How to Choose an IT Services Company Part 3
How to Choose an IT Services Company – Part 3
This is the third in a series of three articles on how to choose the right IT company for your enterprise. We have explored several different aspects in the past two articles, and you can access those from the article list on the right side of this page.
This week we will cover some of the less technical aspects of choosing the right IT company to work with. Notice each of the three topics below deal more with the overall way you do business and manage your employees, and how the IT group needs to align with that. Certainly technology is mentioned in these contexts, but the overall principles are much deeper in meaning than just choosing a technology partner from the first page of the search engine. Really think about this: Do I feel a fit with the IT team I have chosen, or are we always at odds with each other? Keep this thought in mind as you read this article.
Total Cost of Ownership Awareness
Gone are the days when IT spend was not closely monitored (were there ever those days?) and the folks with the money are always asking technologists to do “More with Less.” As a small or midsized business decision maker, you need your IT partner to suggest solutions that fit within your budget and are the best decision for the overall business. That means the IT company you choose needs to have a good understanding of your business and the way you do things. Now that having been said, the IT company should also have market awareness enough to suggest new and innovative ideas so you as the business owner or decision maker can know all of your options. Bottom line: If your IT vendor does not have TCO awareness for YOUR business, they will not make appropriate recommendations for the growth of your company. That means you as the business driver need to be having proactive discussions with your IT people on a regular and on-going basis. Give these meetings priority and let the IT company know that you value their suggestions, even if you do not always go the direction that they recommend. Keep the ideas flowing however, and your business will be able to change with the times much easier. One day you will be discussing a problem you are trying to overcome, and you will remember the quarterly meeting you had with the IT team – “What if we use XYZ technology to overcome this issue?” You will be a better business decision maker because you are informed, and your IT company will have a better sense of your business if everyone has a good awareness of the Total Cost of Ownership for technology.
Secure BYOD Support
It is not news that BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a current trend in the business world, because who wants to carry two cell phones?! You as the business decision maker need to have the best of both worlds: Secure control of your data that can be accessed easily from the user’s preferred device. Sounds simple, right? It is not, and that is why you need to make sure the IT group you choose to work with is conversant with how to set up your users in such a way that your information is safe, and they as users don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops just to access information they need to get their jobs done. Note well, if your data is not set up in a way where your people can easily access it through proper channels, they will figure out a way to get to the information easier and much less secure. If your requirement is field sales needs access your CRM from the office only, rest assured they are printing contact records and carrying them around in an unsecured way right now. Or they have saved their contacts into their own mobile device, and if they ever walk across the street to your competitor, there goes your contact data with them. All because you didn’t make it easy and secure to get to your business information on the employee’s chosen device.
The last topic for our series on choosing the right IT company comes down to you and your company, and making sure that the IT group you choose is a cultural fit. The most frustrating thing in the business to IT company scenario is when this part of the equation is a mismatch. Imagine repeatedly telling the IT team that you need something, and never getting a clear indication from them that they (a) understand what you are asking, or (b) they are even working on a solution! We all communicate in different ways, and there are certainly different personality styles. But a cultural non-fit is a deal breaker, period. It will lead to frustration and ultimately a blow up at the worst possible time. Take heed early in the relationship to see if the IT team you choose to work with listens more than they talk. If that is not the case, you need to seriously evaluate if you have the right fit between your company and the IT company you have in place right now.
We at NOYNIM hope you have enjoyed this series of articles on choosing the right IT company for your needs! If you think the group you are working with now may not be the right one for where your business is going, please contact us. We have an initial engagement which we provide free of charge – and it is not just a glorified sales call. We have a technical staff member perform our Network and Security Assessment in your environment to show you where your exposure is now. We then schedule a time to go over the assessment and provide our recommendations. Give us a call, we would like to meet with you and see if our two organizations are a fit!
Erik Cox – 720.524.8616 x218