What’s your definition of a professional? Think of it this way: rather than trying to offload the latest gimmick on you, a professional will act with the best interests of your business at heart.
When you instruct your solicitor, accountant – or even your recruitment consultant, professionalism comes as par for the course. When you think of just how dependent your business is on its tech infrastructure, you soon realise how important it is to demand the same standards from your IT services provider as well.
In the world of IT, quick and cheap fixes or make do and mend solutions don’t add value to your business: professionals do. With this in mind, here are five very good reasons why professional is best…
1. Security: where a slapdash approach does more harm than good
There is no cheap and quick fix for minimising the risk of a cyber security breach. Instead of trying to “sell you a solution”, a professional will take the time to understand your business and the specific risks it faces. It’s then a matter of suggesting a series of measures to meet your particular needs.
Making do with a bargain basement provider who merely “dabbles” in network security is a dangerous strategy – and could lull you into a false sense of reassurance. The same goes for leaving security measures solely in the hands of your in-house IT guy. For instance, you think you’re shielded by encryption and firewalling, but if these measures are incorrectly configured and implemented, you remain dangerously exposed.
2. Downtime: where a cheap solution causes you to constantly leak revenue
Downtime costs UK businesses £11bn a year. When you select platforms for your business to use, uptime rates should be a top priority – and should be similarly prioritised when it comes to your choice of IT service provider. Pay particular attention to response times: if the provider is offering “nationwide service coverage” at bargain basement prices, be very wary. Think local and check the reputation of the business if you want to get up and running as quickly as possible after an outage.
3. Meeting your professional obligations: does the provider understand your industry?
For professionals, it’s imperative that the IT infrastructure in place meets the requirements set out by your regulatory body. If your service provider is incapable of grasping these requirements (especially when it comes to data security), you are at much greater risk of falling foul of the relevant compliance regime.
4. Maintaining the confidence of customers
It’s not just B2B customers who are concerned about data security. 73% of consumers would think about ditching a company if it failed to keep their data safe. At a time when consumers are becoming more aware of cyber security, those businesses that can point to a reliable, safe and professionally maintained IT infrastructure could gain a professional advantage. By contrast, those businesses that are frequently unable to fulfil orders and/or are unreachable due to IT problems are more likely to lose the confidence of those customers.
5. Boosting productivity: enabling you to focus on what’s important
Do you want to spend less time on activities such as patch cycle management and more time on delivering better results for customers?
When your employees are required to spend time dealing with issues such as lost connectivity and problems with business-critical software platforms, this means less time to be able to focus on your core business activities.
Placing matters such as your network, managing mobile workers, cybersecurity, email and unified communications in the hands of a professional leaves you free to focus on what’s really important.