be better equipped to handle critical intgerations with accounting software than a partner that has never worked with those integrations before. You can also look through customer reviews to get a general idea of their client base and how well they fit in with other organizations.
3. Ask About Partnerships and Certifications
Is the partner able to list any relevant certifications or partnerships that support their ability to successfully deliver on services prior to being rendered? For example, if you need to upgrade your phone systems or switch out existing unified communications services, will the service partner be able to offer support from partnerships with companies like RingCentral or Zoom, or any of the leading, “magic quadrant” UCaaS providers?
4. Require Ongoing Maintenance and Support
Quality support continues after impolementation. A good IT service partner will offer service and support above and beyond the actual technology provider. By offering a personal touch from a dedicated support team that knows you and your services, your IT service partner can keep small issues from becoming large problems and affecting productivity.
We all know that IT problems don’t have a predictable start time, and they don’t take holidays. This unpredictability is why it is so important to look for an IT service partner with a dedicated support team.
5. Find Out if They’re a Good Fit
Be sure that you look into a potential partner’s company culture. Make sure they fit with your organization. At the end of the day, you want to establish a good relationship between you, your partner and your employees. Can the IT company provide you client references and at least one reference from a company of similar size (and industry) to your own? How well do they fit into the organizational culture of some of their other clients? Do their clients seem satisfied not only with their level-of-service but also with the relationship? Ask for the following information when seeking references:
- Name of company
- Primary contact
- Industry type
- Length of client/partner relationship
- Pain points and problem solved.
Choosing Your IT Consulting and Support Services Partner
Don’t settle for lackluster IT support and put the security of your business at risk. It’s not easy to choose an IT consultant or service partner; there are a wide range to choose from with a variety of services. No two service partners will operate the same way. That’s why it’s always best to do the necessary research to find an IT partner that will make IT a strategic differentiator for your business. The company you choose should do everything possible to make the transition seamless for you and your staff and help you map out your organization’s short- and long-term technology needs.
Make the Best Decision for Your Business
Based on the responses you receive to the inquiries above and the discussions you have with referred clients, you will be able to quickly narrow your search. At ATC, we will empower you to drive digital transformation by tying strategy and technology to business outcomes and goals. When there is no margin for error, contact ATC for our process–proven approach to sourcing and implementing next-gen IT services.