Why switch your IT support provider: finding the perfect partner for your small business – Part 1

When you decide to outsource your IT, whether for the first time or not, you expect the best service possible to be provided. You’re paying for a service and you expect to have it delivered. Sometimes though, businesses may feel locked in by a contract that ties them to their current IT supplier and this can mean not wanting to go to the trouble of switching. Aside from the dissatisfaction of paying for a service that may not be providing you with what you expected, your business is unlikely to be able to grow. IT is all about integration with your business strategy. The perfect IT support provider will know this and be able to offer your business the perfect solution that will achieve goals and drive growth.

There is a plethora of IT support companies offering similar services and all competing for your business. It can be frustrating, and difficult therefore, to sort the wheat from the chaff, identifying what in particular a provider has than another does not. Moreover, it can be a challenge to decide precisely what you need to approach an outsourced provider for. The following explains why you may need to switch your supplier and how to find a partner that will suit your business, be cost effective, and drive growth – minus the nonsense.


Realising your needs

As a small business owner it can be a challenging task to identify the IT needs of your business. It is important to understand the scale of the support that your business needs in terms of the business goals that you need to accomplish. Of course, leave the technical aspects of support to the technical experts but there is a need for communication between you and your IT support account manager.

Decide before enquiring which aspects of your business urgently need support. Asking questions such as these can help: does your business require frequent on site support? Would a move to the cloud be more suitable than spending money on unnecessary IT infrastructure? Would my remote employees benefit from virtualisation solutions? Should we enter in to a long term contract or is monthly billing more appropriate? Naturally, the perfect IT provider will be able to help your answer these questions but it is good practice to do so initially beforehand so as to be clear in what you are prepared to pay for.


What to look for

Conveying your business objectives to an IT provider with experience will ensure all areas are covered. Finding a reliable provider that wants to meet regularly to agree goals and objectives is the best way to ensure your business is taken care of so you can get on with running the company.

With so many IT support companies jostling for market share, it’s understandable that small businesses often won’t know whether they’re dealing with a true expert with many years experience. A no nonsense approach to IT is what you should look for. Ask yourself the questions: can my provider demonstrate competency in the areas that matter to my business? Am I speaking to a team of ‘yes’ men? Will my business receive proactive support? What if I frequently require helpdesk support? What if it’s out of hours? Questions such as these questions will help you along the way to choosing the right partner – you should definitely be asking at least these as well as others before making a decision.

Watch out for more help4IT insight next time!

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