How to Choose the Right Technology Company
Finding a company to understand your IT needs and provide services to support your business is a big task. Technology is challenging and an important factor in your business success, which is why having the right provider matters so much when it comes to your company’s security, stability and productivity.
So how do you best select an IT company to support your business? Trial and error certainly isn’t the best approach because cycling through different providers can create turmoil and an ongoing management challenge. Setting the right criteria for selection up front is important so you can find the right IT company the first time.
Here are four important factors to consider as you consider alternative IT services companies to meet your business needs.
Availability is crucial
Your networks don’t sleep, so your IT support shouldn’t either. Avoid providers who make you feel as if you are a bother when you’re contacting them outside of “normal” business hours. Look for a company that delivers stellar customer support and is available to you whenever you need it.
Response times should be rapid
Quick response times are important when it comes to tech support and services. When you are looking for an IT services company to support your needs, see how fast the companies you contact respond via email, on the phone and any other communication methods they use. First impressions are a very good predictor of what you can expect in the future; if they are slow to respond when you contact them about a possible business relationship, they’ll likely be slow when you are under contract. Also, be sure to ask if they have a maximum response time and avoid companies that forward you to independent call centers who may find it easy to give you less service and less responsive support.
Support levels that meet your needs
While remote access is a must so issues can be resolved quickly, there may be times when you need a technician to physically come to your location. Make sure that the company you select can meet your needs and be responsive to your business. You will also want responsive support for your employees, since productivity drops when workers are having tech issues but can’t get timely help to solve them.
A full IT services menu makes a difference
The company you select will only be as strong as the services it can offer you. And you need a partner who can evolve and grow as you do. While your exact business requirements will vary, in most cases you will need some minimum basic services to start. These include a managed security service to keep threats at bay, firewall protection that prevents employees from accessing harmful websites, a patch management system to keep everything updated, automated backups to the cloud to protect data in case of a disaster, and risk assessment scanning to look for sensitive data on your network such as Social Security or credit card numbers.
One important service to keep in mind as you screen IT companies is disaster recovery. Many businesses fail to recognize that need until after disaster has struck and it is too late. Viruses and ransomware as well as natural disasters like fire, vandalism, theft and weather events all pose threats to your critical data and may cost your business time and money. Your service provider should be able to assess the needs of your infrastructure and put a plan in place to protect your sensitive data in the case of an unforeseen event.
As you consider technology services companies to meet your needs, keep those four key factors in mind. If any companies you evaluate can’t fulfill those basic requirements eliminate them quickly and keep looking. IT should be more than an afterthought and having the right IT services company to support your business can be critical to your success.